Florida Beach 4-Pack #1
- By Marsha Bryant
There will never be an end
To this droning of the surf.
—Wallace Stevens, “Fabliau of Florida”
As Spring breakers, vacationers, snowbirds
Hit the beaches of Florida, these words
In my limericks here
Are to recommend beers
For your forthcoming excursions seaward.
From the Gulf and Atlantic-side makers
Of craft brews that pair well with breakers
(And the sunshine and shore),
I’ve selected these four
For all bona fide beach beer partakers.
Beach Blonde Ale, an approachable brew,
Is a beach blanket starter for you.
And a tease of the tang
In its finish will hang
On the tip of your tongue. Citrine hued.
When the ocean’s your view for the day,
Here’s a beer to enhance your vacay.
More grapefruity than sweet,
It stands up to the heat:
Lawn Party Hazy IPA.
This topaz-hued brew, the I-10,
Is a conduit to West Coast trends.
It’s a bitter concoction
With piney tongue action—
Tasty IPA to the end.
Here’s a Florida porter to try
By the beach. Keep this Night Swim nearby.
Its chocolate won’t diminish
With hoppy, light finish
As moonbeams enchant shoreline skies.
Tasting Notes for this Florida 4-pack:
Beach Blonde Ale, 3 Daughters Brewing, St. Petersburg, FL. 5% ABV
With a pitch-perfect clarity and ABV for the beer style, this smooth blonde ale has a tongue-tickling finish for its light mouth feel.
Lawn Party Hazy IPA, Proof Brewing, Tallahassee, FL. 6.5% ABV
Hazy means just that with this IPA, which packs tang but isn’t juicy. The Mosaic is prominent in the hop profile, yielding a kissing cousin of sour beers without funky or vinegary notes.
I-10 West Coast IPA, Intuition Ale Works, Jacksonville, FL. 6.7% ABV
Especially for lovers of classic, resiny West Coast IPAs that eschew the juiciness of NEIPAs. Centennial and Simcoe are prominent in the hop profile, giving a pleasantly bracing bitterness (especially for the ABV).
Night Swim Porter, Coppertail Brewing, Tampa, FL. 6.2% ABV.
With a mouthfeel closer to a stout, this porter brightens its rich chocolate-forwardness with a light, hoppy finish—and a hint of coffee notes that come out between sips.
I found all these beach-worthy craft beers at CB Bottle Shoppe in Gainesville, FL.
MARSHA BRYANT writes about poetry, modernism, pedagogy, and craft beer. Her recent essays appear in The Bloomsbury Handbook to Sylvia Plath, the online journal Humanities, and the textbook Impact of Materials on Society. Bryant is Associate Editor of Contemporary Women's Writing, and Professor of English & Distinguished Teaching Scholar at the University of Florida.