If President Obama’s weather machine doesn’t wreck havoc on the area (knew we should have had Bush take that with him), thousands of Republicans will be descending on the greater Tampa-St. Pete metropolis for next week’s Republican National Convention. Despite having a teetotaler on the top of the ticket, you know that most of these teeming throngs of partisan party people will be bellying up to various bars early and often during their stay. And you that VP guy from Wisconsin isn’t going to be shy about knocking a few back either.
As a service to the folks who will braving both the elements and harassment from anarchists, OWS types, and the national media in Tampa, we’re offering a bit of guidance on what to order once you’ve dodged the urine bombs, acid eggs, and inane questions and made it safely inside a local drinking establishment. It’s a reprise of a previous Beer of the Week that was posted while I was on vacation in Florida last February and would be an excellent choice for those seeking to experience some of the flavor of the city’s beer scene.
There are also more Florida-brewed offerings available than in the past including tasty beers from Holy Mackerel, Inlet, and Cigar City. The latter brewer is located in Tampa Bay and has an interesting back story:
Cigar City Brewing was founded with two goals in mind. The first to make the world's best beer and the second to share with people near and far the fascinating culture and heritage of the Cigar City of Tampa.
From its past as the world's largest cigar producer to its Latin roots and the many other diverse peoples that call it home, Tampa draws on many sources to develop its unique culture.
At CCB we are fascinated by Tampa's history and suspect you will be too.
Our special edition beer of the week is Maduro Brown Ale from Cigar City Brewing:
Maduro is a Northern English-style brown ale with some American affectations. Maduro is higher in alcohol than the common English brown ale and features flaked oats in the malt bill which imparts a silky body and works to mesh the roasted, toasted and chocolate components together in Maduro's complex malt profile. The end result is a remarkably full-flavored yet approachable and sessionable brown ale that pairs well with mild to medium cigars.
12oz brown bottle. Label has various shades of brown and a design that very much looks like a cigar label.
ALCOHOL BY VOLUME: 5.5%
COLOR (0-2): Ruby brown. 2
AROMA (0-2): Sweet toasty malts with a hint of smoke. 2
HEAD (0-2): Off-white with good volume and lacing. 2
TASTE (0-5): Rich malty flavors up front with a clean bitter finish. Like the smell, it features flavors of coffee, toffee, chocolate, and smoke. Smooth mouthfeel with a medium body. Decently drinkable. 4
AFTERTASTE (0-2): Roasted, smoky flavor lingers pleasantly. 2
OVERALL (0-6): I’m not much of a cigar guy, but if I were I definitely could see this beer pairing nicely with a quality stogie. The flavors are rich, elegant, and complex. Yet the beer isn’t overly heavy and proves refreshing and quaffable. It went down well on temperate Miami nights and I think it would work equally well in less tropical Minnesota. If you get down to the Sunshine State (spring training starts soon) be sure to get your mitts on a Cigar City Maduro Brown Ale. You won’t be disappointed. 4
TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 16