by Thomas Miller – Food Blogger / Restaurant Critic for Vero Vine
My next tasting experience takes me down to Fort Pierce, Florida. While I’ve tasted a few different craft beers since they have started to become more and more popular over the past few years, I’m far from an expert. I was excited to do this review because I was hoping to get an education to learn more about craft beer and what makes it so popular. Since I don’t have that much experience in the craft beer industry, I brought in 2 advisors that are craft beer aficionados and great friends to join me for this tasting. Their experience not only educated me about how it’s made but also things to look for when tasting the beer.
Founded in May of 2014, Islamorada (pronounced “ila ma rada”) Beer Company opened their first location and are headquartered in Islamorada, FL. After only one year in business at that location, they announced plans to expand with a full production facility which is now located in Fort Pierce. This new facility officially opened in August of 2016 and has the capacity to brew over 75,000 barrels of beer annually, which is equal to more than 1 million beers per year. The beer that they make compliments the Florida and Florida Keys lifestyle. From Sandbar Sunday, No Tanlines, and Channel Marker, they are definitely put their customers in an island state of mind. Check out some of the photos below of the inside of the tasting room at the Fort Pierce location.
Now let’s dive right in and see what this place has to offer and what I had to drink!
For additional information about each of the beers that I sampled, see the number on the paddle in front of the glass and the chart above. The image above is also posted below between #3 & #4 for your reference as you scroll down through the list.
#1 – Sandbar Sunday (American Wheat Ale)
Tasting Notes: The aroma of the wheat was very evident. It was light, crisp, yet full bodied, and the flavor was all the way through the profile.
Food Parings: Pulled pork, fish tacos, or chicken thighs.
#2 – Islamorada Ale (Citrus Ale)
Tasting Notes: The aroma was bold, yet very clean and fresh, and very well balanced. We thought this would be the perfect “beach” beer, and a real crowd pleaser.
Food Parings: Tacos, fish, halibut, or steak.
#3 – No Tanlines (Citrus Wheat Ale)
Tasting Notes: This is a combination of #1 and #2, poured like a brown & tan. It had a light, yet bright citrus aroma, the wheat was slightly more subtle. It again was full bodied, and the flavor was all the way through the profile.
Food Parings: Steak, burgers, any type of red meat.
#4 – Channel Marker (Session IPA)
Tasting Notes: The aroma of this beer was slightly hoppier than the flavor, yet it was smooth and an easy drinking beer. We would consider this a “gateway” IPA for those of you that don’t like the strong bitter taste of a true IPA.
Food Parings: Something rich, like a black and blue burger, porterhouse steak with blue cheese, onions and mushrooms alongside.
#12 – A Purple Island (Borderline Double IPA)
Tasting Notes: The aroma was definitely hoppy, and while it was a full bodied smooth drinking beer, it definitely had the typical bitterness of a true IPA.
Food Parings: Rich fatty meats such as rib eye steak, BBQ ribs, or pork belly.
#17 – Wyland Lager (Traditional Lager)
Tasting Notes: We definitely detected the aroma of the barley it was made with, yet was very smooth and light. This is the closest beer that they offer to a mainstream beer, but a whole lot better.
Food Parings: Fish, burgers, or backyard BBQ.
1/2 Pint: $3.00
4 Flight: $7.00
6 Flight: $12.00
32 oz Growler: $8.00 and $8.00 refill
64 oz Growler: $14.00 and $14.00 refill
Craft beer definitely has a shelf life, and the advantages of going to the brewery is that you get it as fresh as possible and taste it as the brew master intended it to taste. Being that this was my first time doing a craft beer review, I decided to bring in some friends that have more experience with it than I do. I would like to thank Joe and April for joining me and providing your expertise with craft beer and helping me with this review. Their opinions were that this was some of the best craft beers that they have tasted anywhere in Florida. If you have an affinity for craft beers, then I suggest you take a trip down to Fort Pierce and taste the difference.
Have you tried Islamorada Beer Company? What has your experience been with them? Sound off in the comments below and let me know your thoughts, or feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions or comments.
Atmosphere – 5 Forks
Service – 5 Forks
Beer – 4 Forks
Rating Scale Legend:
1 to 5 Forks – 1 Bad to 5 Excellent