During our recent vacation to Florida one of the breweries we had the pleasure of visiting was Islamorada Beer Company located at mile marker 82.5 in Islamorada, Florida.
Since the Keys were not the land of craft breweries that I had hoped they would be Islamorada Beer Company was a great find.
Getting to the brewery, whether you are coming from the north or south, involves driving over a few long bridges across beautiful greenish blue water separating the Gulf of Mexico from the Atlantic Ocean.
As you near catching sight of the brewery gives you a glimpse of just how well everything about this place fits where it’s located.
The bright yellow and blue facade make it pop out from it’s surroundings and scream, “It’s a beautiful day for a beer”. Stepping inside feels more like stepping out onto the beach. The whole side of the tap room is covered in beach sand. I kinda though maybe I should be building a sand castle along with drinking my beer.
We found our way to an empty high top table and were quickly greeted by the very friendly underwater hockey playing bartender. That’s right, underwater hockey. I guess that’s what happens when you live in the Keys and still want to play hockey. It sounded like something very interesting to watch, but sadly we didn’t make it to the pool where they play during our trip. Next time…
In looking at the beer list we found that they had 4 of their beers on tap and a couple guest beers as well. Knowing that I wanted a pint glass to add to my glassware collection at home we ordered their “Drink Local Special”. The Drink Local Special is a flight, a beer, and a pint glass for $20. Not a bad deal since I had planed on getting a flight and a glass anyway.
The flight quickly arrived at our table.
From left to right the beers were the Sandbar Sunday, Islamorada Ale, Channel Marker IPA, and No Tan Lines. While I don’t consider myself to be a beer rating expert I do have to say that their entire selection was very good. Each of the beers seemed to be very light and crisp. Just the thing you would expect in an area that seems to be in perpetual summer, drenched in bright sun, and under amazing blue skies. My personal favorite was what I believe is their most popular beer, the Sandbar Sunday.
This is also the place where we got our first experience with strange Florida brewing regulations. They didn’t offer 64 ounce growlers. Instead, they sold 32 ounce flip top bottles.
Every brewery that I go to I try to get two things. I try to get a logo pint glass and a growler to add to my collection. Sometimes it doesn’t always work out. For example I’m not really willing to spend $50 on an insulated stainless steel growler just to sit on a shelf and often breweries don’t have logo pint glasses. Luckily IBC was not the place where I was going to strike out. Not only did I get my pint glass and awesome cobalt blue growler, but I also got a tin sign as well. Since we were on vacation, and didn’t have to deal with the overflowing beer fridge I have at home, I got the growler filled with some of their Sandbar Sunday.
What you see here is what happened a couple hours after leaving the brewery. It was good beer, and it didn’t last long.
All in all Islamorada Beer Company is one of the more unique breweries that I have been to in my travels. It wasn’t a huge place. They didn’t serve food. They don’t have a huge tap list, but that’s all ok. Sometimes it’s not about have a mind boggling selection or fancy food. Sometimes it’s just about having great beer and giving patrons the experience that fits the location. In those aspects IBC is spot on and I wouldn’t hesitate to stop there again next time we visit. I suggest everyone take a few minutes out of their travels in the Keys, stop in, relax, and have a cold one.