This past week I was (and still) in Florida visiting with family. As I’ve noticed in my past visits, the Florida craft beer scene has been growing incredibly fast over the past few years. I feel like every time I come down here there is another beer to try. Here are a quick few that I would recommend and should be easy to find when you visit the sunshine state, which you know you will.
Cigar City based out of Tampa, FL is one of the best and has been around for a few years now. I grabbed some cans of their Florida Cracker Belgian-style White Ale which is brewed with curaçao (orange) peel and coriander. This beer has some bite and I loved it. I also got some cans of their Jai Alai IPA, which is always a tasty brew. For those not familiar Jai Alai is a game native to Spain where the players use large baskets called cestas on their right hands to toss a small ball off a large wall. The ball goes over 150mph and you can bet on it. It works kind of like horse racing. You can bet on an individual to win or make it into an exacta or trifecta. Great stuff even though it’s beginning to die out here in the state of Florida, but remains popular in Latin America. My grandfather would take me as a kid and the sport will always have a special meaning to me so Cigar City got me just by naming their brew after the sport. Also their beer comes in cans, which I am all about.
I also grabbed Florida Native brewing company’s lager. It was crisp and refreshing. It would be great to throw back 10 of these poolside on a hot day.
While out at the pub I grabbed a pint from relative newcomer Due South, out of Boyton Beach, FL. I had their Cat 4 IPA, which is a reference to hurricanes, not 4 adorable felines. If you are in the area grab something from them. They are well on their way to making some great brews.
That’s just a quick glimpse into some of the breweries down here. So if you find yourself amongst the palm trees of Florida know that there is more to be enjoyed than a tropical drink or a Corona.