Monday, November 26, 2012
In all the years I've lived or visited south Florida, I have always been disappointed in the deficiency of local beer options in the West Palm Beach area. That is, until now. Earlier this year, Due South Brewing Company,opened their 15 BBL brewhouse in Boynton Beach - just off Route 95 and very close to our Florida destination. On Black Friday we visited during the brewery's all day Black Friday Party and tasted though most of their brews.
And this is a wide ranging portfolio of low alcohol beers favored by owner and brewer Mike Halker. Starting with the Florida Blonde, which is an ale - and not the lager we presumed. It resembles an amber ale in color and flavor - but exudes much less hops at the tale. Next was the Caramel Cream Ale, aged in used apply brandy barrels from Laird & Company in North Garden Virginia. Nice. The beer is brewed with whole vanilla beans which gives it its creaminess as well as gentle sweetness. The seasonal Isle of MaGourdo is a "naturally conditioned pumpkin ale" that's right on - not overbearing - just subtle bits of pumpkin and spice. Just what we want for Thanksgiving. The specialty Southbound Brown was our first beer with a little more hops - 36 IBU. This is just enough malt to balance the roasted malt flavor. Another "roasty" flavor was the firkin delivered Roasted Cocoa Stout brewed with cocoa nibs - one of my favorites. My other favorites were the Category 3 IPA (Cat 3) – Florida Style IPA and the Cafe Ole Espresso Porter. The Cat 3 is a clean refreshing India Pale Ale with a little citrus lemongrass and well balanced between the 64 IPU and malt. Next time I will try the even stronger Cat 4 at 85 IPU. And the porter, wow - whereas I enjoy my espresso in the morning, I normally do not care for espresso or coffee flavored beverages. Except for this one - perhaps a replacement for the morning ritual. The espresso flavors blends tightly into the chocolate flavors delivering a most pleasant tasting experience. In other words, this is one awesome ale. Nice job Due South - can't wait to return. Cheers to local beer.