Should Hot Weather Brewers Fear the Stout?

How much should being established in a hot weather climate influence the style of beer you make?

While it may depend on your audience, hotter temperatures may affect customers’ palates and preferences less than you think.

Fort Myers Brewing Company in famously hot South Florida recently won a silver medal at the 2023 World Beer Cup in the Chocolate Beer category for its Chocolate Stout, and co-owner Rob Whyte, who owns the brewery with his wife, Jen, told Brewer Magazine the beer is as much a favorite with customers as it has been with numerous judging panels.

“Our Chocolate Stout is an imperial stout that balances sweet, rich chocolate with notes of roasted barley and espresso,” said Whyte, who opened the brewery in 2013. “We have honed this recipe over many years, tweaking and adjusting over and over again to get the beer just right. 

“We’re proud that this has become our most decorated beer to date, with recognition at the state, national and international levels.”

Whyte said he didn’t consider it a risk to produce the beer for his audience.

“We don’t consider brewing big Stouts as a risk,” Whyte said. “Because we live in an area that is warm year round, our customers don’t really get a cold season to enjoy big stouts. We’ve found that many people like us enjoy a Stout regardless of weather, so we brew Chocolate Stout with them in mind.”

Whyte they didn’t necessarily consider the climate when they came up with the recipe for their Chocolate Stout, but that there were factors they considered when creating the beer.

“We did not necessarily adapt our recipe to adjust for the climate here, however, we did want the beer to be drinkable – keeping ABV, body and flavor in check – so we chose a more traditional method of brewing than many of the Pastry Stouts out in the market today,” Whyte said. “Although we have had plenty of success with this beer, we keep striving to find the perfect balance of big Stout and decadent chocolate.”

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