9/8/16: Darwin Brewing Company's Circa 1926

4:30 PM

Wow, can you believe it? It's been nearly a month since my last post. Honesty time: I'm amazed I got a post out in August at all. I was really swamped with school work. I'm actually still pretty swamped with school work. But, hey. I love you guys and I love beer and I really wanted to get this post out there.

In July Michelle went on a trip to Florida with her family to visit more of her family. Before she left she asked me what kind of souvenir I wanted. I told her that, if she absolutely had get to me something from her trip, I'd most like a beer that's available there but not here. I left the specifics up to her.

She returned with a six-pack of 3 Daughters' Beach Blonde Ale, all of which I drank without writing (or even intending to write) a post about. And, for the record, that's good stuff. You're lucky if you live in a place where you can find it easily.

But as you can see from the title of this post, I'm writing about another brew today. That's because she also got me a single can of Darwin Brewing Company's Circa 1926. I've been saving this can for this post. That's right--I'm going into this completely blind.

Darwin brews artisanal beers that are heavily inspired by South America. All of this is thanks to a guy named Jorge Rosabal. In 2012, Darwin's on 4th was a Florida brewpub offering Andean cuisine. Jorge had the brilliant idea to offer Andean-inspired brews crafted with Amazonian ingredients to accompany the food. Word of his beers spread around the state and in 2013 Darwin Brewing Company expanded to a fifteen BBL system with a taproom and accompanying beer garden. Like with every post, there's more to the story than what I'm giving you here. Be sure to check out DBC's "Our Story" page to read all about it.

Circa 1925 is a great example of the brewery's South American influence. On DBC's "Our Brews" page, you can see that it's classified as a tangerine wheat ale, which boasts an ABV of 5.2% and is brewed with three malts, coriander, and spices. The can (as I hope you can see the the provided picture, above) states that it's brewed with Florida tangerines and isn't too sweet.

It sure smells pretty sweet. Not that that's bad. For a summer brew, I like them on the sweeter side. You know Hi-C? Well, now that Ecto Cooler is back, I'm sure you do. Anyway, the easiest scent I can liken to Circa's aroma is Hi-C. It's very orangey. It's a great paring for a hot late-summer day. For what it's worth, Purrl give my newly-opened can 6 whiffs, which means she kind of liked it.

On the flavor front, Circa 1926 is tangerine on the front and wheat beer in the middle, with just the barest hint of sweetness in the finish. DBC's description of the brew is spot-on. It's obviously a beer, but you may be able to tempt your fiancée, who isn't a beer person, into splitting a can with you. Michelle's not here at the moment, though, so this can is all mine. It's crisp, it's refreshing, it makes me want more.

When it comes to the mouthfeel, the brew is fairly chewy. It's thick. Each swig is worth something. It's just right for the ale's flavor profile and aroma.

Circa 1926 reminds me of one of the myriad of canoeing trips I've taken in my life. I can't recall the exact group I went with (camp or whatever), but I know I must have been in fifth grade. Whoever was responsible for our well-being on the trip brought along paper bag lunches for all of us, which we ate after returning our canoes to the rental facility. These weren't anything too fancy: a ham and cheese sandwich with mustard, a cookie, a sports drink, and a cup of oranges. I remember this trip in particular because I've never been a big fan of oranges. But, on this day, I loved the oranges I had. They tied into the perfect ending for this day of a few hours on the river with friends to whom I no longer speak and can barely remember. But that doesn't matter because I still have that day in my head and I'm sure those who were there with me can still recall it, too.

Darwin Brewing Company's Circa 1926 is a damn fine wheat ale. It's also a damn fine summer brew. I'm 100% glad that my financée brought it back with her. Florida friends, you're lucky you can look forward to this with a frequency we north of you can't. If you ever stumble across one where you live, non-Florida people, buy it. Drink it. Love it. I'm giving it a 9.5/10. It's fantastic.

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