About the Brewery: In a few short years since opening Cigar City has become known as one of the best breweries in the world, having won numerous GABF awards, and with several beers listed in the top ranks of most beer review sites.
The brewery itself consists of a 15-barrel brew house with 19 Fermentors ranging from 15 barrels to 60 barrels each. For $5 you can take a brewery tour while enjoying a beer from the taproom (you also get to keep the pint glass!).
Jai Alai’s 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.”
The Beer: Pours copper in color with prevalent notes of citrus and tropical fruit in the aroma. Flavor has upfront citrus bitterness with a subtle hint of caramel, tropical fruit, and flora hop notes in the finish.
Food pairing: Pair Jai Alai with a delicious Cuban sandwich or spicy dishes.
The Final Word: Jai Alai is a staple in my beer diet and is great while relaxing at home or sitting by the pool. If you happen to be in the Tampa area swing by the brewery and look for one of their Jai Alai treatments such as white oak, or my personal favorite Peach.