Cigar City Jai Alai, A Game of High Speed Balls and Super Alpha Hops

Here’s something that always seems to poke its hoppy head into beer boxes that I receive as extras. Either this is falling all off of shelves in Florida or someone loves me. I would assume the former. Enough jibber jabber about states with electoral issues, let’s open this hop IED in today’s Hop Locker.

A game of precision, balls, and severe injury, IPA DRINKING.

Cigar City, Jai Alai, IPA, 7.5% abv

A: This beer seemed pretty tame out of the glass, no radiant Marcelous Wallace glow, no Ark of the Covenant face melting hops, just a nice gentle IPA, here to stay a moment and spin some yarns. It is a mild orange with yellowing. Nice carbonation and some haunted house webbing on the glass. Only, no one touches your no no.

Sure, I have seen some amazing IPAs in my day but, my jimmies are in a default state upon seeing and smelling this offering, they arent unrustled, I guess.

S: Strangely, I don’t get a huge acidity, sure there’s some obligatory mild orange zest but mostly it smells sweet and crackery like a warm cornbread. Not par for the course in IPAs at all. Not bad, just like a watered down version of Hop Slam with more honey.

T: This doesn’t have a huge citrus profile to it, it goes a route of middle ground non-offensiveness. It begins with a nice hop bite that retreats like an abused terrier, giving you a bit of pine and grassiness and, that’s about it. The honey notes provide a solid maltiness that washes away quickly.

This beer flexes hard in the club and lets you know that is shit gets cutty, it has your back like Warrior hops.

M: The mouthfeel is crisp and light and lends to the session ability of this beer. It isn’t as filling as a Tim Allen stand up special, but unlike that, you aren’t bloated afterwards. No hop resins set up shop and it is like that tame worker who comes in, does his 9-5 and doesn’t ask any questions.

D: This is where this beer shines. Maybe it just isn’t hot enough in LA but, this beer seems like it would be great to drink while putting some sick flame decals from Pep Boys on my 93 Monte Carlo, you know, Florida shit. I’d love to knock a few of these back and then enter a voting booth, maybe build a home in the way of recurrent storms; we’ve all been there. But in all seriousness, this is a solid IPA, not bad in any respect just not that citrus bomb that I love to rub along my gumline.

It is incredibly familiar, maybe a little too familiers.

Narrative: Roger Bellows had a serious dilemma. Did he abandon his lifelong dream of owning an apiary farm and propose to the girl of his dreams? Or follow his dreams and hope that, amongst those bees he would find true love. “ROGER! I said just pick one, come on!” Kaitlynn called to him down the halogen white aisle. He picked the highest grade honey he could find and shuddered at the agave nectar section, “but how will I explain this to her?” he ruminated, glancing furtively to the bee set in amber on his ring. “I JUST….I LOVE FUCKING BEES!” he cried to her in the frozen foods section. “Ex- excuse me?” she stammered. “Well, not fucking bees, I love, I just love them. I need you to know that.” Kaitlynn rocked heel to toe and furled her brow like a worn button box. “Ok? And, I love you HONEY!” her writhing index finger left something to be wanted of a stinger as her pantomime fell flat. “Oh great, puns, my DREAM IS A PUN TO HER!” “Yeah, I’m all buzzed about, it,” he trailed off looking at the many varieties of Cool Whip. “God, you are such a bitter, forgettable drone, WHY CANT YOU STAND UP FOR YOURSELF!?” His amber bee ring dug into his palm when Kaitlynn cried “ROGER! Three things of honey? Come on!”


Peg’s Cantina, Batch 100 Barrel Aged Old Ale, If This Growler is a Batch; Better Make That Batch Your Wife

Florida is the king of tiny bottle releases. Wait, let me rephrase that. Florida has the tiniest bottles released in numbers. Fuck. Misplaced modifiers galore, the breweries in Florida, while releasing normal sized bottles, choose to release small numbers of said bottles, and enjoy having sex with the children in the house. The last ambiguous clause was for the parents out there.

I got 99 bottles but this aint batch one.

Peg’s Cantina, Batch 100, Barrel Aged Old Ale, Abv (go ask those 3 dudes who brewed this?)

Growler #19 out of 25, off the scale rare taste factor brah.

A: Looks like a fairly pedestrian old ale outing, some maroon and deep mahonagany tones, a nice chocolate sheen like those baller ass rugs at Pottery Barn, and some spotty little constellational lacing. Spell check it telling me that isn’t a real word, haters gonna hate.

When these 25 growlers came out, I was all sad and thought I would never get one, and then, through a series of misadventures and a 90 minute plot arch I realized that I had Batch 100 in me all along.

S: Sweet sassy molassey, there’s a nice maple presence, with some sweet cream of wheat brown sugar like a 70’s blackspoitation film, with a nice wood profile rounding out the backend like a prosthetic butt cheek.

T: Man, these guys are sadistic for only releasing 25 of these. The taste is 5/5 Amazon would recommend to a friend would read again 1,435 others found this beer helpful territory. The sweetness comes through like a 24th fret hammeron and resonates with a ringing maple sweetness throughout, some harmonic bourbon notes with sticky sweet vanilla and rolo shine through and start shredding, finally the double bass kick drum of the barrel and dry oak lay the finishing groundwork. This is a perfect sipper and perhaps the best Old Ale I have ever had. Not that those ranks are bustling shoulder to shoulder in terms of style, but still, that’s just like my opinion, man.

This beer has an amazing bourbon and sweet molasses character to it and- oh shit an owl riding a skateboard.

M: The mouthfeel has this fantastic prickly alcoholic twinge to it that crackles and zips dusting the gumline with oakiness and very faint peat notes. The actual residual sugars don’t wreck your shit, they just head straight to the back and leave your shit unmolested. The alcohol however, sees it fit to chat it up with your gumline, the bouncer, and starts name dropping bourbons, passing out flyers for the booze it has tried. It isn’t offensive but it lingers a bit too long and is offputting to the rest of the patrons, namely my incisors.

D: This is fantastic and complex but, it isn’t exactly fair to talk about the drinkability of a bold old ale. How sessionable are old people? I can watch maybe an episode of Matlock and have my fill of old people for a month without ever actually interacting with one. The complexity and genius kinda makes this beer like an amazing savant that has bourbon autism. It is enjoyable in small doses to wow the palate’s imagination, but eventually the constant counting, clicking, brushing of its bourbon hair, gets out of control. “That’s fucked up to denigrate a handic-” oh I’m sorry? Anthropomorphized bourbon isn’t here to defend itself against my completely fictional personification, SORRY.

At a certain point it's hard to underscore how good this beer is so- oh shit a mouse riding a skateboard.

Narrative: “Billingsley please, hold my calls and correspondence and allow me to ruminate on this dewy tundra for a moment.” Pitbull, well more properly, Armando Perez was a historian, economist, and epistemological philosopher, but the world could not seem to see through the lenses of his prescription Tom Ford sunglasses. “Ah Armando, A pity beyond all telling is hid in the heart of love, Yeats was so true.” He exhaled and through his consternation he watched his breath make symbols on the pane of the Rococo glass. “Mr. BULL! Er…PIT! These bitches are wildin out, we need you!” Skeezy Bird called through the thick paneled door. In between writing his treatise on constellation alignment and a nested proof invalidating Dyanetics, Mr. Perez had found the time to write a new single for the Men in Black soundtrack, and the bitches were subsequently wilding. “MISSA TREE O FIVE!” he called to the throngs of Forever Twenty One clothes inhabited by vapid bodies. Before hitting the swisher sweet, he ruminated on the passings of winters past, and “GAYYOOOOOCHOOOOO!!!!!” It was brash, yet civilized within the same breath.