Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, Florida has an array of beers for every palate. Whether you're a newbie to the grog game or an experienced taster, they've got something for everyone. CCB's lineup of unique lagers and ales intrigued me. I've chosen a few that I would like to try in the very near future: Beoir Le Caife, Galactic Cluster, and Good Gourd Have Mercy.
Beer Terminology 101
First, let's jump into some terminology. As a new beer drinker, I don't know what any of the jargon on beer bottles mean. A few terms to know before diving into a cold one are:
- ABV=Alcohol by volume
- IBU=International bitterness unit (80 IBU is the cut off on the scale where it gets really intense)
- IPA=Indian Pale Ale
- SRM=Standard reference method (color intensity and bitterness; correlates with color)
Three Beers I'd Love to Try
CCB's Beoir Le Caife is a brown ale brewed with lactose and coffee. It's aged in barrels of Jameson Irish Whiskey to give it that rich, espresso taste. Beoir Le Caife has hints of toffee, vanilla, rum, and of course coffee. It has an SRM of 24 giving it a ruby brown hue and an ABV of 6%. Cigar City Brewing releases this porter in small batches so get it while you can.
Up next is Galactic Cluster, an American IPA with an SRM of 16, resulting in a deep amber color. This dry-hop is brewed with guava and peach. Galactic Cluster has a dry mouth-feel with tastes of peach and malt. This beer has a unique smell of apples and orange peel. A fruity beer is perfect for new beer drinkers especially a lighter colored one like this tasty gem.
CCB has a retired, seasonal favorite called Good Gourd, Have Mercy. This amber ale would be great to sit by the campfire with. It has notes of grandma's buttery pumpkin pie crust and the woody aftertaste bouncing off the forrest around you. This beer's staggering ABV of 12.2% puts it on the stronger side. It's brewed with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and Jamaican allspice. GGHM is a fall-time treat alongside candy corn and mashed potatoes. Although no longer available, it was a definite must-have for pumpkin spice lovers.
I'd recommend taking a tour of one of Tampa's hoppy attractions while in the area. Touring Cigar City Brewing can help a first-time beer drinker get an idea for what kind they'll like best. It always helps to know the basics. Grab a flight next time you're in the Bay with Cigar City Brewing.
Editor's Review by Chanelle Pina