Tag Archives: Cigar City

Cigar City expanding distribution to North Carolina

jaialai1Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing Company is a true Florida success story. Coming from humble beginnings and crafty outstanding brews, they have grown to become one of the best-known breweries in Florida. Their annual Hunahpu’s Day Craft Beer Festival and bottle release attracts beer-lovers and brewers from around the country and even the world.

Now, the company is expanding its domestic distribution to North Carolina to grow its U.S. footprint and bring Florida-style brews like flagship Jai Alai IPA to the beer fanatics of the Blue Ridge Mountains and beyond.

Get all the distribution and launch event details in the official press release below:

TAMPA, FL & ASHEVILLE, NC – Cigar City Brewing Company Announces North Carolina

Tampa, Florida’s Cigar City Brewing is proud to announce the addition of North Carolina to
the brewery’s distribution network. This is the second new state to receive deliveries of
Cigar City Brewing’s award-winning beer in over four years. CCB will be partnering with
numerous distribution partners to cover the state including Skyland Distributing Co.,
United Beverages of North Carolina, R.H. Barringer Distributing Company, Long Beverage
Inc., Carolina Distributing LLC, Healy Wholesale Co Inc., Atlantic Shores Distributors,
Coastal Beverage Co. and City Beverage Co Inc. Twelve ounce cans of Jai Alai IPA, Maduro
Brown Ale, Florida Cracker Belgian-style White Ale, Invasion Pale Ale and Tampa-style
Lager can currently be found in this new market with draft beer to follow shortly behind.

Market launch events will be taking place across North Carolina from March 21st thru
March 29th with numerous Cigar City Brewing representatives present, including Cigar
City Brewing’s El Lector Neil Callaghan and Brand Manager Lucas Widrick. These events
will be incredible opportunities for North Carolina’s craft beer fans to enjoy some of the
first CCB beer to be shipped to the state and to learn about Cigar City Brewing’s brand and
it’s award winning beer from the people who know it best.

Cigar City Brewing’s official North Carolina Launch Party will be taking place at Oskar
Blues’ Tasty Weasel Taproom in Brevard on Saturday, March 25th beginning at noon. This
event will feature specialty Cigar City Brewing taps, a Jai Alai-infused food special from the Oskar Blues CHUBwagon food truck and live music from South Carolina rockers The
Excons from 6-8pm.

Cigar City Brewing’s beer, including award-winning Jai Alai IPA, is now available in eight
states encompassing Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York,
Tennessee and North Carolina. Cigar City Brewing’s ales and lagers are also exported to
the country of Denmark.

Cigar City Brewing’s North Carolina Launch Events

Week of 3/20 – Raleigh
● 3/21: Tyler’s Durham
● 3/22: Raleigh Times
● 3/23: Raleigh Beer Garden

Week of 3/20 – Brevard
● 3/25: Launch party at Oskar Blues Brewery’s Tasty Weasel Taproom in Brevard

Week of 3/27 – Asheville
● 3/27: Barley’s (Asheville)
● 3/28: Creekside Tavern
● 3/29: Black Rose (Hendersonville)

Week of 3/27 – Charlotte
● 3/28: Brawley’s Beverage
● 3/29: Duckworth’s (Huntersville)
● 3/30: Pub Crawl — Harris Teeter #11, Growler USA, Kit’s Trackside Craft, The

Fillmore Charlotte (for The Flaming Lips show)

Visit Cigar City Brewing’s website [ ] to find the CCB beer closest to

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Posted by on March 22, 2017 in Beer, Beer News


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Cold weather means big beer releases

Coco_Jones_LgDuring this time of year it is not uncommon for breweries to release their heavier beers. For instance, last month Funky Buddha Maple Bacon Coffee Porter was release to great fanfare at the brewer’s South Florida brewery. Closer to home, this weekend Jacksonville brewery Intuition Ale Works is releasing its annual Underdark Imperial Stout and next month Tampa brewery Cigar City will host a beer festival where they will release their Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout.

All three of these release events draw heavy beer fans from all over the state and region. Fans stand in line for hours to get their hands on their allotment of these highly-coveted and extremely-limited bottles. Often, the hearty souls share bottles of other high-end brews among themselves as they wait.

Scoring a bottle of these brews is akin to catching a home run baseball at Camden Yards, it is something beer aficionados treat as a badge of honor. Many collectors have multiple vintages of the beers aging in their beer cellars and bring them out only on special occasions.

But, what happens if you cannot make one of these bottle release extravaganzas? Well, there is always the beer trading circuit. If a collector has a bottle that is desired by another collector a trade may be negotiated. Or, if a taste of the beer is enough to satiate craving, bottle shares are common within the craft beer community.

Another way to score a taste of these rare beers is to watch for tasting events at local bars and bottle shops sponsored by the breweries. For instance, if you were unable to make the pilgrimage to South Florida for the Funky Buddha Maple Bacon Coffee Porter release event last month, your chances of tasting the brew are not lost. In a recent post on its website, the brewery has announced that the beer is going on tour throughout Florida.

Over the next few months you will likely see several tastings of Underdark pop up around Jacksonville and other markets where Intuition beers are sold. Hunahpu’s though is a rare find on tap. It may show up in one or two places after the bottle release, but traditionally it is pretty hard to find.

So, if you are after these big beers, it is best to try to make it to a bottle release. But, if that is not possible, ask around at local beer pubs about bottle shares and watch for special tappings. For lovers of big beers, the brews discussed in this article are more than worth the effort to find them.

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Posted by on February 5, 2016 in Beer, Beer Releases


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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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Kitchen on San Marco to host Cigar City beer dinner

Kitchen on San Marco FrontKitchen on San Marco (KOSM), as I reported here earlier , takes both beer and food seriously. And, in what promises to be one of the first of many beer dinners, KOSM and Cigar City are teaming up to bring beer-lovers a dream night of beer and food pairings. While the food menu is still in development, the beer list is impressive.

Guests can expect to be greeted with a welcoming pint of Cigar City Cider from 6:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Dinner begins at 6:30 with six courses created by Chef Ryan built around eight-ounce pours of the following six beers:

  • Lue Gim Gong Pale Ale – Fried Green Tomato Stack / Peekytoe Crab / Heirloom Tomato
  • Lemongrass ginger IPA – Day Boat Grouper Crudo/ Datil Peppers / Charred Citrus/Micro  Lemon Basil
  • Jai Lai – Nashville “Hot” Chicken / House Pickle/ Buttermilk Cornbread
  • Vanilla Maduro – Crispy Duck Breast / Baby Beets/Watermelon / Benne
  • Caffe Americano – Cocoa Nib Roasted Pork Belly / Summer Farrotto / Asher Blue
  • Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Brown Ale – Blood Sausage Waffle/ Toasted Oat Cream / Blistered Peach / Sorghum

The dinner takes place on Tuesday, June 23. A total of only 30 tickets are available for $64.20, tax inclusive. Tickets may be purchased at KOSM or by calling 904-396-2344.

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Posted by on June 8, 2015 in Beer Dinner


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Cigar City beers to hit the high seas

CigarCityBrewingSoon, guests aboard all Florida-based Carnival cruise ships will be able to get a taste of the Sunshine State’s craft beer industry. On July 13, the cruise company plans to begin serving cans of Cigar City beers as part of the drinks offered to on-board guests.

Ships sailing from the five Florida ports served – 13 in all – will serve Cigar City Florida Cracker Belgian-style White Ale and Invasion Pale Ale. It is projected that as many as 100,000 cans of the brews will be served in the first year.

According to an article in yesterday’s Tampa Bay Business Journal, the partnership began as a conversation at an event in South Florida. Vice President of beverage operations for Carnival Eddie Allen approached a sales person at the event and within a month a deal was struck.

A launch party for the new partnership is planned for July 13 aboard the Carnival Legend at the Port of Tampa.

The Jax Beer Guy has partnered with the UBER car service in Jacksonville. Because of this partnership, you can receive a $20 credit for your first ride by simply using the promo code “JaxBeerGuy” when you register for UBER on your smartphone.

Click HERE to sign up now!

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Posted by on July 10, 2014 in Beer News


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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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Brew Hub Announces Partnership with Cigar City, Orange Blossom Pilsner and BJ’s Restaurants

BrewHubIn an update on a story we brought you some time ago, Brew Hub, the regional brewery project led by former executives at ABinBev, has announced partnerships with several Florida breweries and a major beer-centric restaurant chain.

Read all the details in their press release below:

ST. LOUIS, Dec. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Brew Hub, a company led by a team of beer industry executives and craft brewing experts, has announced partnerships with three award-winning craft brewers: Cigar City Brewing; Orange Blossom Pilsner; and BJ’s Restaurants (Nasdaq: BJRI).

Brew Hub will partner brew beer for all three companies at its new, state-of-the-art craft brewery in Lakeland, Fla. beginning May 2014. Brew Hub will brew a variety of beer brands for each company and distribute the beer throughout Florida and eventually other southeastern states.

Partner brewing is a process that allows craft brewers not only to brew their beer to exact specifications under the supervision of their own brewmaster, but also to package and distribute from the Brew Hub brewery and make their beer available for export to international markets. Partner brewing allows craft breweries to expand their distribution without the overhead costs of building a new brewery or transporting beer across the country. Brew Hub also offers services including sales, marketing, logistics, compliance and government affairs.

“These guys know what they are doing, and I am excited for the opportunity to be able to grow Cigar City Brewing without sacrificing quality or compromising the brewing process,” said Joey Redner, Cigar City Brewing founder and CEO. “When you combine Brew Hub’s experience with a new state-of-the-art craft brewery in our home state of Florida, we knew this partnership could help us get more Cigar City beer into the hands of people who love it.”

“The partnerships we’ve formed with Cigar City, Orange Blossom Pilsner and BJ’s Restaurants are exactly why we formed our company,” said Tim Schoen, founder and CEO of Brew Hub. “All three brew amazing craft beer, but they simply can’t meet the overwhelming consumer demand. Partnering with Brew Hub will allow these award-winning craft brewers to brew more beer and increase their distribution which will allow them to grow much more quickly.”

Brew Hub will brew approximately 40,000 barrels of beer for the three partners combined. The Lakeland brewery will have an annual capacity of 75,000 barrels, or one million cases. The Florida brewery will be the first of five breweries Brew Hub plans to open across the country. All will allow craft brewers the opportunity to partner brew their beers on site.
“With these three agreements in place we are sold out for 2014, and we couldn’t be happier,” said Schoen. “Our focus will now be on expanding our brewing capacity at our Lakeland brewery, and announcing the next two breweries we plan to open.”
The Lakeland brewery is located in Interstate Commerce Park off the I-4 Corridor. The brewery will also feature a 3,000-square-foot tasting room where consumers can enjoy the beers being brewed by any of Brew Hub’s partners. The site’s central location will allow the company to efficiently distribute beer to wholesalers throughout Florida and the Southeast.

Brew Hub brewing operations will be led by Chief Brewmaster, Dr. Paul Farnsworth, who is overseeing all aspects of design, layout, construction and day-to-day operation of the new brewing, production and warehouse facility in Lakeland, Florida. Farnsworth earned a bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of London and has been instrumental in the startup or operation of over 100 breweries in 10 countries.

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

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

About Cigar City Brewing
Cigar City Brewing was founded with two goals in mind: first, to make the world’s best beer; second, to share with people near and far the fascinating culture and heritage of the Cigar City of Tampa. From its past as the world’s largest cigar producer to its Latin roots and the many other diverse cultures that call it home, Tampa draws on many sources to develop its unique culture. We use the highest quality ingredients we can lay our hands on, and that is not just marketing jargon. If it makes better beer, we use it. We also strive to use local ingredients when and where we can. Not only do fresh, local ingredients help us make better beer, it helps us make beer that reflects the culture and heritage of Tampa. Learn more at

About Orange Blossom Pilsner
Orange Blossom Pilsner was first brewed in 2001 as one of Florida’s first craft beers, and the company has been brewing award-winning beer ever since. Orange Blossom Pilsner, made with orange blossom honey, is the company’s flagship brand, was awarded a bronze medal at the 2003 Great American Beer Festival. Today the company brews Orange Blossom Pilsner, Orange Blossom Squared and Toasted Coconut Porter and will begin releasing more fun, new beers in 2014.

About BJ’s
BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. currently owns and operates 144 casual dining restaurants under the BJ’s Restaurant & Brewery, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, BJ’s Pizza & Grill brand names BJ’s Restaurants offer an innovative and broad menu featuring award-winning, signature deep-dish pizza complemented with generously portioned salads, appetizers, sandwiches, soups, pastas, entrees and desserts, including the Pizookie dessert. Quality, flavor, value, moderate prices and sincere service remain distinct attributes to the BJ’s experience. The company operates several microbreweries in addition to using independent third-party brewers to produce and distribute BJ’s critically acclaimed proprietary craft beers throughout the chain. The company’s restaurants are located in California (63), Texas (29), Florida (15), Arizona (6), Colorado (5), Nevada (5), Washington (4), Ohio (4), Oklahoma (3), Oregon (3), Kentucky (2), Indiana (1), Kansas (1), Louisiana (1), New Mexico (1) and Virginia (1). Visit BJ’s Restaurants, Inc. on the web

About Brew Hub
Brew Hub was founded in 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri by a team of beer industry executives and craft brewing experts led by Tim Schoen. “Where Craft Brewers Go to Grow,” Brew Hub provides full brewing, packaging, distribution and selling services for craft brands that are capacity, geographical, or capital constrained. The company plans to have five breweries located throughout the country that will cater to craft breweries. Each facility will allow craft brewers to partner brew their beers on site.
Learn more about Brew Hub at:

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Posted by on December 6, 2013 in Beer News


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