Back Forty Beer Company Collaborates on Michael’s Genuine Home Brew

By Kay Witkiewicz

Craft beer is inherently local, often representing its community through the incorporation of indigenous ingredients, thus creating unique flavor profiles. Florida may be known for a variety of citrus fruits, but Michael’s Genuine Home Brew—a collaboration between Miami restaurateur and James Beard award-winning chef Michael Schwartz and Back Forty Beer Co. of Gadsden, Ala.—is an homage to another important and ubiquitous Florida crop: sugarcane.

Read the complete Miami.com article: Michael’s Genuine dives into craft beer with its launch of Home Brew made from Florida-grown ingredients


The Michael’s Genuine Home Brew team at Back Forty Beer Co.

Grown throughout south-central Florida, sugarcane and its soil-replenishing rotation crop, Seminole Chief brown rice (also known as Sem-Chi), make up a large proportion of this Floridian ale, imparting the beer with a light body and dry finish that complement its citrusy and floral hops.

Although rice is often used as an adjunct in mass-produced lagers, Sem-Chi imparts a distinctly local touch that dovetails with Michael Schwartz’s culinary philosophy emphasizing fresh, natural ingredients and speaks to the inventiveness of Back Forty’s brewing approach.

Although pairing up with an Alabama brewery for this Floridian project may seem odd, Back Forty’s World Beer Cup-winning brewmaster Jamie Ray is a native Miamian who started the brewpub at Titanic Restaurant and Brewery in Coral Gables.

So far, Michael’s Genuine Home Brew is available on draft and in 22-ounce bottles with plans for seasonal beer releases in 2013. If this “food-friendly and sessionable” offering is any indication, Back Forty Beer Company and Michael Schwartz are sure to delight South Beach’s growing craft beer palates for some time to come.