Ceremony Brewing is one of two breweries that opened up in Bonita Springs in November of 2021. It’s a fantastic little location, residing in a building whose past is as varied as you can possibly get.
The last tenant there happened to be a company using the space for storage, and they ended up having a lot of old cabinetry they had to get rid of to make way for anything relating to beer.
Speaking with their owner and Zach Smith, it’s been an interesting ride to see all the things that they’ve done at the location. That interview will be up on the Florida Beer Podcast very soon, so I recommend keeping an eye out.
In the meantime, Zach and his team have been keeping a very wide-ranging tap list as full as possible was able to give us a great rundown of some of the amazing beers they have:
Forbidden Ritual (NEIPA, 6.1% ABV) – Forbidden Ritual has a lot of cashmere hops in it, and I’ve noticed that cashmere tends to be a relatively popular hop these days. I understand why, and Zach’s use of the hop in this beer shows very much how cashmere gives these earthy floral notes with a touch of alpha acid bitterness but still very velvety smooth very soft. Cashmere hops tend to taste the way a carnation smells. It’s a sort of muted meaty softness, and Forbidden Ritual does a fantastic job of bringing those flavors out in a light and refreshing, not too bitter New Englander. It really showcases not only the hop, but the brewing skill at Ceremony.
Sinking In Quicksand (Imperial Stout, 10% ABV) – Not just an imperial stout, but one brewed with peanuts, and they do a great job of balancing the nutty sweetness with a bold and delightful Imperial malt bill. The mouthfeel is moderate, hop bitterness is very low, and what you are left with is an amazing range of dark roasted malt flavors The sweetness from the peanuts plays very well with the traditional raisin, plum, and prune flavors you get from an imperial stout, mixed with an extra shot of molasses.
Palm Rats (Key Lime Sour, 4.5% ABV) – And here we go, the fruited sour. So many people in my life are excited about fruited sours, it tends to be all they drink, and had Palm Rats been in distribution, they would be consuming it all. It’s not just the key lime sour, but there’s also lactose into play. This does a great job of mellowing the tartness from the key lime a bit, and giving it an almost key lime pie quality. It’s still pretty sour, and there’s a tartness there that really makes this beer more towards people that are fans of sour ales with no let up to be found. It’s still very fruity and flavorful, nicely sunny sweet, and that lactose is just a blast to behold.
Cinder and Smoke (Baltic Porter, 9.4% ABV) – A rauchbier! Listed on the board as a Smoked Baltic Porter because I strongly assume a rauchbier wouldn’t be approached anywhere in this state. But here we are, with an absolutely perfectly smokey beer with just a light touch of the cinder that brings not only a little bit of roughness and a hint of spice, but also a light touch of sweetness to the beer as well. Coupled with a Baltic Porter that is smooth and dark without being harsh and bitter, and you have a very enjoyable beer. Rough flavors, smooth mouth feel, just the right amount of smoke, this is a beer that I would definitely drink on a regular basis.
Behind The Wall Of Sleep (Barleywine, 13.6% ABV) – To round it all out, a barleywine. A remarkably smooth barleywine, as I am used to this style being very boozy and harsh, with an almost flagrant disregard for anything other than a high ABV. This is not the case. It’s got great deep caramel, raisin, and molasses notes, but it drinks very light and the high alcohol content is only moderately noticeable. This would definitely be the kind of beer that would sneak up on you rather quickly and brutally.
And if any of that doesn’t float your boat (I have no idea why this would be the case), Ceremony also has a bottle shop filled with some of the most amazing beers I have seen assembled in one location.
But with a tap list like this, why would you want to try anyone else’s beers?
The best part is, with a system as small as theirs and a following as big as theirs, there’s definitely going to be a lot of tap turnover as new styles come online. It’s a fantastic place for several beers and I cannot wait to come back soon.
And it’s a much better use of the space than storing old kitchen cabinets.
Drink Florida Craft,
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