Tag Archives: Cigar City Brewing

Black Sheep to host beer dinner throw down

black_sheepA month or so ago, Black Sheep Restaurant tried to hold a unique beer dinner at their rooftop dining area. Unfortunately, Mother Nature had other plans and torrential rain forced the cancellation of the event. So, to make it up to those beer lovers who missed out, the restaurant has rescheduled the event for Wednesday, September 16 between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.

The concept: pit two legendary breweries against each other in a beer pairing throw down.

The breweries: Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing and Southern California’s Stone Brewing.

Created by Chef Waylon Rivers, the menu is an opulent mélange of surf and turf creations. Think ceviche, scallops and beef short ribs. Creative and exciting stuff.

The beers will be presented by representatives of each brewery and are chosen to highlight the dish they are served alongside.  Both Cigar City and Stone are known for their assertive and flavor-forward brews and for this shoot out, they have brought the big guns. Heady brews such as Stone Hifi Lowfi Blended Ale and Cigar City Seasonal Creep are featured prominently.

First Course

Shrimp Ceviche, Compressed Water Melon, Shishito Peppers, Mezcal

Paired with:
Stone Goto Session IPA
Cigar City Invasion IPA

Second Course

Little Pig Ear Salad

Paired with:
Stone Hifi Lowfi Blended Ale
Cigar City Cracker White

Third Course

Seared Scallop, Summer Squash Salad, Upland Cress Gazpacho

Paired with:
Stone Delicious IPA
Cigar City Hard Cider

Fourth Course

Coffee Glazed Short Rib, Black Eye Pea Salad, Red Eye Vinaigrette

Paired with:
Stone Collaboration Woot Stout
Cigar City Seasonal Creep

In addition to the elaborate food to be served, the service itself is somewhat unique. Instead of a seated dinner, diners are encouraged to arrive when they feel like it anytime during the dinner’s hours. Dishes will be served reception style on diner’s time schedules, not in a rush as is often the case at beer dinners.

Tickets for the event are $40 (not including tax and gratuity) and are available from the restaurant. Call (904) 380-3091 for more details and to purchase a ticket.

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Posted by on September 15, 2015 in Beer Dinner


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Brew Hub opens first brewery in Lakeland

_MG_4119Brew Hub, a company led by a team of beer industry executives and craft-brewing experts, has opened its first brewery in Lakeland, Fla. The 50,000 square-foot brewery is the first of a network of five new, state-of-the-art craft breweries the company is planning to build that will offer craft brewers the opportunity to partner brew their beers on site.

Partner brewing is a process that allows craft breweries to brew their beer to exact specifications under the supervision of their own brewmaster, and to package and distribute from Brew Hub. Brew Hub also offers its partners services including sales, marketing, logistics, legal, and government affairs. Partner brewing allows craft brewers to expand their distribution without the overhead costs of building a new brewery or the complexity of contract brewing at third-party facilities.

“It’s an exciting time to be in the craft beer industry. There are so many craft brewers making amazing beer and the demand from consumers is almost insatiable – especially in Florida,” said Brew Hub CEO Tim Schoen. “The opening of our first craft brewery in Lakeland is significant because our partner model will allow many of these craft brewers the opportunity to expand their business and reach new consumers throughout the Southeast and beyond.”

The Lakeland brewery is located in Interstate Commerce Park off the I-4 Corridor and has an initial brewing capacity of 75,000 barrels, or one million cases, annually. The site’s central location will allow the company to efficiently distribute beer to wholesalers throughout Florida and the Southeast.

The Lakeland location features a 3,000-foot tasting room and patio. The brewery also will offer merchandise and brewery tours. Brew Hub will employ approximately 30 people at its Lakeland brewery in brewing, operations, front office and its tasting room.

Brew Hub currently has partnerships with several award-winning craft brewers, including Cigar City Brewing, Orange Blossom Pilsner, Green Man Brewing and BJ’s Restaurants (Nasdaq: BJRI). Brew Hub partner brews beer for all four companies at the Lakeland brewery.
Brew Hub also plans to brew the Brew Hub Craft Collection, a series of distinctive craft beers created by the company.

Brew Hub plans to open four more breweries during the next five years. Specific markets will be determined based on demand, but the company is considering strategic locations in the Midwest, Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Texas and West Coast regions. This network of Brew Hub facilities will allow craft brewers from across the country to enter new markets.

Brew Hub was founded by a team of beer industry executives led by CEO Tim Schoen and Brew Hub President Jerry Mullane. Brew Hub’s financial sponsor is a private investment firm, The Yucaipa Companies.

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Posted by on September 5, 2014 in Craft Beer Brewery


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Hunahpu’s Day draft list leaked

hunahpu_2014As I was perusing Facebook this afternoon I saw a curious link. It opened a Google spreadsheet file the author purports to be the draft list for Cigar City’s Hunahpu’s Day beer festival. If this is indeed the list, it has some impressive entries. And, if years past are any indication, more amazing beers will be added to the list up to the last minute.

Without further ado, I present to you the possible draft list for Huanhpu’s Day 2014:

B. Nektar Meadery — Dwarf Invasion

B. Nektar Meadery — Kill All the Golfers

B. Nektar Meadery — Necromangocon

B. Nektar Meadery — Zombie Killer

Barley Mow Brewing Co. — S’mores Imperial Chocolate Stout

Barley Mow Brewing Co. — The Unkindness Black IPA

CCB/Ecliptic — Illumting the Path Pinot Noir Barrel-aged Ale

CCB/Max Lager’s — Black Ash American Black Ale

CCB/The Bruery — Dos Costas Oeste – Grapefruit

CCB/The Bruery — Dos Costas Oeste – Spanish cedar

CCB/Widmer Bros — Gentlemen’s Club – Bourbon Barrel-aged

CCB/Widmer Bros — Gentlemen’s Club – New Oak-aged

CCB/Widmer Bros — Gentlemen’s Club – Rye Whiskey Barrel-aged

Cigar City Brewing — Apple Brandy Barrel-aged Warmer Winter Winter Warmer

Cigar City Brewing — Bourbon Barrel-aged Jose Marti American Porter

Cigar City Brewing — Brandy Barrel-aged Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout

Cigar City Brewing — Don Gavino’s Big Guava Sour Ale

Cigar City Brewing — Double Barrel Hunahpoopoo Imperial Stout

Cigar City Brewing — Double Barrel Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout

Cigar City Brewing — Good Gourd Imperial Pumpkin Ale

Cigar City Brewing — Good Gourd Almighty Rum Barrel-aged Imperial Pumpkin Ale

Cigar City Brewing — Hunahpoopoo Imperial Stout

Cigar City Brewing — Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout

Cigar City Brewing — Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout

Cigar City Brewing — Kalevipoeg at the Gates of Hell Bourbon Barrel-aged Baltic Porter

Cigar City Brewing — Kalevipoeg Baltic Porter

Cigar City Brewing — Life is Like…Bourbon Barrel-aged Chocolate Cherry Imperial Stout

Cigar City Brewing — Rum Barrel-aged Final Push Imperial Stout

Cigar City Brewing — Rum Barrel-aged Marshal Zhukov’s Imperial Stout

Cigar City Brewing — Warmer Winter Winter Warmer

Florida Avenue Brewing — Coconut Brown Ale

Gravity Brewlab — Grodzilla

Gravity Brewlab — Malt Licker

Gravity Brewlab — Marathon in Your Mouth

Gravity Brewlab — Sour Cherry Basque Cider

Hardywood Park Craft Brewery — Bourbon Barrel-aged Gingerbread Stout

J Wakefield Brewing — BA Nothing

J Wakefield Brewing — DFPF

J Wakefield Brewing — Kryptoweiss

J Wakefield Brewing — Miami Madness

New Belgium Brewing — Love’s Leopold

Oskar Blues — Dale’s Pale Ale

Oskar Blues — Old Chub Scotch Ale

Saint Somewhere Brewing — Crepuscule

Saint Somewhere Brewing — E’te’ Sans Fin

Saint Somewhere Brewing — Lectio Divina

Saint Somewhere Brewing — Scourge

Saint Somewhere Brewing — Soleil Reverie

Tomoka Brewery — Pumpernickel Porter

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Posted by on January 24, 2014 in Beer


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Cigar City Brewing releases 2014 beer calendar

CigarCityBrewingIt is no secret that Florida is blowing up as a state to be reckoned with in the craft beer industry. With new breweries opening at a breakneck clip and more established breweries scrambling to expand their production capacity, things are definitely looking up for beer-lovers in the Sunshine state. And through all the hustle and bustle to make Florida a standout state in brewing, Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing Company has been a guiding force.

Considered one of the best breweries in the country by beer fans and the press, Cigar City has won their notoriety through producing high quality core beers as well as highly-sought-after special releases and seasonals. USA Today ranked the brewery as the nation’s fifth best saying, “…Cigar City, a Florida favorite, has fans from far outside the Panhandle state for their unique lineup of beers.” And Paste Magazine says of the brewery’s beers, “Cigar City’s Good Gourd was one of Paste’s Best Pumpkin choices and the second-highest beer we reviewed all year-long. The Jai Alai IPA took second-place in our 64-beer IPA challenge.”

Owner Joey Redner started the brewery as a result of a trip he took to Portland, Ore. for a wedding in 1994. Before that he says he had not been exposed to much in the way of craft or import beer. But, when he tasted fresh craft beer in the beer crazed northeast, he was hooked. In 2004, Redner began experimenting with brewing his own home batches of beer. He also began writing a beer column for the St. Petersburg Times that allowed him to evangelize about the pleasures of craft beer.

Several years later, Redner began looking at the feasibility of starting his own brewery. Along the way, he met up with Wayne Wambles, a brewer who had worked for several other breweries including the now defunct Buckhead Brewing Company of Atlanta, Ga. and Foothills Brewing Company of North Carolina. Wambles brought with him a wealth of brewing knowledge and skill that included multiple medals from the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup.

With the addition of a head brewer, Cigar City Brewing was on its way to becoming a legend in southern beer production. The brewery started with a 15 BBL brewhouse tucked in to a 6,600 sq. ft. warehouse. The first order was filled and sold in March of 2009.

Since then Cigar City has expanded its brewing operation and has become a powerhouse brewer in the Southeastern United States. Fans pack the brewery for their special releases like the annual Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout. At last year’s Hunahpu’s Day Release event, beer hounds by the thousands lined up in the middle of the night prompting a change in the event for the 2014 release.

Recently, the brewery has announced their 2014 release schedule including a greater emphasis on nitro brews that is sure to be a hit with beer lovers.


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Posted by on January 6, 2014 in Beer, Craft Beer Brewery


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Cigar City Brewing Company Hunahpu’s Day 2014 set, but with changes

hunahpu_2014Last year Hunahpu’s Day at Cigar City was a lot of fun. It was also flawed. By midnight the night before the release there was already a hefty line of beer hounds queued up to gain access to the event. A few hours later there were more than 300 lined up. By the time the sun came up the line stretched several blocks, into nearby businesses parking lots with thousands of beer lovers. This prompted the businesses to call the police who consequently issued the ultimatum to the brewery that they either open the event early and get the people off the street or it would be shut down.

Another issue with the event was poor line management, particularly for the most popular beers. Lines for some were hours long and unscrupulous imbibers routinely cut into the line making the wait even longer for those behind them. And worse still, the folks pouring the beer were hired from a staffing agency and had no experience serving. This made for confusion and foamy beer.

To try and cut down on these issues for this year’s event, the brewery has decided to make the event a ticketed festival with maximum attendance set at 3,500. Attendees will not have to purchase tokens to exchange for tastes, instead the single admission ticket will entitle them to sample as many beers as they like for the duration of the event.

In an announcement posted to FaceBook, December 30, the brewery said that bottles of Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout would be available throughout the day. Details on bottle limit have not been announced yet.

The Cigar City Brewing Company Hunahpu’s Day event will take place March 8, 2014 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the brewery in Tampa, Fla. Tickets will cost $50. Ticket purchase details have not been released yet, but the brewery has said that members of their El Catador Club will have first opportunity to get the tickets.

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Posted by on December 30, 2013 in Beer, Beer Festival, Events


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