And a surprisingly solid part of the beer lineup in our household at this point.
In many ways, Keybilly could be considered the flagship beer of Brew Hub, the Lakeland-based contract brewer with a considerable tap room and list of self-labeled beers as well.
While they’ve gotten a fantastic amount of press from Rome City IPA, Diver Down, and so on, Keybilly seems to be the one that is always there. And I was lucky enough to receive a few boxes of their new Keybilly variety pack.
There are four variants out right now, with the first alternative flavor being the relatively new-ish pineapple coconut Keybilly that I wrote about a few years ago. I’m going to write the others up and do time, but it falls on me to come back to the original a scant 7 years after my initial (and not so well written) review of Keybilly (Fruit Ale, 5.4% ABV).
Developed in South Florida by Patrick Kennedy, Brew Hub has taken what can best be described as Florida in a beer can and really made it a well-deserved focal point of everything they brew.
I’m happy that the beer goes for key lime over orange in focus. I love orange beers, especially the ubiquitous orange wheat ale, but it’s almost a little overdone at this point. Everybody goes for orange. Especially if they make a witbier.
Lime, especially the very tart, very tangy, very tiny key lime, just doesn’t get used as much.
This beer uses it in abundance and for great effect. Surprisingly dark, burnt orange color with a bright lime aroma. They went Amber ale as the base, giving the malt sweetness a bit of a boost to give those limes somewhere more substantial to land.
The flavor has a great tartness to it. Not the goofy kettle sour type of tartness, but more of a juicy fruit salad sort of flavor. It’s almost like taking a quick squirt out of the quasi-natural lime juice you find in the lime shaped plastic bottles at the produce section of a Publix.
With a beefed-up and crisp malt bill and very little bitter hops to be discerned, this beer is refreshing and simple. It’s perfectly brewed to be wonderfully tasty on a hot Florida summer day.
It is a fantastic tasting of what the state can brew, and the fact that there are more flavors of it now makes me very happy.
Two down, two to go and I definitely can’t wait to cover the other two flavors. Hopefully this will not be the end and we will continue to get fun versions of Keybilly, similar to other beer variant-hopping boxes that the state has seen.
There seems to be little this beer can’t do.
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