Cigar City Brewing

I’d never been to a micro brewery tasting before, so when I heard about a Cuban dinner and beer tasting at Padrino’s, I asked Martin if he’d like to go. Since it combined two of Linda’s least favorite things—beer and Cuban food—I didn’t bother to ask Linda!

The event was a lot of fun, mainly because the beers were very unusual and complicated and different from each other, and all really matched the courses with which they were paired.

We were also lucky that we sat next to Matt and Phil from Lockheed. Phil knew as much about beer as we knew about wine, so it made for some interesting discussions.

Justin from Cigar City Brewery hosted.

The dinner featured five traditional Cuban dishes—tostones with chorizo, roast pork, ropa vieja, paella and tres leches—each served with a Cigar City craft beer specifically chosen to enhance the flavors.

The food was good, though not the best Cuban in town (that’s at Numero Uno).

The beers:

Maduro Brown Ale 5.5%
coffee, minerals, good bitter to sweet balance, 92

Guava Grove
Guava purée secondary fermentation Belgian farmhouse brew
Yeasty, sour, hint of fruit, mint, a difficult brew to like due to its sourness, 89

Big sound scotch ale
Thick, malty, plum, sweet, licorice, 94

Jaialai IPA (India Pale Ale) draught
Tropical fruit, apricot, citrus, hops, 92

Cubano Espresso
Coffee beans added to brown ale
Not chewy, but complex and with a long coffee finish

Afterward, Martin and I sat outside with Cohibas and Gran Marnier, and listened to the agonized screams from the sports bat across the parking lot as the Magic ended their season.