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Four Florida Beers

As a beer aficionado, I've found a few good local beers since moving to Florida. Here are four.

1. Last year, I found a display with four-packs of Jai Alai IPA (Humidor Series), by Tampa's Cigar City Brewing Company, on the shelves of my beer emporium. It looked like an interesting variant on something I already liked, so I took a closer look.

As soon as I read the brewer's notes (reproduced below at Beer Advocate), I had to try this:
This unique IPA shares all the tropical and citrus flavors of our Jai Alai IPA but with an added dimension imparted by Spanish cedar, the same wood used to make cigar humidors. Wood from the Cedrela odorata tree is added post-fermentation to impart notes of sandalwood and cracked black pepper, adding depth of flavor and accentuating the IPA's moderate bitterness. [format edits]
This was ahead of a trip to see my brothers, so I bought two or three packs. We all liked it, and I'd rate it as the best beer I've had so far from Florida.

Unfortunately for me, I haven't seen it on sale in Jacksonville ever since.

2. Also from Cigar City is the aptly-named Florida Man, an imperial IPA:
Image by Roland Denes, via Unsplash, license.
The world needs heroes, and in our home state of Florida only a very special hero will do. A hero with a shark tooth around his neck, a Grim Reaper tattoo on his arm, and a rap sheet longer than his mama's mustache. A hero who's forgotten more about amateur taxidermy and alligator rasslin' than you'll ever know. What better way to pay tribute to our beloved Florida Man than with a big ol' Double India Pale Ale brewed with a nearly-criminal amount of hops and a moderate bitterness that just about matches Florida Man's general disposition. This hopped-up whopper of a beer is big in character and guaranteed to sear itself into your memory, just like "the world's worst superhero," Florida Man. [link added]
Yes. The above shows up on the box, which puts it among the more humorous brewer's notes I've ever seen.

Where was this last year, when I dressed as Florida Man for Halloween?

3. Matanzas River Red, a red ale by Ancient City Brewing is fine beer and pairs well with barbecue, according to its brewer:
The toastiness in this red ale pairs well with many roasts or grilled meats. Try it with a rotisserie chicken and herb roasted vegetables or some true Southern BBQ.

(Pro tip: keep tabs on our Facebook to see when County Road Provisions is at the Brewhouse! Trust us, you won't want to miss this BBQ)
The beer's name, coming as it does from a bloody episode of early Florida's history, is the goriest I've ever encountered.

But it's ingenious marketing: I'd heard about the history behind one of America's oldest place names before I saw the beer on the shelf, so when I read the label, I had to try it!

4. Stand by for another cute name, but first, part of a review:
Extremely good. I'm giving this beer a solid 4. Truth is, if I compared this one to other American made [Hefeweitzen beers], it would be very close to the "mythic" 5... I desperately want to try this one on tap.
I don't often drink wheat beer, but my wife likes that style, so I know I'll end up buying Miami Weiss some time down the road. (Reviews at Beer Advocate are mixed, but generally good.)

Yes: That's the punniest beer name I've ever heard.

-- CAV

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