Local Brew Pays Homage To City's History: Cigar City Jai Alai IPA

Each week "Cheers, Westchase!" helps you kick off your weekend, highlighting either a beer, cocktail or wine you can find right here in the neighborhood.

is known by brew-philes for the fact that their bar showcases a wide variety of craft beers from around the country. From ales to weizens to stouts, they carry it all in an ever-changing lineup that is sure to please the palate of even the most refined beer snob.

This week, we headed there to try a Tampa-brewed favorite: Cigar City Jai Alai IPA. This beer has flavors of upfront citrus, with caramel and and tropical fruit hop notes in the finish. The IPA, or India Pale Ale style of beer has its roots in the ales that were sent from England to the British troops in India during the 18th century. This particular one is 7.5 perecent alcohol by volume.

So what's with the name? Jai Alai is a game native to the Basque region of Spain, played on a court called a "fronton." Did you know that Tampa was once home to a bustling Jai Alai fronton?  Well, now you do. The Tampa Jai Alai operated for many years before closing in the late 1990s.

Food pairings: Cigar City reccomends pairing this beer with spicy foods. How about the "Magical Mystery Tour" pie: a pesto base with button and portobello mushrooms, spinach, feta cheese and jalapenos.

Like Mellow Mushroom on Facebook to keep up with their beer line-up and special events. And next time you're about to sink your teeth into a scrumptious pie, "made with spring water crust" -- first, raise your glass to a piece of Tampa history, and of course, the local brewer.

Cheers, Westchase!


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