#News: Craft beer in the Upper Keys? Yes, please!

#News: Craft beer in the Upper Keys? Yes, please!

Florida Keys Brewing Company, opening in late 2014 or perhaps early 2015, is set to become the Florida Keys’ only production brewery. The Islamorada business is the brain child of husband-and-wife team Craig and Cheryl McBay.

Cheryl, a true blue conch, and Craig who has lived in the Keys for the last few years, are ready to add some craft flavor and authenticity to the shell they call home.

“We’ve been brewing for four or five years now,” says husband Craig, a native of Toronto. “Craft beer is my passion. We love well crafted beer, and that’s where we saw the opportunity.”

While Key West has a handful of breweries, Florida Keys Brewing Company will be stationed in Islamorada, next to the UPS store in the Morada Way district.

They are currently active members of the Morada Bay Art Walk offering tastings every third Thursday, and have also offered tastings for the last two or three years at the Key Largo Craft beer festival, and the recent Key West beer festival. FKBC won awards at two of the Key Largo brew festivals in addition to their beer leaving the Keys for the first time in Boca Raton, where they were also declared winners.

The couple has big plans.

“We want to have a tasting room, brewery tours, growler sales as well as distribution throughout the Keys and South Florida,” Cheryl said.

 What’s on tap?

• Fla Keys Key Lime Witbier – a Belgian style witbier (wheat beer), similar to a Blue Moon. “Instead of using an orange peel, we use Key lime. It provides a different sourness to it that our customers enjoy.”

• Honey-Bottomed Blonde – a blonde ale brewed with local honey.

• Run Around Brown – an oatmeal brown ale.

• Bar Stool Sailor — a pale ale, “in honor of local musician Micah.”

• Twin IPA & Stout — “We also just had twins, so we’ll be brewing a twin IPA and twin stout in their honor.”

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