The Brewery Chronicles: Cigar City Brewing

The Brewery

Good Beer Hunting

Good Beer Hunting

Cigar City Brewing is known as the best craft brewery in Florida for a reason. In less than 10 years the brewery went from producing a few core beers and 1,000 barrels to over 70,000 barrels in 2016, plus 6,000+ variants since opening— all without losing the core of their craft.

Scaling up so quickly can mean sacrificing flavor and integrity; Not to Joe Redner, who realized the only way to grow was by sticking to his roots and seeking out the help of people doing large-scale production the right way— which landed him in the hands of Oskar Blues in 2016. And anyone savvy in the craft beer industry knows that an acquisition doesn’t have to mean losing your identity. This was crucial to the fifth-generation Floridian founder.

I look to the early Cigar City to make sure we don’t stray from why it all got started in the first place. It is important to me that we get better at executing in everything we do, but I never want why we do it to change. It’s corny, but there really is a lot of passion and love behind it, and the reasons why the naive idiot that started Cigar City did so, needs to stay part of the Cigar City DNA.
— Cigar City Founder Joe Redner 

And the DNA behind this core-Florida brewery is good, keeping true to Latin roots and the history of tobacco-manufacturing history in Tampa Bay— which is why you can get a hand-rolled stogie in their tap room.

Below we’ve broken down what’s good, when it’s good and a few other things you'll be happy to know. 

 

The Beers

Good Beer Hunting

Good Beer Hunting

Cigar City Staples:

Jai Alai // 7.5% ABV // citrusy & boldly hoppy

Florida Cracker White Ale // 5.5% ABV // hazy, herbal with lemon & lime

Invasion Pale Ale // 5.0% ABV // tropical aromas with moderate bitterness

Madura Brown Ale // 5.5% ABV // chocolate, almond & brown sugar notes, clean coffee finish

Tampa-style Lager // 4.5% ABV // floral, spicy & crisp

A Few Rarities:

White Oak Jai Alai // 7.5% // January, February, June & July

Guayabera Citra Pale Ale // 5.5% // April & October

Marshal Zhukov’s Imperial Stout // 11.2% // August

Good Gourd Imperial Pumpkin Stout // 9.6% // September

Checkout their full 2017 release calendar here:

 

The Events

Hunahpu’s Day, There’s an App for That.

Date: Early March

Details: What began as a group of friends meeting in a warehouse to drink a unique Imperial Stout is now a sought-after craft beer event, featuring breweries from across the country & globe. And yes, there really is an app to help you navigate the event.

 

Eggs & Kegs Series

Date: once-a-month Sunday

Details: 4-course beer-based brunches held in the Tasting Room. Up next, Zhukov's Red Banner Brunch

 

Oskar Blues Burning Can

Dates: Colorado in June, North Carolina in July

Details: A weekend of music, camping, beer, biking, adventure & more. Well worth the trip out if you can get a weekend away (probably even worth canceling plans for). Check out the website for more info.

 

For an event much closer to home, join us for Cigar City Brewing Night, July 27th from 6-9 p.m. We'll have their rep Kyle in the store with brewery swag to give away and these beers on tap: Make America Grain Out Again DIPA, Key Lime Gose Florida Cracker, Jai Alai IPA and Pascua Pilsner.

Jax Beer Week 2016

Jax Beer Week is finally upon us and there’s nothing left to do but enjoy the hell out of it.

 

A little history . . .

While Jax Beer Week may be young in roots, it's roots are deep in the community. Jacksonville is home to 8 breweries and that number only continues to grow. These breweries do more than produce really good beer, they also positively affect the Jacksonville community. It only seems fitting we'd celebrate the Jacksonville craft beer scene for an entire week. Big shout out to Jax Beer Society for bringing this to reality.

 

THE FULL WEEK'S EVENT SCHEDULE:

Complete calendar below the full post.

 

HOME BREWING DEMONSTRATION WITH CHRIS LOCKWOOD

TOMORROW, Sept. 18th, 1-4 P.M. AT REALLY GOOD BEER STOP

Watch a young talent at work and learn how to brew your own beer. We'll be raffling off a few special bottles throughout the demonstration.* Open to the public, aka really free.

*One raffle ticket per pint purchase. Must be present to win.

 

ARTS & DRAFTS WITH FUNKY BUDDHA

MONDAY, Sept. 19th, 6-8 P.M. AT REALLY GOOD BEER STOP

Funky Buddha will be taking over a few of our taps and we aren't complaining one bit. We'll have tap handles for decorating. Funky Buddha will choose their favorite handle to win a special-release bottle the following week.

 

NO SLEEP TIL BROOKLYN

TUESDAY, Sept. 20th, 6-8 P.M. at Really Good Beer Stop

We're honoring two things Brooklyn does really well, beer and pizza. Sixpoint's rep will be in the store from 6-8 pm with some really good beers and we'll be giving away a free slice with every pint or flight purchase. Pizza provided by Biggie's Pizza.

 

YAPPY HOUR

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 21th, 6-8 P.M. AT REALLY GOOD BEER STOP

We'll have treats, raffles and dog-themed brews. A portion of the sales will go to Bark for Life and Relay for Life. Don’t forget to bring your pup. Check out event details: bit.ly/RGBSYappyHour

 

A TASTE OF SOUTHERN SWELLS BREWING CO.

THURSDAY, Sept. 22nd, 5-8 P.M. AT REALLY GOOD BEER STOP

Join us for Southern Swells Brewing Co.’s first ever public tasting event. We’ll have free samples and swag from the up-and-coming brewery to raffle off. Let us know you’ll be there: bit.ly/SouthernSwellsTastingNight

*There will be a limit of 50 people per hour allowed in due to limited space, thanks in advance for your understanding.

 

JAX BEACH PUB CYCLE

Friday, Sept 23rd, MEET US AT GREEN ROOM AT 6:30 P.M.

For a cycle tour of some great Jax Beach spots. We'll go from Green Room to Zeta Brewing, then the Blind Rabbit, ending at the Stop. Cyclists will get 1/2 off their first pint and 10% off their purchase. Giveaways are likely.

 

JBW MASH IN

SATURDAY, SEPT. 24, DOORS OPEN AT 1 P.M.

Spot the Really Good Beer Stop Shirt and we’ll give you a freebie. If you haven’t purchased your tickets for this event, do so here: bit.ly/MashInTickets

 

Add your favorite events to your calendar here: 

The Science Behind “Really Good Beer.”

There’s beer. There’s good beer. Then there’s really good beer. But what turns a good beer into a really good beer? 

The answer is...complicated. Not like your buddy's Facebook relationship status. Complicated, like there are several different factors that need to come together at the right time in order to make really good beer possible. And what separates good beer from really good beer is a science. So let’s take a look.

THE CRAFT. 

Every really good beer has the quality of craftsmanship. Perfecting beer requires trial and error, sweat, love, time, commitment, maybe even some tears, but that’s only if you spill the beer.

A really good beer has way more than just water, barley and yeast; it has unique ingredients like orange, lavender, coconut or chocolate. It’s pretty much like Valentine’s Day, but without the price fixe menu and over-priced roses. Then stick it in a bourbon barrel and wait a while. Your hard work and patience will always be rewarded in the form of delicious beer.

THE PEEPS.

Let's also remember people. Specifically, the people you're around when enjoying a really good beer. Think about it, you don't want to crack open a bitter IPA with an even more bitter ex-girlfriend, (or ex-boyfriend; we don't discriminate.) Whether it’s your old college roommate or the girl down the hall in accounting, beer can turn your drinking buddies into drinking besties.

THE SETTING. 

Finally, let's not forget about setting. Like the right people, the right place can turn any brew into your next favorite. Remember that porter you had during the '93 blizzard? That was a 'really good beer', wasn't it? The power was out, but your best friend came over with poker cards and you could feel the warmth of the subtle alcohol as if it were sitting on your chest. The aftertaste of oatmeal made it even better. 

The right beer at the right temperature in the right place with the right people. That's what makes a really good beer. And we’re here to help you get there by at least providing the really good beer part of it. Oh and did we mention we serve really good beer, to go? This just keeps getting better.

So, ladies and gents, welcome to the Really Good Beer Stop. What’ll it be?