Quick Spanish lesson: Blonde in Spanish is ‘Rubia.’
It makes naming a Blonde ale something that is at once exotic and familiar pretty simple, doesn’t it?
That’s what Wynwood Brewing thought when they created La Rubia (Blonde Ale, 5% ABV, 18 IBU), one of their core beers and now available in bottles.
As far as I know, there is no one on the Wynwood Brewing staff named Catherine. Not too terribly familiar with their roster, to be honest.
That’s actually a bit superfluous to the story of this beer, too. To understand that, we need to go back around 300 years to England.
It’s there that legendary Russian Czar Peter the Great first tasted and enjoyed the dark, rich brew that was to be commonly known as the porter.
Miami’s not exactly known for it’s fall colors, if you know what I mean. It’s more of a summer city. That is, unless trees tend to change colors from green to vivid pink and yellow.
That doesn’t mean they can’t celebrate fall, right?
If we’re going to talk about fall in craft beer, we’re talking about Oktoberfest. And if we’re going to talk about craft beer in Miami, we’re talking about Wynwood Brewing.
And if we have to combine everything, then the beer you are talking about is Wyntoberfest (Marzen, 5.5% ABV).
Wyntoberfest by Wynwood Brewing
But wait, you may say, didn’t you review Pop’s Porter (Porter, 6.2% ABV, 40 IBU) already?
Yes. Yes I did, but it was a part of a much larger visit to Wynwood Brewing when the blog (and my talent as a blogger) was still in its infancy. Since that time, Pop’s Porter has won gold at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, has gotten almost complete distribution in South Florida, and has just been released in six packs from Wynwood’s new bottling line.
So, let’s take a look at one of the reigning champs of Miami beer, shall we?
I sure wish I could have gone to this.
Flight of beers at Wynwood Brewing
Recently, Miami’s award-winning Wynwood Brewing and its founder Luis Brigoni paid host to Brew Dogs, the show on Esquire hosted by Scottish brewers and Brew Dog founders James Watt and Martin Dickie.
Brew Dogs hosts Martin Dickie (L) and James Watt filming in Wynwood. Image courtesy of Miami New Times.
As part of the filming, the brewers created a keg of Ultimate Vice Miami, described by Brigoni as “a wheat porter that is fermented with a hefeweizen yeast with maduros (sweet plaintains), key limes and aged in a rum barrel from Key West.”
Pop’s Porter, their gold medal-winning porter, served as inspiration, along with Miami’s prohobition-era rum running history.
The Miami episode of Brew Dogs will air on Esquire sometime in late May-early June and will feature clips of other Florida breweries like J. Wakefield, Funky Buddha, Saltwater Brewery, and Due South Brewing.
Drink Florida Craft,
I am becoming more convinced that every Interstate in Florida needs a beer named after it. Orlando Brewing took care of I-4, and Intuition Ale Works has I-10.
Now Wynwood Brewing in Miami and Funky Buddha in Oakland Park have taken care of one of the biggies, I-95. And they’ve done it with Right on 95.
Right on 95 by Wynwood Brewing/Funky Buddha Brewing
It’s a rauchbier, which means the malt is smoked over an open fire instead of oven-roasted like most malts. And if you like a smoky, almost barbecue-y flavor, rauchbiers are great. So is this one. But… This is Florida.You can’t just leave it at that, can’t you?
Enter mango. The mature sweetness of mango helps to mitigate and accentuate the strong smokiness of roasted malts. It really blends together nicely.
I can’t say that this is a beer I would do an entire session out of. But it’s a big, unique, and rather tasty flavor from two of South Florida’s best breweries.
Now, who is going to make a beer out of I-75?
Drink Florida Craft,
About a week ago, this post started circulating around the internet. It’s a listing of what the writer calls “The ten best ’emerging’ beer towns.” Naturally, I was happy to say that I was pleased when Florida’s own Tampa came in at number one. Bolstered by the likes of Cigar City, Dunedin Brewery, 3 Daughters, Green Bench, and Florida Avenue, the author (and any self-respecting beer aficionado) would easily be able to call Tampa a Florida craftbeer mecca.
Craft Beers from Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing
And then I pondered further. And I realized that Tampa has the ‘craft beer mecca’ title pretty well established. Jacksonville is, too. Just look at Bold City, Intuition, Engine 15, Pinglehead, and so on.
For my money, the emerging craft beer town in Florida is Miami.
Seriously, take a look at what the city has. Miami Brewing got started a few years ago and is now distributing across the region. Wynwood Brewing is a year old and is starting to bottle their special brews. Titanic Brewing is established, so is The Abbey. Plus M.I.A., J. Wakefield, and Concrete Beach Brewery are all about to open tap rooms. And if you add Ft. Lauderdale to the mix, then you can add places like LauderAle, Coral Springs Tap House, and the venerated Funky Buddha.
Beer flight from Wynwood Brewing
To the author, I say Tampa is a wonderful city (Go Lightning) and a craft beer haven all Floridians are proud of. But they are nicely established. For the major movers in the Florida craft beer industry, set you sights southward.
Drink Florida Craft,