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Cigar City's Invasion Pale Ale: Surprisingly Mild, Full of Tropical Fruit

Like the sands of the hourglass, these are the beers in our glass... beers from Florida! Every Friday, we take a look at a beer brewed in the Sunshine State, giving analysis to the burgeoning craft beer movement of Florida.

As Cigar City Brewing in Tampa expands, so does its lineup of canned beers. In fact, there will be, starting in 2014, nine year-round beers coming off the canning line at CCB, including Jai Alai IPA, Hotter Than Helles, and the one we are looking at today.

Invasion Pale Ale is described by CCB as "a very hoppy yet very sessionable American pale ale made for crushing at a high rate." At 5% abv., it's surprisingly mild in these times of high abv. everything. It's more common to find a pale ale or IPA clocking in at over 6%, it seems. It's pleasantly pirate themed, and the story on the can evokes a 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em' mentality from the brewery (from the marauding pirates, whomever they could be...).

See also: In The Tasting Room: Category 3 IPA (In A Can!) From Due South Brewing

Having had this beer in the CCB tap room before, I was stoked to learn that it was to be canned and added to their core beer lineup. It was a hoppy pale ale, to my recollection, but clean at the end and with some solid citrus hops to hold it up - a definite cousin to Jai Alai IPA.

It pours a slightly hazy orange color, with a layer of eggshell foam that dissipates pretty quickly. The aroma is full of tropical fruit and melon, and a hint of melon and lemon. It's something you'd want to make candles out of. The taste is an easily characteristic pale ale - a bit of upfront bitterness that transitions to a body of biscuit, toast, and grainy husk. All of this ends with a clean and final note of fruity hops. There is no lingering bitterness, just a crisp and light bodied finish to a biscuity and citrus hopped beer.

Overall, this beer fits the bill as the little cousin of Jai Alai, though not in the same class as Balki and Larry... neither is strange enough for that. No, this is perhaps more like The Fonz and Chachi... or George-Michael and Maeby? Well, you get the idea.

What do you all think of Invasion? Had it before? Curious to try? Tweet or comment below.

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