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Beer Goggles: Swamp Life

Gainesville is stupid swamp town, but their beer is great

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 08 Kentucky at Florida Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Opponent: Florida Gators

Brewery: Swamphead Brewery

Beer: Darkwater Floridian Dark Ale

APV, IBUs: 6.8%, 65

Like everything in Gainesville, Swamphead is named for something UF themed. To paraphrase Leslie Knope, it’s a stupid little hog town. I suspect because it’s in the middle of Florida, right off the interstate and the crossroads of a couple old FL highways, particularly 441, makes it just another cow town, except for that school that all the CFCC grads can get into.

Okay, that’s not fair. But it is fair to say that Gainesville is a pure college town, and Swamphead Brewery is a first rate brewery. They were ahead of the craft beer boom, especially in FL where the laws discouraged micro brews. They have some classic beers like Big Nose, Stumpknocker, and Midnight Oil.

What I love the most about Swamphead is their beer represent the wide ranging and non cliched aspects of my home state- a state that is geographically large and demographically diverse but known for the foibles of one particular man.

Beers like Day Trippin’ and Micanopy Moonbeam bring insight to the regular people living in a slightly rural, slightly suburban world full of wild natural surroundings. We really just like fishing, floating down rivers, and maybe howling at the moon every now and then.

That’s what I chose Darkwater Floridian Dark Ale. It’s the perfect analogue for the University of Florida. Named after the Suwanee River, a river running south through the north-central part of Florida. Like the Suwannee’s tannin stained water that butts against the white sand river banks, the Darkwater Floridian Dark Ale is the combination of all the unique parts of Florida.

UF is central to the state but too big to have one characteristic to represent the diversity of the third largest state in the Union. But it is the place for all those diverse populations to gather in a dirty little hog town.

Plus, DFDA is pretty bitter and has 6.8% APV, much like 2019 Gator Football- difficult but effective.