Florida over the holidays is a nice change… The weather, relaxing by the water… And Key West has that “whatever” Bourbon St vibe…
But what about the beer? I was really challenged in the hotels, resorts and downtown bars to find anything remarkable, any craft beer – much less local.
At the common venues along with the fizzy yellows (Coors Lite, Bud, Miller, Corona) with luck you might find Sam Adams, Yuengling on tap…maybe Sierra in a bottle… Are there no local alternative craft brews at all? (OK, Yuengling is brewed in Fla – but you know what I mean).
So, into the liquor stores I went and what did I find? “Holy Mackerel” a Florida craft beer! This Holy Mackerel beer is the real stuff.. and real good!
The founder and brewer is Robert Gordash from Ft. Lauderdale – an ex-home brewer that won the Sam Adams homebrew contest in 1996. I had the special Golden Ale (8.5 abv) and it certainly gives Victory Golden Monkey a run for it’s money.
I didn’t get to try “Mack in Black” the Imperial Black, but I am thinking that it is just as good. Their website Holy Mackerel Beers says tap beer is available in Georgia and Florida, but I could only find bottles. Check out their site for other locations where it’s available on tap – worth going out of your way for. (Locally they say that it’s available in Philly at the Bishops Collar in Fairmont, Issac Newtons in Newtown).
So, why don’t bars, hotels and resorts in Florida feature great local beers like HM? Wrong demographic? Really? You telling me that people with discerning taste and disposible income aren’t in Florida?
Next time you are in the Keys, pass on the Land Shark Lager and Corona Light, ask for a great local craft brew like Holy Mackerel!