Collaborating for a Cause | DDBIL
- Eric Griffin
- On November 29, 2023
This week, Collaborating for a Cause sets its sights on Florida, where Hialeah-based brewery King Fox joined forces with Shōjō Beer Co. and Odd Breed Wild Ales to release DDBIL, a special beer to support Alex Kidd. This is unbelievably the tenth installment in this series, with more to come. We can only hope that by highlighting the immense generosity from the Industry through these dedicated releases that we’ve not only inspired others to contribute help, but also motivated people to get checked regularly and learn the importance of monitoring their bodies.
Meeting the Breweries
King Fox’s small Florida operation is still fairly new to the industry, a passion project five years in the making that finally came to fruition in December of 2020. Luis Diaz and his wife Stephanie Cortina opened King Fox with Luis’s mother Gina with the goal to brew beers that both the general public and craft enthusiasts could enjoy. They specialize in sour, hoppy and classic ales, but have experimented with many styles in between over the years.
Shōjō, like King Fox, is based out of South Florida in Miami. The concept was created in 2021 by Miami-native husband and wife team Haidar Hachem and Mari Orozco. Both their brewery and “Dojo” boast a Sommelier-curated wine and sake list, Cicerone beer list, as well as in-house brewed Shōjō beers and sakes and a variety of alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktail options. Their goal is to serve the best of the best while simultaneously aiming to be affordable, approachable, and fun!
Odd Breed was started in the fall of 2017 in Pompano Beach, FL by Matt Manthe. His Microbiology background coupled with time spent at Thomas Creek Brewery set him up with a portfolio of a wide variety of styles, but restrictions on commercial-sized experimentation. After moving to Florida and working as the brewmaster at Brewzzi brewpub for five years, he finally launched Odd Breed. While his brewery enjoys creating a variety of classic styles, it’s working with wild yeast and barrels that is his true passion and focus.
The King Fox Cause
Luis began as a homebrewer, and much of his experimentation in his early days brewing stemmed from Alex Kidd, particularly his jokes about Barleywine is Life. At the time, Luis didn’t even like the style, but had followed Alex’s website, Instagram and podcast as he cracked his witticism about all things beer and Industry-related. DDB inspired Luis to brew his first barleywine, determined to make a version that he would like. Since then it has become one of his favorite styles. Learning of Alex’s cancer diagnosis really hit Luis, Stephanie and the team hard, as it did so many others. It prompted him to reach out to his good friends at Shōjō Beer Co. and Odd Breed Wild Ales to discuss doing a collaboration to support Alex and his family.
This small-batch barleywine went live on Oznr on September 9th, packaged in 16oz cans and offered for $12 each. No shipping was permitted for this release. That said, if you are local or have a friend in the area to pickup, cans are still available here! All profits from DDBIL will be donated to Alex’s GoFundMe.
For this beer, they wanted to make sure to keep the recipe as minimal as possible and really let their love for the barleywine style show through. It was rested on oak spirals previously used for an Imperial Stout, as well as previously used Ugandan vanilla beans. The result brought great balance between the subtle nuances of the oak and the vanilla character complimenting the complexity of the barleywine base. Odd Breed Wild Ales also took a portion of the base to rest in some of their barrels with their mixed culture for a later release. Keep an eye out in the future as we plan to feature their iteration as well!
Luis was amazing to send a can of DDBIL for review in this portion of the article. Thank you so much for allowing us to share the experience with our following.
DDBIL greets with a fairly thin appearance on the pour. The beige carbonation bubbles up and has good retention; the beer itself is a deep, brooding, crimson-hued brown.
The nose definitely benefits from time and warmth. Initially we’re greeted with a predominance of vanilla and a sweet toastiness from the malt. It gives an almost cream soda quality; tootsie roll chocolate and a warming spiced aroma almost like Amburana begins to develop with time. It really adds some great complexity.
The flavor profile begins on the front of the palate similarly to a robust, full-bodied Imperial Red. It’s heavily oaked, and we get noticeable hop bitterness right away, complimented by a balanced astringency. Following closely are notes of burnt caramel, raisin toast and Milk Duds. The addition of vanilla softens the potency and does well to bring balance.
The mouthfeel initially feels too thin, however even with a relatively high carbonation, there is a very apparent thickening of the beer with temperature that bolsters the experience. The oak treatment is present and dries the beer out, but to a comfortable level. Combined with the hop bill, the oak adds bitterness that lingers into the finish, accompanying a noticeably warming, boozy finish. All 14% of this one is felt, a quality that is surely a positive one.
Supporting the Kidd Family
As always, support for Alex and his family is paramount. The GoFundMe set up to help with their medical expenses is over 90% toward completion, and anything helps. Breweries continue to release special beers to raise funds, and the DDBIL sale is ongoing with cans still available to purchase in an effort to provide further relief.
We would like to thank King Fox, Shōjō Beer Co., and Odd Breed for their contribution to the cause. Additionally, we look forward to seeing what Odd Breed comes up with for their iteration!