Florida pine cover the dry sides of the rails. Palm trees being dragged back down to earth by the gripping vines of strangler figs. Deep black pools dotted with Lilly pads pass by like clouds. Although we are still relatively close to the Atlantic, the swamp has taken over the landscape. Replacing the warehouses with bogs, the graffiti with the lush greens and browns of this tropical paradise.
The train heads west cutting over the top of Lake Okeechobee, the heart and life force of the Everglades. It is during these summer months that buckets of water pour from the skies, feeding the lake which spills into the River of Grass. We must have passed through 20 heavy downpours going across the state. Large bolts of lightening flash in the distance across deep black and purple skies. Give it another minute or so and you can’t see ten feet from the train window. The skies, like the fauna surrounding the tracks, are alive today.
And then, Tampa… Time to crack open a Cigar City Helles Lager. Just in time. Cool crisp lager is the only way to refresh your palate on a hot train ride in the south. Contrary to the deceiving name, this lager has no added spice. Here are some tasting notes:
Cigar City- Hotter than Helles Lager
pours a light gold color with minimal short lasting head
smells of leavened bread, fresh yeast, lemons and orange peel
tastes tangy, bready, malty, with a slightly sulfuric aftertaste that instantly stales the breath
heavily carbonated, lingering, soft silk coats the mouth
overall, a light and extremely refreshing lager. Perfect for the hot summer months in the south.