Traveling Tuesday: Cigar City Brewery – Tampa, FL

This week’s Traveling Tuesday post is from Michael Schuler (Hoperative #113) who we were lucky enough to meet at Teller’s of Hyde Park’s Craft Beer Symposia. We’ve had Cigar City beer before on one of our many trips to Florida, but we haven’t been to the brewery yet. Michael’s post definitely has us thinking that a trip to Tampa may be in our future!

On a recent trip to Redington Beach, Florida, some friends and I made the 40 minute drive to Tampa to sample some of Florida’s finest brews at the source at Cigar City Brewery.

Cigar City Brewery sign

The brewery/taproom is located in an unassuming industrial park but you are greeted from the street by this sign that lets you know exactly where you are.

Cigar City chalkboard

The draught list includes many of the brewery’s staples along with some brewpub exclusives and variations such as Big Dummy, Florida Cracker, and French Oak Jose along with a few guest taps. I was fortunate enough to kick the last keg of their Imperial Milk Porter and try a sample of the same beer aged in rum barrels.

Cigar City merchandise

Many of the taps are available to go in quart and gallon sized growlers (no standard half gallons). There’s a bit of merch to purchase but besides what is shown here there isn’t too much to the taproom. It’s a decent sized room, seating around 30-40 people comfortably. I thought the TVs showing what’s going on in the brewery and using cigar boxes to deliver your check were nice touches.

Cigar City tanks

The only restroom available is in the actual brewery, so after my flight of samples I gave myself a tour of the facility. To the left of this shot are the restrooms and several apple brandy and Stranahan’s whiskey barrels where variations of Hunaphu’s and Zhukov’s imperial stouts are sleeping. Pallets of grain and bottled beer ready for delivery scatter the concrete floor and fermentation tanks line the back and sides of the warehouse. To the right are the pilot brewing system and entrance to the taproom.
 

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