Quick, what’s the hardest thing about opening a brewery?
Okay, I will grant you funding and construction and legal issues with municipalities and advertising and maintenance and hiring, those are all very important. But for the sake of today’s article, we’re going to sweep all that aside and come to one of the greatest thorns in the side of America’s Craft Brewers: nomenclature.
Yep, you’ve made a beer, now what do you call the thing? Some people name it after some tongue-in-cheek reference to a pop culture icon. Some (and I love these brewers) use it to create insight and focus into local people and places of importance.
Bay Cannon Beer Co. in West Tampa went a completely different route.
Co-Owner Matthew Juaire let me know the secret to Bay Cannon’s incredible naming program is the rather creative use of first names. The way he tells it, they knew this issue was going to happen sooner or later, so they randomly pulled 100 girls names and 100 boys names and added them to a pile. Whenever a new beer was probably going to be canned or distributed in some way, they grabbed a name and voila! A fully christened beer.
The first beer they did that with was Xander (Hazy IPA, 6.5% ABV). Xander hit incredibly big, and so now his name is all over the place in West Tampa, even gracing a huge new delivery truck recently posted on Bay Cannon’s Instagram page.
The best part is one of our closest friends has a son named Xander. While he cannot drink yet, it’s still exciting to see his name everywhere.
This is for good reason, as there’s a lot to like about Xander. It’s a hazy IPA brewed with 100% Mosaic hops. Because of this, deep in the murky gold depths of the beer, there is a wonderfully citrus and vanilla aroma that’s backed up with a lurking dankness that is undeniable.
The flavor is fascinating. You have a citrus quality that is equal parts orange and grapefruit, but they are tied together with a very solid touch of pine resin. The resin gives way a bit to a soft alpha acid touch, and the grapefruit tends to give way to the orange.
Plus there is a soft, creamy sweetness that comes through in both the flavor and the mouthfeel. I’m not specifically saying that there’s lactose in there, but it sure feels like there’s could be some. In the end, you get a velvety citrus milkshake sort of IPA, one whose bitterness does not linger excessively long.
It’s definitely a bit on the hoppy side for people that may not necessarily like beers on the hoppy side. But if you’re looking for a moderate amount of hops in a balanced beer, this is perfect. Knowing that it is such a big seller for Bay Cannon, it is good to know this beer will probably around long enough for Xander to finally turn 21. But we can still get a picture of him in front of that truck. It’s quite exciting.
I sure hope my name comes around soon as well.
Drink Florida Craft,
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