Avast, Ye Scurvy Scum! Pirate Beers for Gasparilla…

This is a repost of my article for Creative Loafing in preparation for the great Tampa Bay Gasparilla Pirate Invasion

2013 Gasparilla Pirate Fest

The great Gasparilla Invasion of Tampa Bay is upon us, and ye best be prepared! If ye be a pirate or plunderer, a privateer or scallywag, then ye know ye needs to be having the right adult beverages for yer carousin’. So to help the miscreants and wenches fill their cups with a wee bit o’ the creature, this old sea wolf has compiled a list of piratical potables to help quench yer thirst. When some land-lubber asks for a “light beer”, you can reply with a knowing look in yer one good eye and the phrase: “I am disinclined to acquiesce to your request…”

Gaspar’s Porter, Florida Beer Company – Named for the man who started it all, Jose Gaspar. Known as “The Last Buccaneer”, the Spanish pirate prowled the waters of Tampa Bay, capturing over 400 ships from 1789 to 1821. Years ago, Ybor Brewing Company released the original iteration of the beer bearing Gaspar’s name. Now, Florida Beer Company has revived it, reinvigorated the recipe, and has brought it back to the craft beer lovers of Florida just in time. This new recipe pours dark and rich with delicious roasted malt,

Gaspar's Porter

hints of chocolate and toffee. It’s an easy drinking porter, not too heavy, and comes in at 6.1% ABV. Gaspar’s Porter is readily available at most purveyors of beer.

Loose Cannon Hop3 IPA, Heavy Seas Brewing – The flagship beer from  Heavy Seas is as wild as its name suggests. Pouring a beautiful gold color with a good white fluffy head, the aroma of hops is heavenly. It’s not a monster – only 45 IBUs – but the hops dominate the beer through and through. Smooth and delicious, this is what a “triple-hopped” beer really should be. This one sails in at 7.5%, and is available at most beer and wine stores.

Dead Guy Ale, Rogue Brewing – Dead men may tell no tales, but this Dead Guy has a long history to share. Rogue Brewing has been making great beers since 1988.  In the early 1990s Dead Guy Ale was created as a private tap sticker to celebrate the Mayan Day of the Dead, but the German Maibock-style brew proved to be so popular, it became a staple of the Rogue lineup. Malty, rich, and smooth, Dead Guy (and its big brother Double Dead Guy) have won dozens of awards and slaked the thirst of many a buckler of swashes. Clocking in at 6.6% (and 9.5% for Double Dead Guy), this beer is perfect for those that ply the sweet trade. Available in most beer storesBallast Point Tongue Buckler Imperial Red Ale and frequently on draft in better craft beer bars.

Tongue Buckler Imperial Red, Ballast Point – “Prepare to walk the plank…” says the label on this hop monster of a red ale. This beer pours a bright orange with an ivory head and an amazing aroma of tart grapefruit, lemongrass, pine, and tropical fruit. The flavor brings tons of citrus along with bright tangerine, caramel, and toffee.  The San Diego brewery is well known for their “West Coast” styles, and the Buckler has well earned its reputation as a “clap of thunder” with its deceptively smooth 10% ABV. Available in 22oz bottles at select beer stores, and sometimes on draft at craft beer bars.

Invasion Pale Ale, Cigar City Brewing – One of the newer offerings from the Tampa brewery, this one is available only on draft. Cigar City Invasion Pale AlePerfectly named for Gasparilla, and a most excellent beer to enjoy at any time. Invasion is an American Pale Ale, with a moderate ABV of only 5%. The clean, crisp flavor really highlights the hops, and it is especially delicious fresh at the brewery. THIS JUST IN: Cigar City just announced today that not only do they have some freshly kegged Invasion right now, but they are doing gallon growlers just for Gasparilla weekend!

Cheers, ye scabs!

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~ by Sean Nordquist on January 25, 2013.

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