|Cigar City Brewing Company
3924 West Spruce Street | Tampa, FL 33607
(813) 348-6363 x206
Joey Redner, founder and owner of Cigar City Brewing Company, became a craft beer lover during a trip to Portland, Oregon in 1994. After that, he planned vacations around beer destinations and started homebrewing. In 2004, he began writing a beer column for the St. Petersburg Times, while dreaming of opening his own brewery.
Redner was the owner of Yeoman’s Pub on Davis Islands from 2002 to 2005, then became a salesman for Dunedin Brewery. In 2008 he left to launch Cigar City, hiring Wayne Wambles, an award-winning brewmaster from North Carolina. Their goal was to brew beers that were both interesting and share the history of Tampa, Florida.
This was my second trip to Cigar City Brewery. As you enter the tasting room, the brewery is on your left. There are coolers with four- and six-packs of cans and bomber bottles of Cigar City brews to go. Thirty-two ounce and one gallon growlers are also available to go from the front bar. Past the front bar is a small swag shop, but I walked past and snagged a seat at the back bar.
I perused the extensive tap list, trying to decide which beers to sample. The beers on tap during my visit included…
- Jai Alai – 7.5% ABV India Pale Ale
- Hotter Than Helles – 5.5% ABV Munich-style Lager
- Tocobaga – 7.2% ABV Red Ale
- Torcedores Series: Founder Fred’s Maibock – 7.3% ABV Maibock
- Sertoma Smoke – 5.0% ABV Red Ale
- Table Saison – 4.0% ABV Farmhouse Ale
- Experimental Hop ADHA #527 – 7.2% ABV India Pale Ale
- Florida Cracker – 5.5% ABV White Ale
- Torcedores Series: Keegan’s Nightman Black IPA – 7.7% ABV Blck IPA
- Hoppier Than Helles – 4.8% ABV American Pale Lager
- White Oak Red – 7.2% ABV on cask dry-hopped with Zythos
- Wandering Pelican – 8.5% ABV Black Ale (collaboration with Great Lakes)
- Maduro – 5.5% ABV Brown Ale
- Invasion – 5.0% ABV Pale Ale
- Peach – 6.6% ABV American Sour Ale
- Cubano Espresso – 5.5% ABV Brown Ale
- Torcedores Series: Matt’s Mumme Stick Ale – 7.0% ABV
- Dortmunder – 5.5% ABV German Lager
- Cucumber – 5.0% ABV Saison
I enjoyed every beer I tasted, however Cubano Espresso continues to be one of my absolute favorite Cigar City beers. The intense coffee flavor is hard to beat. Hoppier Than Helles and Experimental Hop ADHA #527 were quite refreshing, and Sertoma Smoke offered a solid smoke flavor and aroma.
The tap list is on a monitor above the taps, which indicates which beers are available in flights. It also shows which beers are available to go in growlers with a picture of a red growler next to the beer. There were also 5 guest beers on tap, included Sagittarius on nitro from the Cigar City Brewpub.
Cigar City offers tours of the brewery Wednesday through Sunday throughout the afternoon. Tours cost $5 per person and include a pint of beer and a pint glass to keep. Click here to register for a tour online.
|Cigar City Brewpub
15491 North Dale Mabry Hwy. | Tampa, FL 33618
During your visit, be sure to check out the cigar roller from Tampa’s own Tabanero Cigars. Fresh cigars are rolled in the Tasting Room every Tuesday through Saturday from 12PM to 8PM. The cigars available include long-aged Triple Nicaraguan ligero, Honduran seco, Colombian viso long fillers, and savory dark Ecuadorian Habano wrappers.
If you are hungry, food trucks are at the brewery on the weekends, or you could head to the Cigar City Brewpub, which opened on April 1, 2013. Located less than 10 miles from the brewery, the brewpub serves up a mix of Cuban, Southern, and Italian food from chef Nicolay Adinaguev to pair with Cigar City beers brewed by head brewer Tim Ogden.
Whether you choose to visit the brewery or the brewpub, you won’t be disappointed by Cigar City’s unique and delicious concoctions. Don’t forget to fill the hotel fridge and your suitcase with beers for later!