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Florida Beach 4-Pack #2

The Tates Helles. Photos by Marsha Bryant

Barque of phosphor
On the palmy beach…
—Wallace Stevens, “Fabliau of Florida”


The summer is now getting hotter,
But your beach beer need not taste like water!
Here are Florida brews
I’ve selected for you
To pursue as a beach blanket squatter.

My recs make a 4-pack and flight,
So I’ve fashioned my sequence just right:
From lager to Tripel,
These sippable tipples
Will brighten your mouth with delight.

Let’s begin with this lager, Tates Helles.
From the Big Bend it hails to embellish
Its pale golden drops
With a kiss of the hops.
It pours clear, this crisp beer that refreshes.

A brown ale for the beach? Absolutely!
Drift’s smooth and light mouthfeel astutely
Blends bittersweet, salty
With chocolate and malty.
Tea-colored, it pairs with swimsuits, sea.

Sheer hoppiness you will find here
In this IPA: Florida beer
With a citrusy feel
(Clementine, orange peel).
Why go hazy with Jai Alai near?

Tripelicious is this gold-hued brew
And a Florida Tourist Trappe, too.
Belgian tastes will redouble
With sweet, tiny bubbles
That tickle your palate anew.


Tasting Notes for this Florida 4-pack:
Tates Helles German Style Lager, Oyster City Brewing Company, Apalachicola, FL.  5% ABV
This pale golden lager has a little kick in the finish that hits your mid-tongue before rising to your palate. Good as a crusher or a sipper, Tates Helles is a lager to savor by the water.

Drift Session Brown Ale, First Magnitude Brewing Company, Gainesville, FL. 4.4% ABV
This English-style mild has a mouthfeel as light as lager, flowing over your tongue with a malty goodness—and without the heft of a traditional brown ale. Neither too dark nor too sweet for a hot afternoon, Drift brightens its malts with a hint of bitterness before the coffee notes rise to your palate.

Jai Alai India Pale Ale, Cigar City Brewing, Tampa, FL. 7.5% ABV
In this iconic Florida beer, the citrus flavors enhance the bitter brio that hop heads will relish. The hops fizz on your tongue tip, the orangey notes bloom on your mid palate, and the flavors commingle in the middle without sacrificing the bitterness. Jai Alai reminds us that citrusy IPAs needn’t be hazy or juicy.

Tourist Trappe Belgian-Style Tripel Ale, M.I.A. Beer Company, Doral, FL. 10% ABV
Nicely carbonated, this refreshing Tripel brings a touch of sweetness with the Belgian spice in its finish. Tourist Trappe’s taste sensations play out mostly on your upper palate before moving toward your throat. The lingering sweetness from the candy sugar tastes a tad like honey.

Check out Marsha's Florida Beach 4-Pack #1 here.

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.

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