Saturday, August 27, 2011


This cat Wayne Wambles and his CIGAR CITY BREWING have become one of my - and many others' - favorite brewers over the past couple years. Experimental, adventurous and reflecting many of the localities of his Tampa, Florida location, Cigar City's beers have been without fail a total pleasant & semi-jarring surprise every time I've had one. And it hasn't been easy, since I'm pretty sure they don't distribute west of the Mississippi, and I'm in San Francisco. Trades, and trips to New York City for work, have been the only way to grab their wares. If any beer of theirs is going to break the Midwest curtain, it's their flagship JAI ALAI IPA.

When I said his beers reflect his locality, this is what I'm talking about. I swear you taste a really delicious cubano cigar in the distance of this IPA. It's got a real smoky bite, and real or imagined, I think they blew more than a whisp of tobacco into this thing. The hops are actually quite muted compared to most double IPA, and it's bitter in a way than most IPAs aren't. Alcohol checks in at 7.5%. Seriously malty and with a creaminess you're also not going to find in most IPAs. Let's salute a true original, root 'em on for greater things, and score this an 8.5/10.


Sean said...

My folks live in Florida, so I am quite familiar with these guys. I tried their Papaya IPA recently ( which was very nice. They also make a good brown ale as well.

Henrik said...

Weird that Cigar City's wares are hard to find on the west coast. They show up over here in Sweden, at the monopoly shops even.