Last September, a most alliterate duo — Coronado Brewing Company and Tampa, Florida’s acclaimed Cigar City Brewing — collaborated to create a “not so common” India pale ale. Dubbed “Last Spike,” it was the first of two beers brewed during Cigar City brewmaster Wayne Wambles’ and owner Joey Redner’s visit to Coronado’s Bay Park brewery. Last weekend, the second of those brews was introduced at Coronado’s tasting room: Coronado / Cigar City Jurata.
A Baltic porter (a style based on the English classic, but from the namesake Northern European region and differing from all other porters in that it is fermented with lager yeast), the beer’s name translates to "sea" in Polish and references the collaborators’ shared ocean-adjacency, albeit on separate coasts.
Despite being a low-hopped lager in a hoppy ale town, Jurata fits right into the San Diego suds scene. After all, it’s a high-alcohol style of beer, like most of America’s Finest’s standout brews, coming in at 8% ABV. And in terms of falling snugly into Coronado Brewing’s portfolio, Jurata is also the name of a mythical mermaid said to inhabit the Baltic Sea, making for a stylish bottle design that mirrors CBC’s buxom mermaid-adorned 12s and 22s.
The beer pours inky yet effervescent. Chilled, it initially tastes very tight in its roasted character, coming across slightly sweet like orbs from a pack of Whoppers. After warming to room temperature, the beer becomes more complex, with pronounced anise-like spikes emerging thanks to a touch of Carafa in the malt bill. It’s a brilliant interpretation of a style scarcely seen in San Diego County.