Craft Beer Blast

February 2014 

From Larry...

The Florida craft beer scene is really warming up. Last year was a record year; I think this year will surpass it. There have been many new brewery openings. All of that beer has to get to more than just the people that come out to the brewery. The breweries have to line up a distributor and possibly start bottling (or canning). It's an involved process but can be rewarding when a brewer sees his beers all around the area. At the Jupiter Brewers Festival I saw many more Florida breweries than ever before. Several of these are smaller places now ramping up production and distributing their beers statewide. There are more openings to come; I expect my 2014 review page to have more Florida breweries than ever before. It's great to see this growth in Florida; the craft beer industry continues to grow nationwide. There are now 2347 craft breweries in the US. (Source: Brewers Association.)   


The "Style of the Month" for February is Imperial Red. When the craft beer movement began, everyone had to have a Red. Visiting any brewery or brewpub at that time, there was a Red available. It is similar to IPA now; everyone has to have one. This style is characterized by a medium to high caramel malt sweetness. As with many other styles, Americans started with one thing and made it bigger and better. In recent years several breweries have made a new breed of Red Ale. These are bigger, bolder and quite tasty. The brewery of the month, Greenman Brewing had an Imperial Red at the Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival and I voted it the best beer of my day. Florida breweries Due South and Hourglass Brewing both make an excellent Imperial Red.


The Brewery of the Month for February is Greenman brewing of Asheville, North Carolina. Starting out in 1997 at Jack o' the Wood brewpub in downtown Asheville, they now have their own full production brewery and are growing. At the Jupiter festival, I was told that they should be in Florida this year.


All back issues of The Blast are available on the Media / Archive page.


Enjoy the winter seasonal brews and support local breweries whenever possible. It's getting easier every day! 





Imperial Red Ale Style of the Month Glass                     Style of the Month

              Imperial Red Ale


The Red style has a long history going back 5000 years. In the middle ages, "Red' referred to the brown

beers of the time versus wheat (white) beers. In the last 10 years American brewers have reinvented the style creating Imperial Red Ales. Imperial Reds are dark amber to copper in color. They have intense hop bitterness, with medium hop aroma and flavor. The malts are the star here, providing  caramel sweetness and balancing out the hops. Red ales were in almost every brewpub in the 1990's. Their popularity waned and IPA's became the favored ale at most breweries.

Imperial Reds are bringing the style back albeit in a bigger, stronger way. They are not an IPA; there are red IPA's but they lack the powerful maltiness that gives the style it's great balance. In recent years I have had some really good Imperial Reds; usually at a new, smaller brewer. Now the style is catching on and they are popping up everywhere.


Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival Wrap up   

The Jupiter weekend of beer events were all a great success. The Field of Beers got perfect weather to go with the 15 food and beer pairing stations. On Saturday the festival was fun and there were more Florida brewers than ever. I wanted to try only beers that I had not tried before. Amazingly, this worked out; some from new brewers and new beers from established breweries. My first beer was a Barleywine from Barley Mow Brewing, a new Florida brewery now going statewide. For more see my review on my new 2014 review page.
  Brewery of the Month
   Greenman Brewery  

Greenman Brewery was originally brewed at Jack of the Wood, a pub in downtown Asheville, NC. They started operations in 1997. The pub is still there and serves Greenman brews which are now brewed a few blocks away in their production brewery. The original pub is a cool old place that locals hang out at to enjoy a few beers and listen to some great local music. I visited years ago and the music was a local bluegrass band that stood on stage in a circle so everyone could see each other and make their music. The food and beer was good and the pub was fun. The brewing operation changed hands in 2010 to focus solely on brewing. It is now a production brewery. Several of the brews are now bottled, which will put them in even more places. The brewery has a tasting room; one of Asheville's best kept secret hangouts. All of their beers are available for tasting and take away in growlers. Greenman has been at the Jupiter Brewfest for the last two years. They are determined to come to Florida; it just takes time and patience. The ESB is the original flagship beer and can be found all over Asheville. The different IPAs, Stouts and seasonals all are good and have a following all around NC. Be sure to visit the tasting room in Asheville, maybe I'll see you there.

Tripel Reserve and Dry Hopped White Star IPA are both on. BlackStar Black IPA will be back soon. The guest tap list varies; Wynwood La Rubia and New Belgium Fat Tire are on now.
Sprung! Miami's annual spring beer festival is back at Peacock Park, Coconut Grove. There will be more beer and food pairing workshops this year. Also,  Miami's Best Homebrew  - spring edition has been added to the lineup.    
New Breweries

Wynwood Brewery ; Miami's first craft production brewery is now open full time. Wynwood is now distributed throughout South Florida. I saw them at the Jupiter festival; the booth was very busy. I also saw the beers available locally in Jupiter. Not bad for a brewery open for 3 months! See the events page for other events this month.


MIA Brewing Co.; Construction continues and they hope to open Spring 2014.See MIA's Facebook page to follow construction progress on the brewery and where MIA will be pouring beer.

Florida Brewery Corner
Saltwater Brewing was my first brewery visit of 2014. It has a great laid - back fun atmosphere and some great beers. There were 10 brews available including a dopplebock that was enjoyed by all. The brewery has a strong local following and is involved with many local events. See the website for more about the brews and other events. My 2014 review page starts with Saltwater. There are also some photos on the GBL FB page.

© Larry Goeser
Miami, Florida
Good Beer Larry