It’s been a big turnaround for Florida Avenue Brewing Co., from the sale of the business after a five-year run to Brew Bus Brewing in 2015 to being recognized as Best Large Brewery at the 2019 Best Florida Beer Championship last month.
Brew Bus has kept the name alive in the form of some reimagined flagships, as well as a consistently great line of Florida weisse beers, like the Never Too Late For Summer watermelon-lime berliner that won gold at the same competition (along with bronze for Florida Avenue Lager).
One beer, however, stands to become Florida Avenue’s year-round classic: Passion of the Heights, a floral and funky wheat ale that pays homage to Florida Avenue’s Seminole Heights locale.
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This beer was another gold-medal winner, taking top prize in the herb, spice and pumpkin beer category. Based on appearances, you might think it’s another fruit-forward Florida weisse, with its vivid magenta hue and a nose that suggests tropical tartness.
Indeed, there is a subtly tart quality to the beer, owed to the addition of the hibiscus flowers responsible for its eye-catching color. But this is an American wheat ale, with sweet grain flavors and a chewy finish that contrasts nicely with the crisp citrus and herbal notes. Additions of lemon and orange peel, as well as rose hips and cinnamon, work together to create a richly layered flavor profile.
The beer and the brewery that makes it didn’t win these awards on accident. The good news is that you can confirm this for yourself, either on draft at the Brew Bus/Florida Avenue tasting room at 4101 N Florida Ave., or in cans available at most beer shops throughout the bay area.
RELATED: What’s a Florida Weisse?
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