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Restaurants & Bars 3

Gourmet Beers in Miami

Randy K. Lay | Jan 30, 2005 12:17 PM

My wife and I went to North Miami last night to see some friends of ours play the blues. I had never heard of the Luna Star Café before but I will most definitely be back. The food was decent, mostly sandwiches and finger food but never have I had the pleasure of choosing from such an extensive menu of fine beers!

The beer menu boasts more than a hundred beers of the world and runs the gamut from the Abbey Trappist Ales of Belgium {at $25.00 a bottle} all the way to domestic favorites such as Iron City and Rolling Rock.

With so many to choose from I was lost as to what to order. Going with the more reasonably priced selections I started with one of my favorites.

Quoting from the menu here is their description:

Dixie Blackened Voodoo, Louisiana, 5%

Nice rich reddish dark brown color, clear with a light yellow mocha colored head. Faint aroma has some chocolate malt. Begins very sweet, but not cloyingly so. Wonderful sweet balance that remains alongside the crisp clean lager mouth feel and finish. Touch of anise root flavor on the finish with some light coffee tones, barley and a hint of hops in the background.

Enjoying that one got me feeling a little more adventurous and I moved on to…

Ommegang, New York, 8.5%

Deep burgundy color with a big fluffy head. Complex fruit aromas with a layered sweetness (honey, then caramel, then toffee) and a hint of licorice and chocolate. A big, rich, abbey style ale that dries out nicely on the finish.

Ommegang was a beer to remember…Now I was on a roll!

I went with a small Canadian brewer next and found my favorite brewery of the night. I tried the first because of the price but then, because their beers were so phenomenally good, I had to try all of their beers!

La Fin Du Monde, Canada, 9%

A pale golden ale, cloudy with compact bubbles, acidy with medium sweet and bitterness. La Fin Du Monde (The End Of The World) Triple fermented ale seems to be in the Belgian blonde ale style. From the label: “The excellence of triple fermentation though a blend of special yeasts gives this malt beverage an exquisitely robust flavor of exceptional refinement”.

“Wow!” I told my wife. “This is one of the finest beers I’ve ever had. Let’s see what else this brewery makes!” My next choice would prove to be my hands-down favorite beer of the night.

Tres Pistoles, Canada, 9%

Re-fermented dark ale, complex, it is as dark as it can be, mellow in taste with an aroma of ripe fruits. Comparable to an old Porto, brewed from well-roasted malt. Taste of fruit, chocolate and coffee, a pleasant after taste that lingers on like old port wine.

Going a little lighter from there I tried my first “White Beer” of the evening. It wasn’t as awesome as Tres Pistoles but the quality of this fine Canadian microbrewery, Unibroue, was still quite apparent.

Blanche de Chambly, Canada, 9%

Blanche de Chambly is a beer containing sediment, or a deposit of fresh yeast; the result of re-fermentation occurring in the bottle. This beer is only partially filtered to enable it to retain the benefits of it’s natural ingredients. It’s slightly blurry appearance is characteristic of white beer recipes dating back to the Middle Ages. The legendary whiteness is the effect of light reflecting off the yeast suspended in the bottle.

Hmm, that white beer is pretty good (& this high alcohol content is getting me fairly wasted!) maybe I’ll finish up with just one more white…another very fine selection.

Hoegaarden, Belgium, 5%

Hoegaarden owes its distinctively refreshing taste and naturally cloudy appearance to a traditional blend of wheat, malted barley and subtle hints of coriander and orange peel. The result is a beer that’s remarkably easy to drink yet incredibly flavorful. Delicious flavors with perfect balance between sweet and sour.

Holy cow! These were all right up there with the best beers I’ve ever had the pleasure of sampling. Boy was I feeling it! Thank goodness for designated drivers.

If you ever get the chance to try any of the beers from Unabroue, http://www.unibroue.com/english.cfm , I cannot recommend them highly enough!

And if you ever get down Miami way treat yourself to the Luna Star Café and a beer tour of the world you won’t soon forget!

Link: http://members.aol.com/luna13star/

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