Thursday, September 22, 2011

Reviews: Cigar City Brewing - Tampa, FL

Time for a quick look at Cigar City, a brewery out of Tampa, FL that I've had the opportunity to try a few times recently.  Apparently the brewery takes its name from the nickname of Tampa, which was unbeknownst to me until I started trying their beers.  I would have thought Miami was the "Cigar City" of Florida, but nope, it's Tampa.  Go figure... anyway, my neighbor Roy went to Florida on vacation not too long ago and was nice enough to bring back a few different Cigar City beers for me.  Right on, man!  They included three of the regular lineup, the Jai Alai IPA, Maduro Brown Ale, and Cubano Espresso Brown Ale.  

Of the three I have to say that the Jai Alai has been my favorite!  It's a citrus-hopped IPA with a great balance of a little caramel malt.  The brown ales left me a little disappointed... neither were bad but they didn't live up to all the hype.  I really felt like the Cubano Espresso Brown Ale flavors clashed more than they augmented each other and the Maduro had a little bit of an off-putting metallic flavor to it.  I found both beers interesting but neither would be ones I would seek out again.  Well, unless I can try them on tap next time I find myself in Tampa... I have a feeling they would be far better that way! 

They also look to have a pretty impressive line of bombers and specialty beer in addition to these regulars.  I'm by no means giving up on this highly rated brewery, I'll just check out some of their other beers next time.