Beer used to be a sea of sameness. It was a choice between regular or light, bottle or draft. Let's be honest, a Corona tastes like a Budweiser tastes like a Coors.
But these days, the American beer world is undergoing a revolution. Even Florida is making some pretty killer brews. Fresh Beer Inc.
, is a distributor specializing in domestic craft beers. The firm's beer expert and aficionado, Chris Montelius, took Short Order through some the Sunshine State's bubbly jewels. After tasting a slew of lagers, ales and then some, we can say without a doubt: there is definitely a Florida beer for every taste under the sun.
The Faves, Part One:Jai Alai
, by Cigar City Brewers in Tampa, is the most ridiculous tasting beer, possibly one of the most delicious ever. The richest ale in the selection, it is an India Pale Ale, chock full of guava, mango and flowers, incredibly reminiscent of South Florida's tropical fruit, but possesses a sharp hoppiness that completely cut through the fruity notes. Beer drinkers looking for a brew overflowing with character will be all too thrilled to give this monster IPA (7.5% alcohol) a whirl.
Brewed by Fort Lauderdale's Native Brewing Co., Eleven Brown Ale
;is a dark ale with loads of seductively sweet aromas such as hazelnuts, caramel and mocha. Although it seems sweet up front, first sip is far from it. Those hazelnuts and mocha flavors turn completely savory along with a slight hoppy bitterness on the finish; full, rich and complex.
, brewed with German malts, hops and classic German yeasts, this is Native Brewing Co.'s answer to a light lager. It is light and crisp, similar in style to say a Corona, but retains a deeper flavor and a clean finish. Originally conceived in Miami's backyard, a.k.a. Ft. Lauderdale, it is a shining example and perfect solution for a beer drinker that is more keenly aware of the brand they are drinking rather than what they are drinking. It doesn't hurt to be organic too.
The more to come in part two...