Drink Tampa Bay is an ongoing series chronicling locally made beer and wine.
This week we got shitface on the Cheeky Bastard IPA and Florida Common beers brewed by Southern Brewing & Winemaking.
Cheeky Bastard IPA – 5.5%
Rusty: After it was poured… it had a rich… velvety head. I’ve gotten velvety head before.
Roy: Nice, sweet scent. Sweet nose.
Rusty: It smells really good.
Roy: It’s got the bitterness of an IPA but it does have a sweetness.
Rusty: It smells like a nice, fruity… like “I’m gonna have a good time.” (Drinks) Uh… it’s too much for me, I think.
Roy: The sweetness?
Rusty: Maybe I’m not in the mood for it, but… I would have to really struggle my way through that.
Roy: It is very fruity and floral, and then on the back end there it does have that bitterness of an IPA.
Rusty: Yeah it’s just got kinda that… sour bitterness. I feel like, after you’ve taken your sip, and then you let it sit for maybe like half a minute, then you taste whatever they used to make it taste the way it does – the original essence comes through at the end. But when I’m drinking it, I’m like “…I don’t wanna do this.”
Roy: When I have it still in my mouth, it’s got the sweet, floral fruitiness to it. Then once you swallow it, that’s when I get the bitter. I like it.
Rusty: I could see drinking it if I were in the mood for that sort of thing. But… I think it is kind of a mood thing. I wouldn’t want to do it all the time. Right now, that’s definitely not me. And there’s nothing about it that I’d be like, in a different time different place, I’d want it.
Roy: Looks like I’m finishing this one up myself.
Florida Common – 5%
Rusty: The Florida Common… it’s supposed to be more citrusy than the California Common. It’s like the color you’d get if you had a bottle of water, in which you placed cigarette butts… over time. You can smell the citrus. It smells like the rind. (Takes a sip) Okay. That’s a little more interesting, I feel like there’s a little more going on with that.
Roy: It’s got a lot of carbonation.
Rusty: I just think that there’s a lot more going on with this. You drink it and there’s maybe a few phases of what you’re tasting. And then at the end… it’s very sweet. It’s got that pith… you only pick up at the end. But that first thing you taste in there… I don’t know what it is. I mean, it’s obviously the citrus. But it’s a pronounced flavor. It’s more interesting to me.
Roy: It does have the carbonation of a shitty beer. Like if you take a Budweiser and you just boiled a bunch of citrus in it. I’m not knocking it, but maybe that’s what a California Common* is… it’s nothing special. We brew a lager, you know a fucking Budweiser, and then we throw in citrus. Because that’s what we’ve got around. It’s not bad.
Rusty: I think it’s a lot more interesting, and you’re not contending with so much. It’s not as heavy as the other one… this is a beer you can just kind of drink.
Roy: It does have a bitterness of the citrus, like the rind. You would have the sweetness of it, a dull sweetness, and then the bitterness.
Rusty: You really do get a sense of the citrus.
*According to BeerAdvocate: “The California Common, or Steam Beer, is a unique 100% American style lager. It’s usually brewed with a special strain of lager yeast that works better at warmer temperatures. This method dates back to the late 1800’s in California when refrigeration was a great luxury. The brewers back then had to improvise to cool the beer down, so shallow fermenters were used. So in a way the lager yeast was trained to ferment quicker at warmer temperatures. Today’s examples are light amber to tawny in color, medium bodied with a malty character. Mildly fruity with an assertive hop bitterness.”
Rusty: I appreciate the Cheeky one a lot more now that I’ve been drinking the other one. Right up front, it’s like a kind of caramel almost. It’s got the sweetness there.
Roy: So which one are you gonna pick?
Rusty: It really does shed a new light when you’ve been drinking the Florida, and you go back to the Cheeky. I would still go with the Florida, just because it’s more my style.
Roy: You could pick that up and drink it, and not have a problem. This one (the Cheeky Bastard) might be a little more harsh going down.
Rusty: It’s just not me. It’s too much for me. Maybe it’s just my mood, maybe on a better day I’d be more into it, but uh… not my thing. What about you?
Roy: Calling [the Cheeky Bastard] an IPA is a little much. Maybe just a pale ale… it doesn’t have the bitterness that you get from an IPA. (Drinks a bit of both) …I’d go with the Cheeky Bastard. Especially after-
Rusty: When you’re comparing.
Roy: Yeah. I think they’re solid beers. I think they’re good. Which would you keep on the core… the every day beers?
Rusty: Neither of these. By comparison with what we’ve had before… I don’t think either of them are…
Roy: Solid enough where you’d want to come back.
Rusty: I wouldn’t come back and try either of these.
Roy: Yeah I agree.
The Cheeky Bastard is available for a limited time, and the Florida Common is currently a featured beer.
Listen to the full discussion here: