Misfit Home-Brewers Land Top Prize at New Times Beerfest
|Photo via Facebook|
|A few watermelons gave their lives for the beers from Misfit.|
Here, then, are our winners from the 15th-annual New Times Beerfest:
Best Overall Brew
Buddha's Sweat American Stout
The men from Misfit outdid themselves this year, serving up 105 gallons of home-brewed beer. It's worth noting
that Misfit does this for no other reason than bragging rights -- the lineup of beers it offered are not for sale anywhere. But even without that good will, Buddha's Sweat was a hell of a beer. Sure, they had some other great ones, like the Bust-a-Nut Porter (a winner from last year's Beerfest), a watermelon-infused number, and the vanilla stout. But the Buddha's Sweat was the most refined of them all, with hints of coffee, chocolate, and tobacco. It had just the right carbonation and a sweet-sour aftertaste. Slap a fancy corporate label on Buddha's Sweat and you'd have a beer that would be a proud offering from any of the big breweries.
Best Florida Brew
No doubt this brew had the oddest serving contraption. The Brown Spice flowed through a clear holding tank the size of a small coffee machine, where it was infused with a second batch of hops and -- this is the killer -- watermelon-flavored Jolly Ranchers. The result was a nutty, spicy lager topped off with a hint of fruit, citrus, and sweet. It sounds crazy, tasted delicious, and we wanted more. Cerve Tech is an upstart company that offers a unique idea: It brews beer and serves it at your next party. A novel concept -- and certainly a novel beer.
Best Import Brew
This is Beerfest, after all, an event where you get to drink all the damned beer you want. So we'd be remiss not to include an easy-drinking crowd favorite. Zywiec has all the malty familiarity of the beers you downed back in school, but European hops give it a distinct bite. And beyond all that is a sweetness that sure tastes a lot like honey. Easy to drink and tastes like honey? Thanks for sending this across the pond, Poland.
Best American Brew
It's easy to sound like a beer snob describing the complex Local 2, so we'll let Brooklyn's website take over: "Here in Brooklyn we've combined European malt and hops, Belgian dark sugar, and raw wildflower honey from a New York family farm to create Brooklyn Local 2. Our special Belgian yeast adds hints of spice to the dark fruit, caramel, and chocolate flavors. After 100% bottle re-fermentation, the beer reveals a marvelous dry complexity, enjoyable by itself or at the dinner table." Yeah, what they said. Brooklyn puts Local 2 in large bottles with a champagne-style cork, showing that this is indeed one special beer.
Eric Barton is editor of New Times Broward-Palm Beach. Email him here, or click here to follow him on Facebook.