Smoky beers are very touchy.
They have very strong supporters that are, both noticeably and unfortunately, in the minority. But they also have quite a few detractors. Some people hate the smoke flavors, a lot of people have never really tried them and don’t understand what they’re missing.
Thankfully, I can count on some South Florida brewers that are in team smoke beer: Davy Martin at Orchestrated Minds in Ft. Lauderdale and David Lester at Unseen Creatures in Miami.
And I will readily admit that the latest smoke-inspired beer they made, Wolfpack of One (English Mild, 3.5% ABV), fills the need quite nicely.
I would assume there would be room for more than just one in this particular wolf pack, being a collaboration and all.
Lester gave me the full rundown of this beer, first sampled by yours truly at the recent North Miami Brewfest in North Miami Beach. Basically, this was the second smokey beer they had made together, and Lester wanted to play around a little with how smoke beers and rauchbiers are brewed.
Generally speaking, rauchbiers tend to live in a world touching on Porters or Dunkles. Sometimes they will go on to a more hoppy brown ale.
Here, Messeurs David and Davy attached the smoky flavors (just a touch, not enough to make it a rauchbier) onto an English mild.
And I want to pause and state my love for the English mild. It’s a simple beer, very easy to drink, and they tend to carry a light fruitiness to them. Not a citrus fruitiness like a hop-forward IPA, more of the ‘resigned in stately fashion’ lemon-flavored kiss you get from a proper British tea.
And that’s what made this beer so spectacular. You get a little touch of lemon with a tiny bit of tartness, and that grabs a hold of the smoked malt they smuggled into the beer, really making it something spectacular. It was enough to where I requested it again while recording my recent interview with David Lester for the Florida Beer Podcast.
You’ll hear that soon enough. In the meantime, Wolfpack Of One is still in cans and on draft at Unseen Creatures, and it’s worth the drive to get it.
No matter how big your wolf pack might be.
Drink Florida Craft,
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