What’s interesting is that I was just talking about both Robust Porters and the rise of locally roasted coffee in beers just yesterday.
First, apparently the BJCP is changing the name of the Robust Porter to the American Porter. I’m not totally sure as to why, and I’m mot the biggest fan of the BJCP these days after listening to some really thoughtful complaints from brewers.
Second, everyone is doing coffee beers. No great shock here, but what’s nice is that most brewers are locally sourcing the roasted beans in their beers.
It’s pretty well established that the majority of wines are purchased based primarily on the label art. I’m starting to believe that brewers are doing the same things with their beer labels. Which is why I want to direct you to the label for Big Top Brewing’s Hawaiian Lion Coconut Coffee Porter (Porter, 6.8% ABV), designed by Alizon Studios.
Just the label is gorgeous, and seems to increase in depth and detail the more you look at it. I would love it as a phone wallpaper.
Rest assured, however, the beer inside is doubly as good as the gorgeous label they gave to the bomber.
The coffee beans in the coffee porter were roasted in Sarasota (Big Top’s hometown) by Java Dawg, and sent to the brewery later that day. Literally that day. According to the team at Big Top, the brewery smelled amazing that day.
The coffee flavors were nice and smooth, just a little sweet with touches of robust meatiness. The coconut in with the beer gave an extra tropical dimension of flavor with a light and soft hint of candy in the background.
Malt was, in a word, correct. It was just the right amount of roasted malts to be the perfect blend of bready, deep flavors with a slight touch of cocoa and more coffee to further the flavors.
It’s just so good. And as it was the first coconut coffee beer I’ve had, it’s definitely going to make me want to search out more.
Regardless of how pretty the label looks.
Drink Florida Craft,
It’s been a big few months for Brew Bus Brewing.
They just purchased fellow Tampa brewer Florida Ave. Brewing and are almost done moving production and facilities to their new home, which will be creatively titled the Brew Bus Terminal.
Of course, for the time being, they’re still being contract brewed by Cigar City. While that is due to change in the near future, that’s the source of all of their cans and now bombers!
At least I haven’t seen them by me. The first bomber I’ve seen is their Hazelnut Spread Porter (Porter, 6.5% ABV).
Hazelnut Spread Porter by Brew Bus
My boss is an IPA fan. He wants his beers to be as hoppy as possible. And he can’t understand as to why people would put anything as crazy as coffee into beers.
I don’t understand the man at all.
Coffee was made to be put into beer. Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but the partnership between the two has become so ubitquitous that the style and roaster of the coffee is now becoming an important concern when it comes to brewing a coffee-infused beer.
While regular coffee is used in amy beers to good effect, South Florida tends to gravitate towards stronger stuff. For evidence, look at Funky Buddha Brewing’s Vanilla Espresso Porter (Porter, 6.4% ABV).
Vanilla Espresso Porter by Funky Buddha Brewery
Growing up, there was a commercial, probably for Reese’s, where someone takes a chocolate bar and just dunks the entire thing in a jar of peanut butter.
I can’t imagine how my Crossfitting friends would deal with a visual like that. Heck, I’m starting to get a bit queasy thinking about it.
But that flavor profile easily translates into good beers. Take Pompano Beach’s Bangin’ Banjo Brewing, for example, and their new Chocolate Covered Peanut Porter (Porter, 4.9 ABV).
What can’t be said for the awesome little brewery that is reached by almost driving into a security gate at Port Everglades and pulling a U-Turn at the last possible minute?
Plenty. They keep growing in leaps and bounds. I remember visiting them when they only had 4 beers on tap. Now you go and it’s tap handles for days.
Of course, I keep running into them from time to time. Saw them at New Times Beerfest in Ft. Lauderdale, actually. And, as luck would have it, they brought a few beers I haven’t tried yet. Beers such as:
To understand South Florida hispanic culture, and the focal point of the community, you have to understand the role la familia plays. And not family in the sense of a nuclear Man-Woman-Kids family, but a greatly expanded sense of generations upon generations guiding and influencing the legacy of their children, their children’s children, and so on.
To see that sense of family in the Florida craft beer scene, you need only to travel to the Miami suburb of Opa-Locka and visit Legacy Caribbean Craft Brewery.
It must be pretty awesome to go from ‘brewer’ to ‘award-winning brewer.’
I wouldn’t know that yet. I had to dump almost my entire last batch of beer.
One person that doesn’t have to worry about this is Luis Suarez, whom I introduced you all to a few weeks ago with his Black Point Brewing. I didn’t introduce you to Grovetoberfest, a Miami-based beer festival every October. There’s a homebrewing competition, and Luis entered his Overboard Stout (Stout, 5% ABV, 34 IBU).