The weekend is here and there is nothing better than grabbing a few friends and heading out to a local brewery.
We decided to start our tours of breweries with what we agree to be a standard when it comes to local craft beer, Cigar City Brewing. The first thing we noticed walking to the brewery was the sign at the entrance.
Kendal was firmly under the impression that the location of the brewery was in Ybor City at some point in time. In fact, many patrons believed the same thing. Although the sign indicates “Not in Ybor” the brewery has been at this location since its inception. This tends to make for funny conversations with the staff as many people are even more confused when reading the sign.
Alas, we enter the main doors to tasting room. The entrance door has a large print of the Cigar City Brewing logo. Name the name of the brewery was derived from the nickname given to the city of Tampa. Tampa received the name of “Cigar City” after the arrival of a gentleman by the name of Vincente Martinez Ybor who brought the specialized trade of cigar making to the city.
Immediately upon entering the tasting room, a bar! Well of course there should be a bar as this is the tasting room. Along with the staples such as Invasion Pale Ale, Jai Alai and Maduro, the tasting room provided great seasonal choices along with the some twists on the originals (See White Oak Jai Alai and Vanilla Maduro).
As you further enter the tasting room you arrive in the 2nd larger bar where as you can see, many patrons are enjoying the bevy of selections they have to offer. The wall on the left is littered with awards for the beers brewed by this fine establishment. There is even a gentleman hand rolling cigars for enjoyment (not pictured).
To learn more about the brewery and it’s history, we planned ahead and booked the brewery tour in advance online. While waiting for the tour to start, we saw many people inquiring to join. Unfortunately the weekend is slammed and appears that during this time of year planning ahead is key to checking out the tour.
They have tours Wed-Sat throughout the day. The tour cost is $8 and you get a small tasting glass and 4 samples of beer (Continental Drift, Invasion Pale Ale, Florida Cracker, and Jai Alai). RJ must have enjoyed it so much that he wanted to take a bath in the beer as we can see his shirt is covered in it.
Nothing wrong with a little hops now and again, so for that I go with a classic. Jai Alai is there most popular beer and for a reason. The flavor is packed and goes well with a cuban sandwich and Spanish bean soup (anything spicy really).
Special Note: Was able to have a little of the Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout and was completely amazed by the flavor.
The Nitro Horchata was one of the best beers I have ever had. Smooth finish that goes down like butter. The nitro really does give it that extra mouthfeel you are looking for in a beer.
Vanilla Maduro was great. It was smooth and easy to drink. There was hints of chocolate and coffee. It definitely goes more towards the sweet side but not overly.
Cigar City Brewing has something for everyone! And we highly recommend any and all of the selections they provide.
Website : Cigar City Brewing
Twitter : @CigarCityBeer
Facebook : Cigar City Brewing