HOPPY CULTURE DESIGN: A curated beer & cider tasting

The discipline of understanding culture is a funny, sociological journey: How it comes to be, its innards and crevices, and eventually how to design the unique little zeitgeists that form when humans gather in clusters and interact with each other. There are a million different angles and approaches to begin culture design, literally hundreds of entry points into studying the aggregate deposit of beliefs, values, attitudes, theories of time, relationships, concepts of the universe and knowledge that ultimately creates our shared environment. None are as enjoyable or telling as the act of tasting beer.

A beer tasting has everything you need: community, spirit, hops, consideration, experimentation and attitudes. It’s as much an art in tasteful organization as it is a shared experience amongst soldiers on the playing field of life.

If you’re a Miami resident, enjoy this specially curated list of local and imported beers and ciders picked up at Mendez Fuel, your friendly family gas station with an unexpectedly sophisticated offering of beer.


Orange Blossom – Honey Pilsner

Orlando, FL

Details: An easy drinking honey beer made with 2.3 tsps. of Orange Blossom Honey in each bottle.

Tasting Notes: Not sweet, because of the fermented honey but crisp and clean.

ABV: 5.5 %


The Tank Brewing Co. – La Finca Saison/Farmhouse Ale

Miami, FL

Details: An age-old beer style that originated in the Belgian farmhouses of Wallonia.

Tasting Notes: A classic Belgian yeast strain is at the heart of this straw-colored brew, showcasing its fruity and spicy characteristics.  Crisp and exceptionally refreshing, La Finca is a perfect companion on a hot Xmas day.

ABV: 6.3%


Maeloc Hard Dry Cider  


Tasting Notes: Brewed using the original process for ancient Celtic ciders. Tannic notes, smooth, bitter and reminiscent of the astringency of beer.

ABV: 4.5%


Wakefield Brewing – Stush Sour Berliner Weisse

Miami, FL

Details:  Originally a popular homebrewer in South Florida, Wakefield opened up his own brick and mortar in Wynwood.  Berliner Weisse is a top-fermented, bottle conditioned wheat beer made with both traditional warm-fermenting yeasts and lactobacillus culture. They have a rapidly vanishing head and a clear, pale golden straw-colored appearance. The taste is refreshing, tart, sour and acidic, with a lemony-citric fruit sharpness and almost no hop bitterness.

Tasting Notes: Sour ale with a tart and refreshing lemon zest.

ABV: 3.5%


Rekorderlig Premium Passionfruit Hard Cider


Tasting Notes: Made from the purest Swedish spring water, this refreshing drink has hints of ripe passionfruit and intense tropical flavor. Best served with a lime wedge.

ABV: 4.5%


Widmer Bros. Brewing Co. O’Mission Gluten-Free Pale Ale

Portland, OR

Details: This beer is gluten free because it is brewed with cereals, rice and sorghum.

Tasting Notes:  Bold and hoppy, this American Pale Ale is brewed to showcase Cascade hops.  Amber in color, floral on the nose this beer profile is complimented by a caramel malt body.


Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. – Harvest Newly Developed Hop IPA

Chico, CA

Details: Newly developed varietals from Yakima Valley in California, simply known by numbers.  

Tasting Notes:  Copper Amber with compelling flavors of vanilla, chocolate, oak and orange.

ABV: 6.5 %


BraufactuM –  Progusta Indian Pale Ale

Frankfurt, Germany

Tasting Notes: American Citra and German Hallertauer varieties, sweetness remains after fermentation and forms a nice interplay with a bitter note.

ABV: 6.8%


Coppertail Brewing Co. –  One Love IPA

Boynton Beach, FL

Tasting Notes: Light amber color, sweet malts, smooth caramel, citrus and resin.

ABV: 6.5%


Boulevard Snow & Tell – Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy

Details: Scotch Ales are strong ales, also known a “Wee Heavy”.  In 19th century Scotland, they’d also be known as 160/-a nomenclature based on the now obsolete shilling currency. Scotch Ales traditionally go through a long boil in the kettle for a caramelization of the wort. This produces a deep copper to brown in colored brew. Compared to Scottish Ales, they’ll be sweeter and fuller-bodied, and of course higher in alcohol, with a much more pronounced malty caramel and roasted malt flavor. A low tea-like bitterness can be found in many examples. Best served in a “thistle” glass.

Kansas City, MO

Tasting Notes: Winter, oak aged, malty, toffee, caramel, smoked malt, subtle spices due to hopping including Chinook, Magnum and Styrian Goldings.

ABV: 6.3 %

WORDS BY: Cris Ramos


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