Florida Craft Brewery: Due South Brewing Co.
Established: May 12th, 2012
Location: 2900 High Ridge Road #3, Boynton Beach, FL 33426
Known For: The Caramel Cream Ale is their best seller in cans, kegs, and everything else across the board. My wife loves this beer as the caramel adds just the right amount of sweetness. In the taproom, both the Mexican Stand-Off and Cafe Ole Espresso Porters are very popular from the tap and to-go via crowler. The Category 3 IPA can be found pretty much anywhere you see a Due South tap handle, from Key West to Jacksonville and west to Orlando. Their distribution footprint also encompasses Eastern Pennsylvania, the Dominican Republic, and Grand Cayman.
Current Beer Menu: At the time of my visit, Due South was carrying 19 of their own beers on tap and one guest tap, which was Cigar City’s Madura Brown Ale. Having so many of their own on tap is pretty typical. Just about every style was represented, minus of course, a stout. The dark beers were represented well, though. An Imperial Porter, named Mexican Standoff, brewed with chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla, and chili peppers went down very nicely. Everything managed to come through without being overpowered by the chilis. Another version, Extra Spicy Mexican Standoff, is brewed with Scorpion Peppers and didn’t seem much hotter than the regular version. That very well could be because it was the last beer of the day and I had saved the five beers with peppers (chili, jalapeno, habanero, and scorpion) for last so I’m guessing my palate had taken quite a hit. Due South is also beginning to experiment with sours. Their base Berliner Weiss, called Weekender, was nice and tart upfront. Quite a few treatments have been brewed and I was able to try two of them. Manuel’s Dojo, which is every bit a Margarita Berliner and the Mango Habanero, which needed more mango in my opinion. The mango was there, but only slightly. The Oaked (White) Category 5 is a double IPA and rivals that of Cigar City’s White Oak Jai Alai. I would love to have them on tap side by side to definitively pick a winner. Radler is an easy drinking lager with grapefruit juice added. Sweet grapefruit up front with a tart grapefruit back-end. The Saigon Blonde is brewed with cucumber, lime, and jalapeno. Every flavor was on point and the heat was mild at the back-end. The Scorpion IPA brewed with, you guessed it, scorpion peppers was pretty damn delicious. The peppers weren’t overpowering, which really surprised me. It seems Due South keeps their beer menu updated with a little bit of everything to keep the masses happy. Well played!
Price Range: Due South doesn’t do flights, but you can purchase 5oz portions for between $2.00 and $3.50. For the beer available in 12oz pours you can expect to pay between $5.00 and $6.50 and 16oz pours between $5.00 and $5.50. Crowlers will run you between $8.00 and $14.00 while 64oz growlers will run anywhere between $15.00 and $27.00. For $29.95 you can purchase a 64oz aluminum growler. There are also a number of 6 pack offerings available for between $8.99 and $9.99.
Wine Menu: Consisting of three Whites and four Reds between $6.50 and $9.00 per glass and $21.00 and $30.00 per bottle.
Food Menu: There are a few choices when it comes to food. You can either bring food from home or order delivery from one of the many menus provided. Due South also has a local food truck at the brewery on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, from 5:00pm – 10:00pm.
Ambiance: Due South is housed within a 15,000 sqft warehouse. About two-thirds of the space are taken up by the production brewery and the canning line. When you walk in you face a wall of kegs, empty beer cans waiting to be filled, a forklift, and brewing equipment in the background. Venture a little further and you stumble upon the canning line. It was pretty cool to be able to watch the canning process. The cans are filled, sealed, and run down a line to the guys that put the plastic six-pack holders on the cans. Past the canning line is the barrel aging program where Due South stores the wine & bourbon barrels for aging. There’s no air conditioning in the warehouse, but there’s a small air-conditioned taproom off of the main bar. The space is big and open as you would expect in a warehouse environment with brewing equipment taking up the majority of the room. There’s no theme or specific feel to the environment. It’s all about beer here! There are a few posters of some of the Due South beers hung on the walls as well as a merchandise display. The place was well-lit & didn’t have a typical bar atmosphere. Large industrial fans overhead help to combat some of the Florida heat. There’s corn hole set-up inside in the area across from where the barrels are kept. A few of the barrels hold Wicked Dolphin Rum Barrel Aged Mariana Trench, which is expected to be released sometime in mid-June 2016. Free tours of the brewery are available at 1:00pm on Saturday and Sunday. VIP tours are available Wednesday and Friday at 5:00pm and Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 and 3:00pm. The VIP tour includes a tasting and souvenir pint glass for $10.00.
Bar Seating: The main bar and the air-conditioned area hold seats for around 25 people while additional 18+ tables, of various sizes, are spread out between the corn hole area and the cordoned off brewing area.
Staff: Rob was pouring the beer while I was visiting. He’s a transplant from the great state of Maine and it just so happens we may have gone to the same summer camp at the same time as kids, which was only a few minutes from his home. For only being in town a short time, he was a wealth of Due South related knowledge.
Merch: T-shirts for both men and women are offered for between $12.00 and $22.00. Men and women’s work shirts are $40.00. Hats in two different styles are $15. There’s even a Due South onesie available for $15.00. How cute! Glasses will run you between $4.00 and $6.00. There is plenty more Due South schwag here.
Membership offered: ‘The Club’ has 200 members and renews once a year at the cost of $75.00 plus tax. As a member you receive a 20-ounce pour for the same price as a pint, a Due South Club membership t-shirt, a Club glass to take home, access to the members-only party, early access to the purchase of a Trench Day (festival at the brewery marking the release of Due South’s imperial stout, Mariana Trench) ticket, one reserved bottle of Mariana Trench, access to the early purchase of at least one of the special release bottles, and additional perks announced throughout the year such as the free tapping of special members-only release kegs.
Best days or time of year to go: Since Due South opens every weekday at noon there is a good four-hour window where you don’t have to compete for space at the bar before folks start pouring in from their place of work. Friday and Saturday evening are typically busy.
Regular Hours: Tuesday – Thursday: 12:00pm – 10:00pm, Friday: 12:00pm – 11:00pm, Saturday: 12:00pm – 11:00pm, and Sunday: 12:00pm – 8:00pm.
Happy Hour: Tuesday – Friday: 4:00pm – 6:00pm. All Due South beers are $1.00 off.
–Their 500th batch of beer will be the Imperial Cafe Ole Espresso Porter. It will be a high abv somewhere above 10%.
–The Southern Saison was the first beer ever poured by Due South.
–The original name for Due South was going to be Blind Tiki because the owner, Mike, brewed beer on his patio in front of a one-eyed Tiki.
–Mike started to brew beer by learning to make wine. His wife, Jodi is allergic to sulfites, so he was trying to create a sulfite-free wine. What a nice guy! When that didn’t work out he started making beer based on Samuel Adams’s Boston Lager.
–There are plans to turn the 12,000 sqft warehouse space, to the South of the brewery, into an air-conditioned taproom, beer garden, a dedicated area for barrel aging, and their new sour division. The existing space will primarily be for production and special events. Exciting stuff! I’m sure the regulars are looking forward to a bigger air-conditioned space to enjoy their brews.
–Due South Brewing Co. was named the 2014 Best Large Brewery in Florida. Now that’s a pretty big deal!
Overall Rating (1-5): I give Due South Brewing Co. a 4.5 rating. This is actually higher than I originally thought I would rate them. They have been hit or miss in the past. I was impressed with their Berliners on this visit and I’m really looking forward to seeing what other sours they come up with down the road.
What was missing: Typically I would say that they were missing a stout, but having both the Mexican Standoff and Extra Spicy Mexican Standoff Porter on tap quenched my thirst for dark beers.
In closing, I have been down on Due South in the past, so it was certainly nice to have my opinion changed in one visit. They are an easy exit off I-95 and should not be missed if you are in the area.
Did I leave anything out or is there something else you would like to know about the Due South Brewing Company? Please don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below.