I promised in my first post that this blog would contain beer as well as some thoughts of mine on random things. While I hope the beer information has been interesting and helped you make better beverage choices, I think I may have been slacking on the random thoughts part. I think when our thoughts aren’t spilling over with rainbows and unicorns; we tend to keep them to ourselves more. There is this idea out there that the only thoughts worth sharing are warm and fuzzy. Anyone else who is recently graduated and unemployed will most likely agree with me that those two things alone…can make you more aware of the little things that go wrong, making you feel like nothing will ever go right. Naturally, this is a dramatic view but after months and months of applying to jobs and yielding no results what else would you think? I am bringing this up because I had a conversation with a friend who is in the same predicament as me, finding her time increasingly vacant and her pockets empty. She told me how she needed a hobby and I will be shamefully honest with you we were both feeling oober sorry for ourselves at the time when she pulled me up short and said, “You have your beer. You love it and are passionate about it, you are looking for a job that includes your passion.” She was right, I am lucky. I have found something that excites me, which I can literally drink in on a daily basis (in a controlled manner). I decided to heed my friend’s good point and feel grateful that I have found this passion of mine. For those of you reading this who has just graduated or maybe you graduated a long time ago, or never graduated at all. If you are facing a new chapter of your life, one plagued with uncertainty and you’re wishing you had a plan…you aren’t alone. I hope you tune into this blog once a week and maybe feel a little less lonely and a little more hopeful that your next great idea might just be inside your next pint.
With this being my 16th post… I think it is about time that I give a shout out to one of my favorite Florida breweries; Cigar City in Tampa, FL. I first found this brewery when I was a taunting 20 years old. I was on vacation with my family which for us meant driving the three hours across the state to see another side of Florida. In fact, I couldn’t even go in to Cigar City. We parked, I walked in, they asked me to leave, and I spent the better part of an hour and a half in our car watching Harry Potter. A lovely afternoon, but I would have preferred the beer. I did eventually get to taste the nectar because my parents got some growlers…which we regrettably drank far too quickly. None the less, it was delicious; Cigar City has grown in its distribution over the past few years and is now more available for people who don’t live in Tampa Bay. Researching this beer I have come across a new term to me, SRM: Standard Reference Measure. In other words it is simply the color of beer; 0 being clear and 40 being black. The beer I’m doing is Cigar City’s year round IPA, Jai Alai.
I guess you could say I’ve grown up with this brewery so it does have a special place with my taste buds. It’s also in my opinion, one of the best breweries in Florida if not the COUNTRY, yea I said it. Anyway, the website does not list exactly what hops are in this beer but I did my best in researching it and as usual you will find the list below. Jai Alai IPA has great marks on beer advocate as well as a 99 on Ratebeer. The website says to expect notes of citrus and tropical fruits in aroma (a nod to Florida) and flavor has upfront citrus and bitterness with a caramel, citrus, and tropical fruit finish. The beer I see pours out copper in hue. There was not a lot of head retention, five minutes in there is hardly any left. It is a very lively beer and stands of bubbles can be seen. In the aroma it smells strongly of grapefruit and pineapple, there is definitely an edge of bitterness to the aroma. The IBU is accurate because upon first taste, I am hard pressed to taste anything but the grapefruit bitterness. I like it though, it is very citrusy IPA and definitely makes good on its tropical fruit promise. It is quite refreshing and is enjoyable in this hot Florida weather. Jai Alai follows the characteristics of its American Style IPA heritage. The American Style is more flavorful than the English promising earthy/ herbal and citrus flavors. I would give this beer a 4 out of 5 pints because I would have no problem drinking more than one. I like that it packs an ABV of 7.5%. The bitterness is not a deterrent but accomplished nicely with the citrus notes.
I hope you enjoyed today’s post and I appreciate those of you who have stuck with me through my first few months. Grab a Jai Alai and a friend and talk about life!
To Pour: The traditional recommended glass for this beer is a mug or pint glass. There isn’t a lot of head retention on this one so don’t worry about finesse.
– Ahtanum: Grapeftuity and floral as well as notes of pine and earth. Bitterness is low. Usage is aroma and flavor.
– Amarillo: Semisweet and really citrusy, closer to orange. Like Cascade on roids. Usage is aroma and flavor.
– Columbus: Earthy and mild in spice, light flavors of citrus. Usage is aroma and bittering.
– Cascade: Smells strongly of citrus and sometimes grapefruit. Usage is flavor, aroma, and bittering. Popular in American style IPAs.
– Centennial: Has over the top citrus flavor and aroma and restrained floral notes. Usage is flavor, aroma, and bittering.
– Simcoe: Pine, wood, and citrus are in this bittering hop. Usage is aroma and bittering.
– American Two-row Pale: Also known as Klages. This grain has 2 rows along the seed head and packs more starch per unit.
– American Crystal: Gives a sweet somewhat caramel taste to the beer.
– Munich: Increases body, aroma, and malt sweetness.
– Victory: Adds warm roasted and nutty flavor.
– The Brewed Awakening by Joshua M. Bernstein
Jai Alai IPA is brewed by Cigar City Brewing in Tampa Bay, FL