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Feb 5, 2011 06:45 AM

What Local Beers should I drink in Keys/Florida ?

Visiting the Keys - what are the best Local Beers in Keys/Florida area ? I prefer a Wheat beer - when visiting the States , my favorite beer is Blue Moon. Any suggestions for best beers - Wheat? Lager? or Ale ?


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  1. Best micro/craft brews in this state: Cigar City Brewing Co., Orlando Brewing Co., Dunedin Brewery, Swamp Head Brewery. Can't say which of those is available in the Keys nor which ones would have a wheat brew that's up your alley. They all make exceptional product, however. You might want to try poking around their websites to explore the descriptions of their various brews.
    Although the Romans used to say 'de gustibus non disputandum est' (matters of taste are not subject to argument), Blue Moon is a pale (no pun intended) imitation of the wheat, or weiss, beers brewed by the Germans and the Belgians. Search out a place that has some on tap -- beer bars and locally-owned establishments with decent selections on draft are reasonably abundant here -- and give 'em a sip. I think you'll be glad you did.

    3 Replies
    1. re: EdC

      The Orange Blossom Pilsner from Orlando Brewing is a good beer. I think it's unique to Florida since it's made with Orange Blossom Honey

      1. re: Sandwich_Sister

        Actually I think that's now contract brewed in South Carolina or somewhere up the east coast, I believe it originally was brewed in Central Florida, but was moved once it became popular. Their OBP2 is really good if you like honey beer.

        1. re: askdrtodd

          hah I didn't know that. thanks for the update.

    2. Not sure which if any of those beers they'd have available while you're there, but if you'll be in Key West make sure to visit The Porch at 429 Caroline Street. Very good selection of beer on tap and bottled. By far the best selection I've seen in the Keys. Plus, the owners are very friendly and more than helpful if you want some suggestions on which beer to try next. Like I said, I don't know what Florida beers that might have on hand at that time, but their selection is the best you'll find off the mainland.

      1. I'm a native Floridian, lived here since 1968, never had a local beer. Tried a few over the last couple of decades and didn't see any reason to drink them again. Florida just isn't known for the quality of its beer.

        6 Replies
        1. re: redfish62

          You should do a google search on Cigar City Brewing.

          1. re: rhnault

            Yes, Cigar City Brewing has some excellent beers. Personally I like the Maduro Nut Brown......I'v only tried about three or four of their beers...all were decent to good, but that one was my favorite so far. I was just stating that I don't know if he'll be able to find any of their beers in the Keys. Maybe at The Porch....Maybe at Conch Republic Liquors (both in Key West)....That's about it for the Lower Keys....I'm not sure about Marathon, and I have absolutely no idea about the Upper Keys....that's just an area I drive through on my way to the Lower Keys :)

            1. re: kempshark

              I was responding to RF saying Fl is not known for the quality of its beer

          2. re: redfish62

            Redfish62 - Are you a native or did you move here in 1968? BIG difference.

            See EdC's post. There are several exceptional breweries in FL now. St. Somewhere is another (located in Tarpon Springs). They concentrate mainly on Belgian style beers and, if I'm not mistaken, mainly farmhouse and saisons.

            1. re: Old E.

              I'll have to look for that one. I love Saison du Pont.

              1. re: rhnault

                RH- you can get St Somewhere at total or whole foods, it's very belgian-ey though, the brettanomyces yeast Bob uses really gives it a funk (which you may love and you may hate). He makes three different beers now, but all are similar styles.

                oh and redfish- that's a pretty absurd & uninformed comment, cigar city makes 8 of the top 100 beers in the world.