Beer Review: MIA Mega Mix Pale Ale

photo by Kevin Gibson

photo by Kevin Gibson

You might want to roll up your jacket sleeves and put fresh gel in your mullet as you sip this citrusy, hop-forward beer.

So many people look back on the culture and music of the 1980s with wide-eyed nostalgia. Others remember it as the cheese-fest it often was. MIA Beer Company, located near Miami in Doral, Fla., is in the former camp, but with a wink and a nod to the cheesy side of the era. I have to admit, the instant I saw the brewery’s can designs, I was taken back in time quite a few years.

I was gifted a can of MIA Mega Mix Pale, which on first glanced I thought must be some sort of mistake because, well, the packaging made it look like an energy drink from that decade. Then I looked more closely and realized the brewery logo’s font bears a close resemblance to the font from the “Miami Vice” TV show that was big back in the mid to late ’80s. With its pastel pinks and baby blues over a black background, the can looked positively Crockett and Tubbs approved.

What was inside, however, wasn’t cheesy at all, and it was nothing like a beer you would have found in 1984. it was a refreshing and solid American pale ale with modern IPA leanings. MIA calls it a “West Coast-style pale ale”, which would lean it in the direction of a hoppy West Coast IPA. It does just that—with Mosaic, Galaxy and Citra hops bringing a tropical aroma and hints of malt sweetness.

Dig into it, and the beer pays off on that first impression. It’s balanced between malt and hop, like a classic pale ale should be, but it leans to the hop side without punching your palate with bitterness.

The hazy orange beer brings a drinkable, medium body, with notes of grapefruit and pineapple and a finish that certainly adds piney bitterness, but the dry finish doesn’t stick around like many bigger IPAs might. As I made my way through this approachable beer, which checks in at 6 percent ABV, I noticed a developing spiciness, with a bit of earth and pepper peeking in. When it's all said and done, this is drinkable brew but with a surprising bite that gives it some muscle.

I’m not going to rave over this beer, but it will fit the bill for someone seeking an approachable, hop-forward ale. Pair it with some spicy food—maybe Buffalo wings with the ballgame of your choice—and you’re good to go.

At the very least, MIA is having fun with the theme. One of the brewery’s beers is called Miami Weiss. That takes a little courage.