Today’s Beer of the World comes to us from right here in Florida. Cigar City Brewing is located in Tampa and we’re taking a look at the Jai Alai India Pale Ale. You can find it at Raglan Road, and the Cabana Bar and Beach Club at the Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort. (My thanks to the folks at Beers and Ears for the additional information.)
If you’ve never heard of Jai Alai, it’s a sports game. From the Cigar City Brewing website:
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. Pair Jai Alai India Pale Ale with Beef Empanadas, Deviled Crabs and other spicy dishes.
This beer is pretty strong, with an ABV of 7.50%. The folks at Beer Advocate give it their highest score, 100, which earns it a rating of “World-Class”. Their readers gave it a score of 91, which qualifies it for an “Exceptional” rating. Personally, I can tell you this beer makes an appearance in our house often. It’s a fantastic IPA and if you have not tried it, you really should.