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.