Review: Florida Cracker, Cigar City

Florida Cracker
Cigar City Brewing — Tampa, FL

  • Style:  Belgian White
  • Bitterness:  Not specified
  • ABV:  5%
  • Malts:  Not specified
  • Hops:  Not specified
  • Sampled:  12 oz. can

Description:  The Cracker Cowboys of Florida were colonial-era settlers, often of Scots-Irish descent, who arrived in Florida when Spain traded their territory of La Florida to the English. The term Cracker in Florida usage relates to the whip these "cow hunters" used to herd cattle in Florida’s Palmetto Prairies. Called Quáqueros by the Spanish, these hardy and hard working Cracker Cowboys helped to shape the history of Florida, the nation’s oldest cattle raising state. We brew Florida Cracker White ale with unmalted wheat, orange peel and coriander and then ferment it with a French Saison yeast strain to give it a spicy and dry finish. Perfect for a warm day on the Palmetto Prairie. — Cigar City Brewing 

Random thoughts:  I’ve long heard about Cigar City Brewing. But since they don’t distribute in the West, I’ve never had the chance to taste their beer. Gerard Walen, writer of Beer in Florida, brought some Cigar City beers to the Boston Beer Bloggers Conference this summer and graciously gifted a few cans for me to sample. Thanks Gerard!  

The tasting:  Stamped with a canned on-the date of July 16, 2013. Pale yellow in color, clear, with a white head that dissipates very quickly. I realized I should have gently rolled the can to release the yeast settled at the bottom. After I did that, and poured the rest of the beer into the glass, it turned cloudy. Aroma of wheat and coriander. Taste starts with tangy wheat. In the middle, of a rush of spicy notes comes throughcoriander, white pepper, and a touch of clove. Light earthy hops are present in the middle, but overall hop bitterness is low. Alcohol is not noticeable in aroma, but a touch is present in the middle. Florida Cracker is light bodied, very softly carbonated, and finishes tangy with pepper and spice. 

4 star.  Really Good! I want this again!  Although I'm writing about this beer in the fall, I actually tasted it near the of the summer—and it’s ideal for the season. I loved its tangy and dry finish! My first Cigar City experience did not disappoint. I’ve got their Jai Alai IPA and Maduro Brown Ale in my fridge. I expect they’ll be just as good!

Have you tasted Florida Cracker? 

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  1. I had the pleasure of trying some on tap when I was at CCB in September. One of my favorites from that day for sure.

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