Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sweet Potato Casserole -- Florida Beer Blog Guest Post

Dave over at decided to do a review of Funky Buddha Brewery and their Sweet Potato Casserole after checking it out at the brewery...

This is being written as a guest post for, so if you're one of Rob's readers, hello! That's assumption number one. The second assumption is that if you're reading this, you know about Funky Buddha Brewery. If not, well, Funky Buddha Brewery was started in Boca Raton as a lounge. They started brewing at the lounge, then opened a massive brewing facility and tap house in Oakland Park (Ft. Lauderdale).
Brewery Floor at Funky Buddha

Brewery Floor at Funky Buddha
It's pretty massive, and they just expanded to install a bottling line that will be rolling out 6 packs come December.
Behind the bar at Funky Buddha.

Behind the bar at Funky Buddha.
Funky Buddha and their head brewer/co-owner Ryan Sentz have made themselves very well known for beers with insanely huge, culinary, almost dessert-like flavors. And when they do a dessert-y beer, they don't mess around. Don't Tell Reece has a massive amount of peanut butter and chocolate flavors in a creamy smooth brown ale. Last Snow (which will be released in limited edition 4-packs) is a porter with flavors of coconut, white chocolate, and vanilla. Blueberry Cobbler has big, bold flavors of blueberry pie. And their Pina Colada wheat ale is one of the best, most quintessentially Florida beers I've had. And the beer list goes on and on.
Funky Buddha's Tap Room.

Funky Buddha's Tap Room.
With all of these big flavors, you would think Funky Buddha would do a pumpkin ale, right? Nope. They made the intentional decision to go against the grain and not make what has become almost a legal requirement in the brewing industry. Instead, they went with sweet potato. There are a few breweries in Florida that have brewed sweet potato beers (The Mack House in Davie and Wynwood Brewing in Miami come to mind), and they have a reputation for an extreme smoothness.
So that's what Funky Buddha did. But they did it their way, releasing Sweet Potato Casserole (Vegetable Beer, 7.9% ABV, 30 IBU) earlier this month.
Sweet Potato Casserole by Funky Buddha

Sweet Potato Casserole by Funky Buddha
Interestingly enough, it's almost 8% alcohol, so it packs a bit of a punch. But this is a beer with such a smooth, sweet finish that you never really feel it. It has a beautifully rich, deep golden color. The flavor is deep and rich, and the sweet potato does bring a smooth velvetiness to the beer. Funky Buddha, being true to form, rounded the beer out with the addition of a very sweet marshmallow flavor. I still have no idea how they do it, but that addition basically rounds the beer out and makes it close to the flavor and profile of the dish it's named after.

If you didn't get a chance to try this, don't worry. Next year, Funky Buddha will be releasing Sweet Potato Casserole as one of their limited edition bottle releases. In the meantime, I have to go grab another glass...

And if you'd like more information on Florida beers, come visit us at!
Drink Florida Craft,

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Frambozen Raspberry Brown Ale

Remember when you were in Cub Scouts and every year the Den Mother had you making Christmas wreaths? Yeah, me neither. But that's exactly what New Belgium did for the label photo on their bottle of Frambozen Raspberry Brown Ale. The difference is that they used hops plants and raspberries for the red accents!

Frambozen is Flemish for raspberry, and the little blurb on the side of the label sets your expectations on this interesting combination of brown ale and fruit beer. 6.5% alcohol. Enjoy by 12APR15. Oh, and the brewery sent it to me so I'm going to be totally biased.

I poured Frambozen into my recently acquired Biscayne Bay Brewing pint glass to keep a local flair. The aroma wasn't very big. Classic brown ale roast, hint of sweet brown sugar and a very light fruitiness in the background.

Whoa! The aroma left me unsuspecting of the first sip. Tart raspberries grab the sides of your throat on the way down for the first few sips. Not too tart, just a surprise. Very juicy, flavorful, liked that part. There's a malty sweet balance as well, a bit generic, but maybe caramel, brown sugar, bread. Carbonated yet still smooth. A very simple brown ale with a pretty fun twist. I liked the combination!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Love & Wine, Also A BEER EVENT!

This was the best I could get of the Love & Wine projection! Nice heels too!
I went to this pretty cool event last night on the Roof of The Collection Building in Coral Gables! Love & Wine, A Rooftop Wine and Spirits, Gastronomic Affair. I'm going to post a lot of pictures around the internets, but since I'm a beer guy first, I decided to post a few pictures of the only beer to be found... Cervezas Alhambra! Update 11/24/2014: You'll love theses pictures and here's another slideshow!

They had their Reserva 1925, a lager from Spain with an unexpected 6.4% alcohol content. But seriously, after drinking shots of Johnnie Walker and sipping Zacapa Rum, this was a dream beer! Refreshing, crisp, simple but decent. Yeah, the green bottles were scary, but there was no skunk (like that shitty one from Holland).

One chick saw me with a bottle and asked me how the beer was compared to Corona. I almost crapped my pants at the opportunity to diss Corona and Heineken, which I gladly did AND provide a brief explanation why those beers suck so bad. It wasn't two minutes later that they left our conversation, so perhaps I was being a little too technical or annoying (happens). I chalk that up to the cigar vendor and the martini girls from Ketel One!

Anyway, I'll link some other awesome pictures here pretty soon! Thanks, Alhambra chicks!

Selfies happen later!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Hop Hash Infused Double IPA Gets A Snake Bite

So Freddy at SweetWater named a beer Hop Hash, huh? There's a surprise! But it's not exactly what you think. The Hash here is the hops they scraped from their pelletizers, used to try to make "the dankest double IPA out there." Bottle conditioned, with plenty of floaties to prove it. Whatever, I like them. They are my friends. 7.8% alcohol. Best if enjoyed by 12/29/14.

I decided this was the perfect beer to crack open with my new bottle opener: The Original Snake Bite Forked Church Key and Bottle Opener. This is a Kickstarter project that was funded in only 30 hours. Both the church key opener and the leather sheath (an awesome touch) are made in the USA from domestically-sourced products. I thought it was going to be bigger--not sure why. But the smaller sized and extremely lightweight and durable tool was perfect. Easy to take everywhere!

Beautiful aroma full of citrus, sweet orange and tropical fruits. Sweet tangerine flavor is delicious, first sip and every one that followed. But holy cow, those flavors are followed by a wallop of dank, hoppy goodness and a forest of spicy, bitter pine. Repeat.

Juicy, tropical, fruity, super fresh and just terrific flavors that play off of each other. Carbonation is good, a little prickly. A little alcohol dryness shows through at the finish. Great! I'll be back for the full six pack next time!

Monday, November 17, 2014

HogWild India Pale Ale

I had this can of Aviator Brewing's HogWild India Pale Ale in my fridge. "Had" because I just finished it and now will proceed to tell you about it. The can art is pretty fun, featuring an enormous boar scowling and flexing its biceps. Upon close inspection, you can see he is wearing an Aviator tank top and on a work shift at the brewery. Its nose septum ring and giant chain with dog tags basically say "don't mess with me!" 6.7% alcohol.

Pine, caramel and a hint of tropical fruit in the aroma. The flavors start out weirdly sweet, full of caramel and butterscotch. Some tropical pineapple and orange sweetness follows. Some pine, citrus rind and spicy hops do make an appearance, but this is nowhere near a "veritable fest of hops" as the can suggests.

Some good flavors, but way too sweet and the buttery/butterscotch flavors are definitely undesirable. Total pass is a category that includes hundreds of A+ IPAs.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Sierra Nevada Coffee Stout

The second new beer (after Boomerang IPA) that Sierra Nevada included in their Snow Pack Winter Seasonal box is one simply known as Coffee Stout. As the label suggests, "A cup of joe and a bold beer can thwart the winter cold." Good thing, big brrr tonight here in Miami with 50°F weather in just a few hours. And I have two more of these in the fridge for just such and occasion! Packaged 09/12/14. 6.2% alcohol.

Coffee, cocoa, great roasted malty aroma. HELLO GIANT COFFEE BOMB flavors! Yes, you will taste the cocoa and chocolate and maybe stretch your imagination toward one of those coffee flavors like mocha, but seriously this beer delivers on its name if nothing else! Licorice and nutty nuances exist, big amount of roast with the coffee, even a little sugary though never near sweet.

Bold with the coffee! Solid beer! Check it out for sure. I don't think you can go wrong with this mixed pack either. Great price and with the two new winners paired with Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale and Porter??? No Brainer!