Sometimes you find inspiration in the most unexpected of places. While I was wandering up and down my local H-E-B beer aisles the other day, I came across an IPA from Cigar City Brewing in Tampa that practically leapt off the shelf and into my cart, just begging to be this week’s subject.
If you’re a regular listener of Dana Loesch, you’ll remember her “Florida Man,” segment that celebrates, let’s say, the “unique” characters who live in the Sunshine State. I’m not sure what it is about Florida—maybe it’s all the sun, fun and low taxation—but something encourages the craziest of cats to reside there. It’s become such a common occurrence for weird news stories to begin with “A Florida man…” that barely a week goes by without a bizarre story in the category.
Recently one that caught my eye was entitled, “Florida man fights alligator with trash can.” Because of course he did. Eugene Bozzi, a newly transplanted Floridian, veteran, and father battled a six-foot-long alligator in his neighbor’s driveway with nothing but a trash can. “Somebody’s gotta step up and do something, we all got to look out for each other right?” he told Orlando news station WESH. Let’s go to the tape!
I mean, come on! Look at that man unfazed by the thrashing alligator hissing and chomping at him as he corrals it into that trash can. That’s just crazy! If there is an alligator in my yard, you can be sure I’m not going outside.
Now, unfortunately, these Florida Man stories don’t always have a happy ending. In fact, most of the time they lead to embarrassment or arrest. Take this recent story from WFLA entitled, “Florida man wielding sword sets fire in roadway, floods booking office after arrest, police say.”
Authorities say when they arrived to four-feet high flames in a Brevard County roadway, they found a man holding a sword and drinking alcohol.
According to police, the fire was in front of a man’s home who they visited around five times in the past six months for illegal burns. Officials say the fires ranged from being on the sidewalk, to taking up the entire street.
Officials say when they went to speak with suspect Scott Taylor he was sitting in his front yard holding a sword in his hand and had a knife in his waistband. Police say he was also actively drinking in front of them then began chugging from a half-gallon-sized Captain Morgan spiced rum.
Authorities say he dropped the knife and sword when asked but could not provide an answer as to why he started a fire in the roadway.
How much rum had the guy consumed before he was arrested? He looked blitzed out of his gourd. Of course the story gets better. While he was in a holding cell, the outlet reports, “he intentionally broke a fire sprinkler head, causing water to flood the cell and booking room.” Who can blame him? He was probably trying to sail out of the jail to meet Captain Morgan!
Sometimes a Florida Man does something both heroic and stupid, like the Sunshine State resident behind this story, “Florida man used Disney employee iPad to magically skip lines.” Now, I haven’t been to Disney World since I was a kid (Ahem!), but I hear that getting through the lines at the so-called “Happiest Place on Earth” can be aggravating. Although services like FastPass can alleviate some of that, 30-year-old Rennan Carletto just found a better way: use a Disney-owned iPad to skip the lines. According to Walt Disney World News Today:
Authorities caught a 30-year-old Orlando man giving an unauthorized tour of Hollywood Studios this summer with a Disney iPad that let him skip the ride lines, according to a new Orange County Sheriff’s report.
A Disney fraud investigator was on alert that someone outside the company may have gotten control of a device for Disney employees only. Over the past few days, his team had noticed unapproved overrides on a Disney app used to make reservations, the sheriff’s report said.
‘The app is used to facilitate entry into the front of the lines without having to stand in line to wait on the ride. The application is a private app for qualifying guests and is only installed on WDW company-owned devices,’ the sheriff’s report said. ‘The app is not available to the public for use.’
Now that’s both heroic and stupid. Those people in his tour group got to skip the lines at Disney World, which I’m sure made their trip downright Clooney-like. However, you have to be an idiot to think that Disney World, where they are so particular about how things run that there is an entire underground trash disposal system, would not pick up on the fact that some rogue tour group was skipping all the lines. Bravo to you, though, Florida Man, for making that trip to Disney World just a little bit easier for all those visitors.
That brings me back to the beer aisles at H-E-B. Cigar City Brewing out of Tampa, Florida makes several great beers. I first had their brews when I was in Naples, Florida helping my grandparents move a couple of years ago.
The beer I saw the other day is their “Florida Man Double IPA.” This DIPA is so tropical, it practically transports you to a white, sandy beach in the Sunshine State. It’s packed with Azacca, Citra, El Dorado, and Mandarina Bavarian hops. It also has a prominent peach punch to your palate and a touch of sweet malt.
What makes this a “Double” IPA, you may ask? Well, that’s not as easy a question to answer as you might think, but I went straight to the authorities to find the answer: the American Beer Judge Certification Program.
Their Beer Styles Guide says a Double IPA is, “An intensely hoppy, fairly strong pale ale without the big, rich, complex maltiness and residual sweetness and body of an American barleywine. Strongly hopped, but clean, dry, and lacking harshness. Drinkability is an important characteristic; this should not be a heavy, sipping beer.”
The fine folks at Tampa’s Cigar City checked all those boxes with the “Florida Man.” It’s certainly a stronger beer, with an ABV of 8.5 percent. It’s hop-forward but not harsh and bitter, and is dangerously drinkable. This six-pack can disappear shockingly fast from your fridge.
So, next time you need a pick me up, grab a Florida Man from the fridge and search “Florida Man” on your phone. You’ll be laughing for hours with a hoppy glass of sunshine in your hand.