Jai Alai IPA – Cigar City Brewing


From Cigar City Brewing in Tampa Bay Florida comes their “Jai Alai IPA”.  The beer pours a golden colour with an off white head.  The aroma consists of tropical fruit, citrus and floral hops.  The flavour is of tropical fruit, pineapple juice, caramel, resin and bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 7.5% with an IBU of 70.  This beer falls under the I wish I brought back more than one can category.  This stuff was really good!

Commercial Description:  Jai Alai, a game native to the Basque region of Spain, is played on a court called a fronton. Jai Alai players attempt to catch a ball using a curved mitt whilst the ball travels at speeds up to 188mph! Proving they have a sense of humor the Spanish dubbed this game, with its ball traveling at racecar speeds, “the merry game.” Tampa was once home to a bustling Jai Alai fronton but sadly all that remains of Jai Alai in the Tampa Bay area is this India Pale Ale that we brew in tribute to the merry game. The India Pale Ale style of beer has its roots in the ales sent from England to thirsty British troops in India during the 18th century. Pair Jai Alai India Pale Ale with beef empanadas, deviled crabs and other spicy dishes.

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Free Dive IPA – Coppertail Brewing


From Coppertail Brewing in Tampa Florida comes their “Free Dive IPA”.  The beer pours a golden yellow colour with a white head.  The aroma consists of citrus, grapefruit, citrus rind, pine, floral hops and maybe a dank note or two.  The flavour is of grain, citrus, citrus rind, resin, pine, bitterness, earth, herbal hops and bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at a good 5.9%.  This was a really nice India Pale Ale and a great introduction to this brewery.

Commercial Description:  Whether you’re diving for stone crabs under Tampa Bay’s Sunshine Skyway or just wishing you were, this beer’s got you covered. Expect huge hits of citrus and pine aromas layered over a bright malt backbone. Perfect for a day on the water.

Food pairing as per brewery: Spicy grilled shrimp

So-Cal Style IPA – Granville Island Brewing


From Granville Island Brewing out of Vancouver comes their new “So-Cal Style IPA” the latest in their Small batch brews.  The beer pours an orange colour with a white head.  The aroma consists of tropical fruit, fruity, syrupy and floral hops.  The flavour is of tropical fruit, pineapple juice, fruit candies, sweetness, lemon, pine, resin and bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 7.8% with an IBU of 80.  While I don’t think I would consider this a So-Cal style IPA it was enjoyable.  Granville Island Brewing is owned by Molson. 

Commercial Description:  Like the state of California, our So-Cal Style IPA is big, bold and beautiful. Bright citrus and grapefruit notes dominate this audacious brew thanks to an epic dose of West Coast hops. Pairs well with fish tacos with a citrus salsa.

Mad Ear, Naked Bière de Garde – Trinity Brew


From Trinity Brew in Colorado Springs, Colorado comes their “Mad Ear, Naked Bière de Garde” a saison aged on Brettanomyces. The beer pours a cloudy orange colour with lots of floaters and a tan head.  The aroma consists of yeast, brett, pepper, earth and some citrus.  The flavour is of saison yeast, brett, pepper, earth, citrus, citrus rind, resin and some sweetness.  The alcohol content comes in at 8.1% with an IBU of 35.  Not the best Bière de Garde or Saison that I have had but this was a very enjoyable beer and I look forward to trying more from the brewery.

Commercial Description: Grist: Barley, Oats +Rye, 35 IBUs of Styrian + Saaz, Mad Extended Boil for Mad Red Color, No Spices, Free-Rise Fermentation with Proprietary Yeast, Pair with Truffled Foie Gras, Cassoulet, Rosemary Lamb

Great Plains Brown Ale – Two Wolves Brewing


From Two Wolves Brewing a new contract brewery out of Factory Brewing in Vancouver comes their “Great Plains Brown Ale”.  The beer pours a brown colour with a light brown head.  The aroma consists of nuttiness, caramel and some sweetness.  The flavour is of caramel, nuts, hint of chocolate, mild ash, earth, mild resin and some bitterness.  The alcohol content comes in at 5.5% with an IBU of 18.  This is a pretty darn good brown ale and a good release from the new brewery.

Commercial Description:  Our dark brew, Two Wolves Great Plains Brown Ale is a well-balanced beer with a deep copper colour and aromas of roasted malt, cocoa and caramel. This highly engaging beer is medium bodied and bright with a high carbonation and pairs well with most foods.

Food pairing as per brewery:  This all-season beer is refreshing enough to pair with light foods, and bold enough to stand with rich, heavy meals – excellent with pork and beef, root and winter vegetables, stews and barbecues alike.