Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing (CCB) has announced the introduction of Wedge Cut, an American Wheat Ale brewed with lemon peel and Lemon Drop hops, as a seasonal offering. New to the seasonal line-up in 2019, this balanced, hoppy and fruit-forward ale draws inspiration from Florida’s cigar history, its citrus industry and its status as an outdoors destination.
Inspiration for Wedge Cut American Wheat Ale was drawn from Hopsteiner Farm’s Lemon Drop hop, first released in 2001. A moderate alpha acid hop, Lemon Drop is prized for its distinct aroma and flavor of lemon zest and, indeed, lemon drops. Beginning with this hop profile, the CCB production team developed an American Wheat Ale recipe that utilizes malted wheat for the style’s signature texture and flavor. Willamette hops are used for bittering before the beer is fermented with a clean, neutral American Ale yeast. Coming in at 4.5% ABV, Wedge Cut American Wheat Ale is a flavorful, approachable and sessionable offering from one of the fastest growing breweries in the U.S.
To name the beer, CCB looked to its Florida roots. A wedge cut cigar cutter cuts the cap of a cigar in a “v” shape and spreads the smoke of a fine cigar wider over the palate. The name continues CCB’s tradition of honoring Tampa’s cigar making history. The name also references one of Florida’s favorite outdoor activities, as a wedge is a type of golf club. Finally, Wedge Cut brings to mind a lemon wedge, a nod to the beer’s specialty ingredient as well as Florida’s thriving citrus industry.
“With this recipe, our brewers and I wanted to highlight the expression of Hopsteiner’s very unique Lemon Drop hop,” says Sean Sasscer, Director of Brewing Operations at CCB. “On its own, the hop gives off flavors and aromas of lemon zest and lemon oil. When it’s combined with actual lemon peel, the hop takes on a remarkable lemon drop and overripe citrus quality. We’re really pleased with the play between ingredients in this beer.”