Our plan for our long weekend in Key Largo was to stay close to the hotel, to minimize driving time along US1, the sole — and often crowded — roadway connecting the Keys. But our trip to Windley Key brought us south, nearly to Islamorada, the weather was great, traffic was running smoothly and we impulsively headed south down the one and only road to see what we could find. Fortunately, we found beer!
Sightseeing from the window through the middle Keys was a blast. Beautiful water views are punctuated by a very wide variety of properties, ranging from expensive homes to totally kitschy establishments selling all manner of things related to oceans, key limes, or both.
Our best find, however, was the charming tasting room for the Islamorada Beer Company. They had 7 beers on tap, all brewed on site. Fortunately the tasting room offers a flight to experience them all.
I really liked the beers with citrus, but thought some of the other flavors (coconut, honey, etc) were less successful. All the beers were light and smooth and seemed tailor-made for the beach.
The tasting room was small, with a bar and a handful of high top tables, and the small size made for an intimate experience. The staff were happy to chat about the beers and the atmosphere was relaxing — fitting for the Keys.
If you’re in the area, make a 20 minute stop at the monument to the victims of the Labor Day hurricane of 1935, the most intense Atlantic hurricane to make landfall in recorded history. The monument dates back to 1937 and is located on the southeast side of US1 near mile marker 82. Informative boards explain the origins and consequences of the storm.