Michiganders in the Grand Rapids area will soon be able to sample an iconic IPA from Florida…brewed in the Mitten.
Jai Alai in Michigan? Brewed north of the Florida Georgia Line? It’s happening (once, at least), thanks to the connections between Tampa’s Cigar City and Comstock Park’s Perrin Brewing.
The two breweries – both owned by Fireman Capital, along with Colorado’s Oskar Blues – are “collaborating” on a single batch of the IPA brewed in the Mitten as opposed to the Sunshine State.
Cigar City is not yet distributed to Michigan – the closest their distribution currently gets to the Midwest is Pennsylvania and Virginia – but seeing this as a shot across the bow of Michigan’s beer fans wouldn’t be crazy. The Fireman Capital team has leaned on existing distribution networks before, using Oskar Blues’ network to piggyback Perrin into Colorado in May 2016, so the idea of extending Cigar City’s reach into MI on the backs of Perrin’s network isn’t farfetched at all.
Will that happen this year? And what about Illinois? A few weeks ago, we reached out to Cigar City’s press contact to ask if Jai Alai would ever see a Chicago-area release, and we received a not-no answer. Per the press person: “Due to the way our distribution partnerships are worded, I cannot confirm markets until everything is finalized. I can say that multiple new states are set to open in 2017.”
Or just head up to Southwest Michigan in a few weeks for a pour. Probably a bit easier than hopping a flight to Tampa (though it would be warmer down there right now…hmmm…)
For Immediate Release 1/11/17
COMSTOCK, MI & TAMPA, FL – Innovation & Celebration: Cigar City Brewing’s Jai Alai Produced in Comstock in Celebration of Collaborative Partnership
Partnership, innovation and celebration are all terms that come to mind when discussing the latest collaboration between Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing and Comstock’s Perrin Brewing Company, a Michigan brewed Jai Alai IPA. Born out of the desire to celebrate this partnership, this brew, overseen by Cigar City’s Brewmaster Wayne Wambles, is scheduled to be released January 28th in the Perrin Pub. This will be the first time Cigar City has served it’s beer in Michigan and will be the one and only batch of Michigan-brewed Jai Alai IPA.
Wayne personally traveled to Perrin’s Comstock Park facility in early January to reproduce his award-winning Jai Alai recipe alongside Perrin’s Director of Brewing operations John Stewart. Translating Cigar City’s iconic IPA to be brewed in Michigan was no easy task; Wambles meticulously recreated Tampa’s mineral-rich water profile and sent lot-specific hops from Cigar City Brewing’s Tampa facility to Perrin to match every facet of his citrus-forward ale. “I feel really good about the results,” said Wambles. “After seeing the pH of the mash and kettle and the color post-boil, I think we hit this brew out of the park. Beer lovers in Michigan will be able to enjoy Jai Alai as fresh as they would if they were in Tampa. John and his team are superbly talented brewers and I’ve been excited to work alongside them.”
Clocking in at 7.5% ABV, Jai Alai IPA features an intense bouquet of tangerine and candied orange peel entice the nose while flavors of clementines, Valencia orange and subtle caramel provide counterpoint to an assertive bitterness and rich malt character. Bold hop flavor and aroma from six different hop varietals is front and center in this flavorful American IPA.
The Perrin Pub will be the only place to try this limited release brew, and both breweries plan for this release to be one-time-only.
About Perrin Brewing Company: Established in 2012, Perrin Brewing Company of Comstock Park, MI is committed to crafting high-quality and consistent brews among each of the products with a focus on a classic look backed with a revolutionary taste. Offering over 20+ beers in the taproom, Perrin intends to find a brew fit for everyone. Through the Oskar Blues/Perrin/Cigar City ownership team, Perrin has experienced exponential growth among package offerings, out-of-state distribution and an increase in barrel production. Perrin Brewing anticipates to brew over 26,000 barrels in 2016, a 70% increase over 2015. For more information, visit www.perrinbrewing.com
About Cigar City Brewing: Cigar City Brewing, makers of Jai Alai IPA and Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout, was founded in 2009 by Joey Redner with the goal of creating quality beer that reflected the flavors and history of the Tampa region. This unique perspective resonated with the local and national markets alike and the brewery has quickly grown from 1,000 barrels of beer in 2009 to an excess of 65,000 barrels produced in 2016. The 2016 partnership with Oskar Blues of Lyons, Colorado ushered in a new era of growth for this Florida-based organization, with new markets and technologies on the horizon. For more information, visit www.cigarcitybrewing.com.
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