Local beer is great, but comes with the drawback of being just that – local. That’s why it’s handy to have a middleman.
Over the fall I used LetsPour.com to order a set of great pumpkin beers from Elysian Brewing and just recently, had a special delivery of Cigar City brews, which don’t come anywhere close to the Triangle.
The Florida-based brewery has garnered plenty of attention for beers like their Jai Alai IPA and Marshal Zukhov imperial stout, but I decided to start with their Florida Cracker white ale, which has a 86 on Beer Advocate. Named after nickname given to the original settlers of Florida, this beer firmly planted Cigar City as a new, favorite brewery.
Pouring a wonderful hazy orange from a 12-ounce can, Florida Cracker seems to be a great representation of the state it hails from. Smells of coriander and citrus yeast esters wafted out my glass as spicy cloves tickled the back of my nostrils. French saison yeasts are certainly working overtime in this one. Classic wit characteristics were easy to find, including juicy orange, fresh grapefruit and a nice biscuity smell like wheat malt that might have also helped create a pillowy white foam on top of the beer.
The flavor was enhanced by the smoothness of Florida Cracker’s mouthfeel, giving me the impression it’s something I could drink all day. Doubly so if enjoying in Florida’s heat, as the beer clocks in at at 5 percent ABV. A light carbonation aided residual flavors of banana and orange to linger on my tongue throughout the glass. While taking the easy road, the best way to describe this beer may be a parallel with Blue Moon (served with orange slice), but so much better. Florida Cracker builds on Blue Moon’s profile by also offering traces of lime, dry bread notes similar to oyster crackers and just a touch of earth-bound hop flavor … maybe Hallertau?
Florida Cracker stats
- Malt: Unmalted wheat
- Hops: N/A
- Adjuncts: Orange peel and coriander
- ABV: 5 percent