Despite sweltering temperatures, thousands of people came out to Grovetoberfest this past Saturday with more than 100 brewers pouring hundreds of beers.
The event, as always, showcased upcoming breweries like Tripping Animals alongside well-established names like J. Wakefield.
Once again, local breweries continue to use source local ingredients like Panther coffee and tropical fruit to make interesting stouts, lagers, and IPAs. Of course, though hundreds of beers were enjoyed, there are always standouts. Here are the beers to look for at your local bars and breweries.
1. Calusa Hunting Party. Boxelder's Adam Darnell enlisted Steve Santana of Taquiza to help pour beer at the VIP tent. As always, the Wynwood-based brewpub offered a host of interesting beers including Calusa's Hunting Party. The Sarasota-based brewery featured a wheat white ale with plenty of citrus and floral notes. Perfect for a humid, sunny afternoon.
2. Unbranded Brewing's Pale Ale (Possibly Enjoyed by Pitbull). This Hialeah brewery in the works wins for name creativity. The brewers realized the original name (Dale!) might be confused with another pale ale. Hence the "unbranded" title of Pale Ale.
3. Sweet Mercy Brewing's Solar Flore. This Miami-based beer is pouring from a makeshift van while looking for a permanent taproom location. Though many local breweries churn out mango beers, Sweet Mercy's Solar Flore mango wheat beer has the exact fragrant aroma and flowery taste of a ripe mango. A wonderful mango beer that manages to keep a balance between fruit and classic brew.
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4. Tampa Bay's Reef Donkey and Old Elephant Foot. Whatever your political affiliation, Tampa Bay Brewing Company's beers are solid choices. Reef Donkey is an American-style pale ale that has a hint of funk with a dry, hopped finish. The Old Elephant Food IPA is an American IPA with a hint of malt flavors. It's made with Northern Brewer, Centennial, and Cascade hops.
5. Barrel of Monks Witty in Pink. The Boca Raton brewery's special Go Pink! beer is a white wit with a hint of raspberries. The beer gets its shocking pink hue from beet juice.