Unrepentant beer drinkers, rejoice! Each week, Clean Plate Charlie
will select one craft or import beer and give you the lowdown on it:
How does it taste? What should you drink it with? Where can you find
it? But mostly, it's all about the love of the brew. If you have a beer
you'd like featured in Beer of the Week, let us know via a comment.
Call me late to the party but I finally got my hands on Cigar City's Humidor Series IPA. The Tampa-based brewer has really turned heads with this beer. Just a few weeks ago, it won a silver medal in the barrel and wood aged beer category at the Great American Beer Festival. It took gold the year before. Yet, despite being made only a few hours away in Tampa, it's been difficult to get your hands on Humidor in South Florida.
Well, at least for me. A keg of the stuff came into World of Beer a few
weeks ago. I received notice of its arrival via e-mail, and decided I
would make it in as soon as possible to try it. Apparently, a few other
newsletter recipients did the same. By the time I got there -- just the
following day -- it was gone.
People clamor for the Cigar City brews. They've become hot commodities,
not only because they're good, but because they're made in Florida.
That's a rare attribute -- Florida brewers that have made it to the
national level are rare. There's a sense of pride surrounding Cigar
City. It's almost if, by drinking one, you're doing your part to help
the Florida beer scene grow.
Total Wine stocks more widely available Cigar City output like the
Guava Grove Series and the Maduro Brown. But Humidor -- a tasty IPA
aged on Spanish Cedar -- is harder to come by (if anyone knows of a Total Wine with Humidor, let us know in the comments field). I found a few bomber
bottles at BX Beer Depot for $10 a pop. There's a chance they still have some, but be sure to call ahead.
How does it taste? Citrusy. This IPA is an explosion of grapefruit. But
not that bitter, sour grapefruit flavor accompanying many citrusy IPAs.
This is like ruby red grapefruit -- slightly sweet and balanced, with
low tannins, despite the aging process. It pours a beautiful garnet
color with a thick and lacey head. Great for slow sipping, or enjoying
with some powerful food like Bleu cheese and dates or salumi.
Get it while it's hot!