His vs. Hers Guide to beer for 2017

His vs. Hers Guide to beer for 2017

Beer festivals are fun and tasty way to spend a weekend: live music, fair-food, games and beer. Lots and lots of beer. The Winter Beer Fest at the South Florida Fairgrounds was no exception. In fact, it inspired this ‘his and hers beer guide’ for 2017. Naturally, you can partake from the comfort of your own couch or you can get up, get out and enjoy our craft beer tour.

May the hops be forever in your favor.

All Day IPA has bright citrus and bubbly notes that slap the pallet like a burly champagne. This light-bodied beer is swift and compensates its lack of malt with rewarding, citrusy hop flavors and a crisp finish. Classic Session beers are challenging to make. As you decrease the hops, malt and alcohol level, their combined character becomes even more unbalanced and unstimulating. IPAs are known for their powderkeg of hop flavors — though, when poorly done, turn into sloppy Pollock canvases. Many Session IPAs fall flat to All Day IPA’s bold hop flavors and solid balance.

Pair with: Christmas turkey dinner. All Day IPA’s refreshing citrus is the perfect complement to a classic holiday feast of versatile flavors.His vs. Hers Guide to beer for 2017

I am not a huge fan of IPA’s, but this was one of my favorites. It has a huge array of flavors and hints of citrusy fruits and toasty malts. It is sweet, yet still bitter like an IPA.

Pair with: Soft cheeses, crab cakes, burgers or spicy dishes.

This is a not a wimpy beer. This is not a beer lacking in alcohol or flavor. Dale’s Pale Ale has a strong body of malt and an effervescent nose of hops and spices. Don’t be fooled by this seemingly innocent style of beer. It’s got all the intent of an IPA.

Pair with: A Vietnamese pizza with fresh herbs, minced chicken and a hoisin-peanut dip.His vs. Hers Guide to beer for 2017

Probably the lightest beer on this list, if not the entire Saltwater menu, “Locale” is a blonde beer that’s perfect to take to the beach or sip throughout the day. With a hint of citrus, it will keep your taste buds happy without being overly heavy.

Pair with: Something lightly grilled, like a chicken sandwich or some veggie skewers.

This porter is sensational. It’s big. It’s flashy. It won’t let you sleep. It’s bold just like Miami. This beer has got big coffee flavors, a chocolatey nose and a roasty head. You can’t see through this beer in broad daylight. It is a mean porter that makes a perfect night cap to a long night’s beer session.

Pair with: Dessert. Enjoy alongside a funky cheese plate topped with balsamic glaze and a seasonal jam.His vs. Hers Guide to beer for 2017

This isn’t just any ol’ porter. It’s an imperial porter with coffee and vanilla, to be exact. It is smooth, heavy, dark and strong. And there’s caramel undertones. It may not taste strong, but trust me, it is. Drink it slow, savor and enjoy.

Pair with: BBQ dinner, pork or burger, and even keep it around to have with a chocolate dessert.

Lefthand is a killer brewery, having made its name with Black Lager, Pilsner and various Nitro beers. This Milk Stout is on cloud nine. It’s easy-drinking and non-confrontational. Its virtue is not of pioneering new flavors but in its rewarding balance of milk, sugar and heaven in a glass.

Pair with: Bluebell vanilla bean ice cream. A big scoop, actually. Plop it in your snifter glass and rock it like a beer float.

A grown-up chocolate milk, the “Sea Cow” has a smoky and sweet balance with a sugary and slightly chocolatey finish.

Pair with: Gamey meats such as venison. Or sip it with a fruity dessert.His vs. Hers Guide to beer for 2017

I have a confession to make. I am a HUGE cider fan. Hopefully, that doesn’t ruin my beer-cred. But now that it has been said, let me also say how much I love the Rekorderlig “Pear” cider. It is refreshing, fruity, light and bubbly. It’s basically alcoholic juice, so really who can argue with that delicious logic?

It’s difficult to pry our glasses from a local staple like Tequesta Brewing Company, but this timeHis vs. Hers Guide to beer for 2017

Barrel of Monks caught our livers and our taste buds, thanks to the brewery’s passionate take on Belgian beers. More specifically, “Single in Bruges” (4,5%) and “White Wizard” (5.5% ABV). “Single in Bruges” is a light beer that is big on flavor, perfect for a summer day or even an excuse to start drinking at brunch.

“White Wizard” is a wheat beer with just a hint of orange peel. The “Morning Man” Coffee Rum Amber Ale was the finest beer at the Winter Beer Festival. It blew away all Amber Ale with a subtle coffee rum flavor that does not overpower you on the first glass. So balanced. So worth it. Make Barrel of Monks your first beer-stop next time you’re in South FL.

Pair with: Salad, sandwiches and mild cheeses (“Single in Bruges”). Sushi (“White Wizard”). A burger decked-out with fine toppings like bacon, blue cheese or portobello mushrooms (“Morning Man”).

A combination of an English Old Style Ale and an Imperial IPA, together the two batches mingle in wood barrels for almost a month’s time. This wood-aging softens the alcohol content, making this smooth beer a dangerous one. Staple citrus hop-flavors with vanilla and oak notes. This is an expert beer that offers new and bolder flavors with each sip.

Pair with: Thai Shredded Beef and Chili Pepper Curry. This classic beef curry with its spicy heights match this beer with equal pizzazz. Big body. Big spice. Big reward.

One of Oskar’s lighter beers, this drink is made from 100% pure malt, German specialty made hops and Saaz hops. It is a simple and refreshing drink that still allows you to keep up with the boys.

Pair with: Munchie foods, like chips, pretzels and nuts.

Surprisingly, we both agreed on the same brewing company from Edinburgh, Scotland: Innis & Gunn is unique, Scotch Ale crafted in rum casks, bourbon barrels or oak.

Hands-down the most awesome beer: Innis & Gunn. The “Original” is a Scotch Ale with mellow honey, oak and vanilla flavors. Malty body. Great finish. It is unique despite valiant approaches by other breweries like Founders and Oskar Blues.

Pair with: Pan-seared bacon-wrapped scallops or a Goat Cheese Apple & Walnut salad. This beer will add depth to light, salty seafare or marry a rich salad with a fruit-forward vinaigrette.

A full body beer with hints of fruits and spice and a slight taste of rum.

Pair with: Matured cheeses or meats (venison or duck).

If you missed the most recent Beer Fest, don’t worry, the Summer Beer Fest will be here before you know. And with even more beers to try. Until then, enjoy this season’s best beers.

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