While the upper U.S. West coast has a beer style to call its own (Cascadian Dark Ale), it appears that the craft beer movement in Florida has spawned a new style of beer: the Florida Weisse.
The second annual Berliner Bash on the Bay in Gulfport, Florida, was recently held on April 20 and several Florida brewers took the opportunity to showcase what exactly the Florida Weisse is all about.
A regional sour wheat beer that originated in Northern Germany, the Berliner Weisse is not superpotent –ranging anywhere from two to five percent alcohol-by-volume. Like the Berliner Weisse, the Florida Weisse is low-alcohol too. A low-ABV beer may not sound attractive compared to 13 percent-plus imperial stouts, but remember that alcohol is only a small part of its character.
Whereas a heavy emphasis is placed on hops in West coast-style ales, the Florida Weisse is different. Based on the traditional German Berliner Weisse beer, the Florida Weisse is brewed with lots of fruit–particularly tropical fruit–rather than just simply having fruited syrup added to the glass when the beer is poured. The sweetness of the syrup is supposed to balance the acidity of the beer.
“That’s the traditional way of doing it,” said Johnathan Wakefield, Miami home-brewer and owner/founder of J. Wakefield Brewing Company. “But we’re not doing anything traditional.”
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Profiled by Ken Carman for professorgoodales.net
Pillow head: lots of. SRM low 30s, no visual through except some slight shimmering garnet highlights.
Nose: slight sour, as can be expected in some stouts, though less so in oatmeal. Slight coffee, hint of roasted barley.
Full mouthfeel as expected with oatmeal, with some almost espresso cling to the roof of the mouth. A hint of slick.
Taste: there’s a lot of coffee in this, dominant. As of late I’ve had a lot of coffee beers where the brewer went nuts with adding coffee. This isn’t one of those, just a bit too much. The roasted barley expected in a stout kind of gets lost with the espresso sense, but nice malt background and hint of oatmeal, but that gets lost for the most part… except in the mouthfeel. Some sour sense. Carbonation light in the body.
Overall a very good coffee stout, but could use just a little more malt and roasted barley sense. And just a slight back off on the coffee. I’d sell this as a slightly soured (not common in oatmeal stouts: more so in dry) coffee Porter. The stout part seems to be missing, as in roasted barley.
I do recommend it. If I could give it a 3.5 or more I would, but I can’t quite give it a 4…
Welcome to the PGA beer rating system: one beer “Don’t bother.” Two: Eh, if someone gives it to you, drink. Three: very good, go ahead and seek it out, but be aware there is at least one problem. Four: seek it out. Five: pretty much “prefecto.”