It’s something I haven’t really mentioned a lot, especially since I’m not too terribly versed in it, but yes, Florida is pretty much the birthplace of NASCAR.
If you’ve never seen Daytona International Speedway up close, the size of it is just staggering. It’s monumental in a way that I’ve only seen in some statues in Asia dedicated to Genghis Khan. The funiest thing of all is that there is a full-size Cracker Barrel sitting in the middle of the parking lot, and around it is not so much parking and parking garages and transportation, but your standard everyday suburban sprawl.
As for NASCAR in the public consciousness, it is definitely there with video games and more driver shirts than you can shake a stick at. For movies, it’s difficult to not want to immediately go for quasi-Top Gun remake Days of Thunder, starring Top Gun star Tom Cruise and produced by Top Gun coke fiends Simpson and Bruckheimer.
To all of this, Tomoka Brewing Company, easily the biggest brewery in Volusia County, created Hops of Thunder (Pale Ale, 6.1% ABV, 66 IBU).
It’s got a decidedly deeper orange color that I’ve seen, even in some IPAs. It also has a bold aroma of dark citrus, like blood orange, mixed with some interesting earthy notes.
There’s a big kick to the beer, which may be more earthy than the citrus notes in the aroma, mixed with a solidly dark malt base that gives the finished product slight notes of fig and brown sugar.
Does It capture the spirit of racing? Um, sure? Does it capture the spirit of a great Central Florida city that is well known the world over? I would be a lot more ready to say yes to something like that.
It’s on tap right now at Tomoka, or you can see if you can find some more cans with the race car readily identifiable on the front.
And if you look far in the distance, I’m sure you can see that tiny little Cracker Barrel in the parking lot.
Drink Florida Craft,
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