Dallas has few diversions other than eating, drinking and shopping.....and shopping does not interest us.
So we spend our time hopping from restaurant to restaurant and to every pub that we can find in search of the perfect meal and the perfect beer.

We randomly review restaurants and bars, dishes and beers at whim and give our brutally honest opinions of our findings. And while we concentrate on Dallas, we travel far and wide to sample cuisine from all regions of the country and beyond.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Beer Review - Swamp Ape IPA

Florida Beer Company Swamp Ape - 10% ABV

This may be one of the most interesting, odd beers that I have ever tried.  Florida Beer Company in Melbourne, Florida is the largest craft brewer in Florida, which means that they sell lots o' beer.  Never heard of them?  Neither had I, but a bit of research revealed that they have slowly been buying up other small breweries statewide.  My kind of sneaky bastards right there.

So we tried some of their Swamp Ape IPA one day just because that is the only microbrew that was being served.  Damn fine luck there.  I am not typically a big fan of IPA's due to the fact that most breweries are more interested in how many *I.B.U.'s they can get instead of producing a drinkable beer.  But this being the east coast I was pretty sure that the hops would be lessened to the point of drinkability. 

The cloudy yellow brew arrived and I do what I always do, I stuck my nose in for the big sniff and clue what that is.  The beer had an unidentifiable smell that smelled, let's say...beerish.  I took a drink and held it in my mouth.  "That's no frigging ipa" I thought, "it's slightly sweet, balanced, delicious.....nope, definitely not an ipa"  Then I swallowed and was almost stupified by the explosion of familiar bitterness that appeared a couple of seconds after the beer was gone!  "Yep, that's an ipa".  Very strange and yet wonderful.  I drank it down quickly and was reminded as I picked myself up off the floor that it had 10% alcohol.  I do so wish it was available here in Texas, and maybe someday it will be.

*For instance a lager has a typical IBU (International Bitterness Units (yes children, it is measurable)) of 4 and an imperial stout would be about 138.

Florida Beer Company
2500 S. Harbor City Drive
Melbourne, Florida, 32901

Addendum;  Response from the brewer:

 Bon, Thanks for the note and thanks for the review. I’m glad you found Swamp Ape interesting. The complex balance we achieved of alcohol and hops is lost on most IBU-heads. This beer weighs in at about 90 IBU. It is continuously hopped during the 90 minute boil and is also dry hopped. It is very drinkable. We introduced it at Savor in Washington, DC last year and I fell victim to it’s bite. An evening of sips turned into a morning of grog.

We are trying to crack Texas distribution right now. Hopefully it’ll be there sooner then later.

Thanks again.
Jim Massoni
Florida Beer Company
Melbourne, FL

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