Hurricane Reef Beers

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One of the first participants to the craft-brewed beer scene in south Florida was Miami Brewing Company with their Hurricane Reef Lager. Billed as a European Style Lager, the light golden beverage gives a malty aroma, medium body, hoppy balance, hoppy finish and a very clean aftertaste. Overall, the impression from this micro's first attempt is a good one and their attention to detail shows even in areas such as their use of freshness dating on the label. The distribution seems good, with bottles available even in local bars with otherwise limited low-end "mega" selections. Even the artwork on the label receives hand-crafted attention.

Building upon the success of their first lager in South Florida the company has now introduced two new recipes and expanded distribution. The Caribbean Style Pilsner is a very clear gold color with serious carbonation evident. Unfortunately, the only samples available in a popular liquor store along Orlando's International Drive suffered from apparent serious abuse. After twisting off the cap on the clear bottle the only aromas and flavors present were those of old tires. The label was clearly stamped with a "Best if Used By" date that was two months expired. Apparently quality control is not of great importance when this liquor store sells mostly to tourists who are one-time customers. The story was no better for the Raspberry Wheat. The powerful carbonation of this gold-colored brew brings forth strong raspberry aromas. After that thing go downhill with the thin-body matched to a dry/tart raspberry flavor that struggles to overcome the recurring "old tire" off-flavor notes that combine with an unattractive, "sticky" mouthfeel. Surely these can't be representative of the products of Miami Brewing Company. Unfortunately, in Florida it takes quite a bit of effort to locate quality beer, let alone fresh microbrewed beers. The search continues...

Miami Brewing Co.

Reviewed by Tom Ciccateri - November, 1995 & April, 1999

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