- If you’re looking for a beer that sums up the Sunshine State, it’s hard to go wrong with Cigar City Brewing’s Florida Man
- The double IPA perfectly captures the spirit of the internet folk hero that inspired it
- Here’s why you need to get your hands on some cans
In 2013, the internet was introduced to the phrase that eventually became synonymous with a Weird News subgenre courtesy of a Twitter account dedicated to chronicling a smorgasbord of bizarre occurrences in the Sunshine State that all revolved around a figure known as “Florida Man.”
That particular moniker wasn’t linked with a specific person but rather the many individuals who found themselves at the center of the kind of headlines that make you think “There’s no way this actually happened” only to say “Of course that happened in Florida” once you read the story.
It’s easier to define Florida Man by describing his overall essence as opposed to trying to associate him with specific traits; he’s the kind of guy who’d overhear some people at a dive bar debating if it’s possible to use alligators as waterskis while being dragged through the Everglades on an airboat and decide there’s no better way to find out than trying it himself.
The aforementioned Twitter account dubbed Florida Man “The World’s Worst Superhero,” one who has a tendency to commit crimes instead of stopping them, wears a uniform that consists of cutoff jeans and a sleeveless t-shirt emblazoned with the faded logo of a defunct marine supply store, and uses a beer cooler that’s been converted into a motorized scooter as his primary form of transportation.
It’s only appropriate that Cigar City Brewing decided to pay tribute to that local legend with the release of Florida Man, the double IPA the liquid magicians down in Tampa have been pumping out since 2020.
It should come as no surprise that a brewery that knocks beers out of the park with the regularity that Florida Man knocks teeth out of his mouth was able to add another phenomenal offering to the formidable lineup it’s assembled since opening in 2009, and if you haven’t had the pleasure of trying it yet, here’s why you owe it to yourself to track some down.
How Cigar City’s Florida Man Sums Up The Essence of the Sunshine State
The aforementioned essence of Florida Man largely involves his inability to stop and think “Is this a good idea?” before inevitably going a bit too far, and Cigar City was able to capture some of that spirit while still managing to show the appropriate amount of restraint.
Florida Man (the beer) boasts an 8.5% ABV, which is only a slight step up from the 7.5% you’ll find in a can of Jai Alai, the brewery’s flagship IPA. It’s appropriate that it packs a bit more of a punch when you consider Florida Man (the person) probably wouldn’t think twice about taking a swing at a pelican after accusing it of disrespecting his wife by looking at her the wrong way.
However, you wouldn’t know Florida Man is that strong based on how incredibly well-balanced it is. You can probably guess it’s a very hop-forward beer based on the category it falls into, and Florida’s tropical nature is reflected in the assortment of Citra, Azacca, Galaxy, El Dorado, and a few other varieties that are harnessed to impart a vibrant flavor, which is mostly defined by melon but also features plenty of citrus (the fruitiness doesn’t stop there, as it’s brewed with a type of yeast that delivers a little bit of peach on the palate).
Florida’s geographic location is also reflected in the decidedly East Coast style of the IPA. It may clock in at 55 IBUs, but the bitterness is almost nonexistent, and while there is a bit of haze, Florida Man stays true to its roots and avoids going Full New England.
Florida Man might not be a real person, but I think we all have a little bit of the internet’s favorite antihero somewhere deep down inside us.
I’d argue part of the reason the online trend exploded in the first place is because of people who want to live vicariously through the many individuals who’ve succumbed to that eternal urge to do something for the hell of it and deal with the consequences later (that spirit that partially served as the onus for this beer, and in this case, it worked out for the best).
Florida Man is no one, but in a way, everyone is Florida Man—and every beer drinker owes it to themself to give this one a try.