Tag Archives: Florida

Key West Sunset Ale

Florida Beer Co.
Melbourne, FL
Key West Sunset Ale

Florida’s Caribbean Style pilsner was just fine by me, so I look forward to the Sunset Ale. They market it as a malty amber ale which is just as well, since I first thought that it was a summer beer.

Beer Like a Sunset

Much like the CSP, this beer doesn’t proffer much head, but a thin lace lies across the top of the beer and the steady effervescence maintains the doily.

The color is brand-new-penny copper with more orange and ruby touches than ruddy brown tones.

Fruit and malt dominates the aroma. A lot of fresh berry notes, like strawberry jam on toast with a faint hint of marmalade and some pair.

The mouthfeel is a bit thin and the carbonation overwhelms the palate initially. The malt is subtle and lighter. It’s a cup of fruit versus the pancakes-and-syrup that a lot of malty ales deliver. The flavor is not unpleasant – light strawberry and raspberry flavors seem to prevail but they are far from cloying, A touch of subtly dank, sour hops rounds out the finish, which is a a bit fuller than the rest – necessary since this brew offers less than many others

Again, not a bad brew to sit with on a hot day, but it needs a bit more oomph.


Hurricane Reef Caribbean Style Pilsner

Florida Brewing Co.
Melbourne, FL
Hurricane Reef Caribbean Style Pilsner

“Caribbean Style Pilsner” is a bit of a bizarre designation. Though pilsner is the world’s most imitated (or reproduced) style. It’s from the Czech Republic but is often credited to the Germans. A lot of international breweries with a flagship pils were started or overseen by a German brewmaster. I’m not sure this is the case with something like Carib (to take a popular Caribbean pilsner as an example), but it’s still odd to credit the Islands. I guess that’s Florida for you.

Pouring the beer into a narrow Kolsch glass, a pure white head inflates to an inch but rapidly suspires to almost nothing. The clarity is impeccable, showing slow and even carbonation. The color is golden blond beechwood with no hint of any muddiness.

The nose is very grassy – all Hallertau hops. A green branch snap and a lot of clean vegetation are promising odors.

The mouthfeel is very good, the carbonation is far more fill than I would have thought which helps along the subtle flavors of this pils. There is just enough of a bitter tang from the hops which rise up and cross the palate fairly pervasively. A mild sweetness evens out the sip, proving that the brew’s got a good malt background.

Good beer, and a fine alternative to any macro pilsner choice you might be making,

Indian River Amberjack

Indian River
Melbourne, FL

Spanning the globe, this beer is a German altbier brewed in Florida with West Coast and German hops. The pour is even and crisp. A nice white head develops but doesn’t get above about a half inch nor does it linger. The clarity is excellent with steady carbonation up the sides and large bubbles sitting in the bottom like frog eggs. The color is certainly amber, beautiful clear with excellent red and golden hues. The nose is slightly sweet and the Cascade hops do not dominate. The citrus notes are barely perceptible behind a crisper biscuit touch. The mouthfeel is a bit thin but certainly not flavorless. It is not as lager-like (it’s an alt, ,after all) as the Shoal Draft, but the dryness and bitters are comparable. Certainly not a big beer or anything experimental, this is another good, crisp session beer that won’t disappoint.

Indian River Shoal Draft

Indian River
Melbourne, FL
Shoal Draft Pale Ale

Technically part of Florida Beer Company, Indian River was founded in 1984, or 1977, according to Michael Jackson. The overall unhelpfulness of the brewery’s website leads me to believe that most of the people there are probably over-sunned and listening to too much Jimmy Buffet

Anyway, this brew came in one of the last installments of last year’s BotMC. Luckily, my adoring oldest brother saw fit to continue my glorious infinity pool of beer for another calendar year.

The beer pours an amber straw, a bit too light and not quite red enough to really be copper. The clarity is not absolute and the head is quick to dissipate but is a nice clean white. The nose is strong and smells of hops and sweet syrup, with a hint of tangy citrus. The first sip is sweet but not too bad, it’s really a nice and dry swallow with slow carbonation and steady hops. A faint bitterness gives it more of a lager’s characteristics. The noble hops used here go a long way to excite the nose upon opening and pouring, and satisfy the session drinker in all of us. Though the bottle claims they use Cascade hops, there aren’t really the same citrus notes as as real hophead’s pale. A nice clean beer with some interesting notes.