Last Tuesday night was the scene in Fort Lauderdale for American Craft Beer Week at the Riverside Market. Hosting a Cigar City Brewing Takeover, this craft beer store and cafe had special releases of Cigar City’s finest brews. Below is just a sampling of the brews offered that night.
- City Cider and Mead Homemade Apple Pie
- Tocobaga Red Ale
- Puppy’s Breath Porter
- Humidor Series American Sour Ale
- Florida Cracker White Ale
- Hopped on the High Seas Caribbean IPA
- Mixed Berry Berliner Weisse
- Jai Alai IPA
We began our tasting with Hopped on the High Seas. This copper colored IPA had a fresh hoppy taste with a citrus finish and the aroma was fruity and playful, yet balanced and smooth. This beer would be stellar for sipping while reading your favorite novel on the beach. We followed it up with the Mixed Berry Berliner Weisse, their top tasting/selling beer of the night. This unique sour draft was selling like hot cakes! This pink, smoothie-looking beer tasted like fresh picked berries soaking in a sour beer. We can still taste this beer even though it was last week!
Our third mention of the night is a toss up between the Humidor Series American Sour Ale and the Cigar City and Meads’ Homemade Apple Pie. The Humidor Sour Ale had such a powerful melon tart it’s hard to follow up it with any other beer. But we did have another beer as a follow-up, well… not exactly a beer.
Cigar City and Mead Homemade Apple Pie was exactly what we needed to finish the night at Riverside Market. The cider poured into our pint glass like a shimmering syrup. With little to no foamy head and hardly any carbonation, this mashup cider smelled and tasted exactly like its namesake. Hands down this sweet tasting cider hit all the right notes. Consisting of apple pie; apples, nutmeg, brown sugar and cinnamon flavors and aromas, it’s was a desert in a pint!
On a side note, if you have been to the Riverside Market then you already know about their small cafe located towards the back. Serving both hot and cold sandwiches and more. With a variety of potato chips and flatbread pizza, Riverside Market hits the nail on the head when it comes to home-cooked food. We ordered the Big Tuna Melt and the Grilled Cheese. The Big Tuna Melt came out warm to the touch and mixed with lite mayo and rich Albacore tuna flavor. (Nomster Laureen preferred more mayo as she hardly tasted it, but at least it was healthy?) The Grilled Cheese came fresh off the press with steam dancing off the cheese. Laureen’s only qualm with the grilled cheese was the American Cheese. The cheese seemed to harden immediately upon cooling – she wanted it to be a little gooier and stringy – maybe order it with cheddar or swiss.
All in all, we have nothing bad to say about the simple, home-cooked food, the neighborly service, and the speed the food came out. Next time we need to get our grubby hands on their best-selling flatbread pizzas that look amazing.
We do want to round out Cigar City Brewing Takeover by mentioning our not favorite beers of the night. The Puppy’s Breath Porter was a single-noted beer with its hints of chocolate but at best a basic malt taste. While not bad, it wasn’t memorable either. Tocobaga Red Ale had a piney smell when put to nose, we feel this beer runs quick. There wasn’t that full flavor and meandering aftertaste one would expect from a red ale. We wished both these beers pressed more. On their own, we’re sure these beers hit all the marks and checks, but when standing up against the might of the other beers, they do get lost.
The Florida Cracker White Ale and the Jai Alai IPA are good beers in their own right. We consider these the bread and butter of Cigar City Brewing. The Jai Alai being one of our favorite IPA brews. We opted to skip over these beers because we already enjoy them year round!
We had a great super time at Riverside Market’s Cigar City Brewing Takeover. We look forward to every takeover this hidden gem has to offer.