I have long since said that beer is art. And it’s always fun when the beer gets to collide with actual art.
Today, we talk about artist Stephen Spathelf. Originally from Ohio, Steven moved to Florida (specifically Pinellas County) over 30 years ago and brings his distinctive style to many homes and businesses in the area.
Either I can play the 90’s classic Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche) by Cleveland boy band 98 Degrees, or I can mention the deep dark pit of despair in my soul now that Yanni Gourde is leaving the Lightning and on his way to Seattle.
But I think I’ll just stick with the fact that nothing says classy like a solid lager, and few styles do it better than a clean dark lager.
One like La Noche (Dark Lager, 4% ABV) by Swan Brewing.
And yes it’s 4%.
I will never forget speaking to another brewer who mentioned his frustration with people assuming that the color of a beer has a direct correlation to its weight.
As a dark 4% beer, it drinks like a 4% beer.
What did you expect? It’s got a beautifully deep brown color with the wonderfully nutty aroma of peanuts, cashews, and a little bit of orange. The flavor is a great melange of coffee, dark cocoa, chicory, orange, plum, and a tiny, tiny bit of raisin. But it still has a beautifully light body and it’s very easy to drink, giving it less of a traditional dark beer feel and more like a coffee blond.
The body is perfect, the weight is nice and easy, and it’s a fantastically refreshing beer, situated to a hot Florida night.
But since I have mid 90’s pop music in my head, I’m sure that is going to have to come up my playlist sometime soon.
If you haven’t followed them on social media, and you live in South Florida, what are you waiting for? It’s not every day that you get a “built with heart and love and by the skin of your teeth” kind of brewery.
I wanted to review this beer for a couple of reasons. First of all, it’s been a hot minute since I’ve seen anything from Bradenton’s Darwin Brewing by me. When Lucky’s Market all but folded in the state of Florida, distribution with Darwin seem to go with it.
Dessert beers and coffee beers have a lot in common.
For the most part, when people have one, the assumption is that the beer is going to be dark. Makes perfect sense, dark malts can to contain notes of both cocoa and coffee, so having a beer actually contain either cocoa or coffee or both is a natural progression.