What does Bradenton rock band Have Gun, Will Travel taste like?
Hoppy, citrusy and refreshing, according to Cigar City Brewing, which recently brewed a pale ale in the group's honor.
The new High Road Ale, named for an upcoming single, is part of a collaboration between the band, Cigar City and Rock Brothers Brewing. Rock Brothers hopes to expand the project to create distinctive brews for several other bands, said Kevin Lilly, co-owner of the company.
"We are in negotiations with four national acts for our next collaboration," he said. "But for our first one we wanted to keep it Central Florida and highlight a hometown band."
Have Gun, Will Travel visited the Cigar City Brewing tasting room to get a feel for what they do and give suggestions as to what they wanted the beer to say. The definite idea from those meetings: it needed to be sessionable, said Justin Clark, vice president of Cigar City.
"This beer is 5 percent alcohol content by volume because they perform shows in bars and they wanted people to be able to have more than one," Clark said.
Band members told head brewer Wayne Wambles that they practice near the Tropicana Plant. He also listened to all four of the band's CDs.
"It's music you listen to unwind. It's laid-back and they make a lot of references to Florida and growing up in the Tampa Bay area," Wambles said.
For the High Road Ale, he combined Pacifica hops from New Zealand, Galaxy hops from Australia and an American hop called Citrex to produce an almost orange marmalade flavor. "There's no fruit added and all the citrus flavor is coming from the hops we use," Clark said.
The band was pleased.
People hoping to taste High Road Ale can go to any World of Beer from Tampa to Bradenton; MacDinton's, the Mandarin Hyde and the Postcard Inn in Pinellas County and The Dubliner in South Tampa.