So as you might have noticed…or maybe no one noticed…I’ve been gone for awhile.
I had to escape the cold Michigan weather for a few days. After work on February 12th we packed up the car and grabbed the brewing assistants(our dogs) and hit the road. Our destination was Marathon, Florida. Marathon is mid way down the Keys and a couple hours south of Miami.
The land of sun and warm weather was just a mere 26 hours ahead of us. However apparently we were driving so fast down there that we drug a bunch of cold weather from Michigan with us and it was more like the land of wind and cool weather.
The entire time we were there the weather was unusually cool and if that wasn’t bad enough it was always windy. What would have been a pleasant mid 60’s afternoon became a blustery “feels like” 50 degree day. In fact, when we were down there Key West, just like areas near home, broke a low temperature record. That being said, we really can’t complain because it was still 70 degrees or more warmer down there than here and the couple days we spent in Key West were beautiful.
As you might guess beer is always an important part of any trip I take. To my amazement the Keys are really not a great place for a craft beer drinker. During our trip there were only 3 craft breweries open, with another opening just as we were leaving. You might be wondering why there would be so few breweries in an area so dense with tourism. Apparently Florida has some really strict craft brewing laws. I need to look a little more into that subject, but in talking with a couple of the brewers it’s pretty rough for them. I plan on dedicating a few of my upcoming posts to the couple breweries that we did visit.
Another challenge was trying to find Florida craft beers at the stores. I’ve grown very accustomed to having anything and everything I could ever want at any gas station, party store, beer store, or grocery store I go into. This really was not the case down there. Walgreens and Publix ended up being our go to places to find the small selection of Florida beer that we did. As with the breweries, I’ll also be talking a little bit about the few beers we tried during the trip because a couple were amazing.
The trip also yielded some good ingredients and ideas for new brews that I plan on trying in the very near future. The biggest finds were coconuts and key limes. Hopefully I can come up with a good use for the trunk load that I brought back. In fact, that’s what I think I’ll go work on for a little bit.