It's a smart bit of marketing, branding a freshly finished beer with the hype of the local football phenomenon. It's low risk, too: If the surprise performance of Bucs backup quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick didn't continue into a third and final week before Jameis Winston returns from a three-game suspension, you could always just change the name on the tap board.
Fortunately, St. Pete Brewing Company won't need to make any changes to Fitzmagic, its new double IPA that was named and released after Fitzpatrick threw over 400 yards and four touchdowns in each of the Bucs' first two games, resulting in a shocking 2-0 start and an instant meme of a news conference.
This 8.4 percent brew is powerful and lean, generously hopped with Citra and Galaxy. Although those hop varieties are generally associated with the tropical, fruit-forward IPAs that are currently popular, Fitzmagic is dry and fairly bitter — more of an old-school, West Coast DIPA but with subtle underlying notes of mango and grapefruit in place of the earthy, resiny hops generally found in those beers.
Of course, Fitzpatrick failed to bring the Bucs to victory on Monday, but a rally from a 20-point deficit in the second half was as close to magic as you'll find, and, of course, he threw for over 400 yards again. The nickname stays. (Although St. Pete Brewing goes with the lower-case "m" while most sports types opt for "FitzMagic.")
Whether you're a Bucs fan, a lover of classic DIPAs or some combination thereof, you'll want to swing by St. Pete Brewing's tasting room at 544 First Ave. N for a glass. The name was affixed to a full-scale, seven-barrel brew, so it'll be on tap for Week 4. Will Fitzpatrick start in place of Winston? Will the magic continue?
Yes or no, we'll still have the beer.
— Justin Grant
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