Lance and I both worked on his birthday last Sunday, so I told him we could do whatever he wanted to celebrate on our next day off together on Tuesday. So of course, part of that celebration had to include drinking some beer.
We’ve been making our way around all the Tampa Bay area breweries, but surprisingly we hadn’t made it to Cigar City yet. We’ve been to the Brewpub (which has fantastic food), but the brewery tasting room was a fun experience.
When you first walk in, there’s a separate growler-filling station with about a dozen beer choices. Next you walk past a merchandise booth with Cigar City shirts, mugs, and even beer-scented soaps.
The main tasting room had 18 of their own beers on tap along with 6 from guest breweries. We ordered flights (you can’t get the guest beers for flights, but I wanted to try the Cigar City ones while there anyways…)
I liked the Cherry Berliner Weisse – although it’s only 2.7% ABV, so it’s nothing strong. On the other hand, the Mercielago was REALLY strong. It’s an ale aged in tequila barrels with cumin and lime peel. The tequila was a bit overpowering for me, but Lance liked it.
I was really excited to fill up a growler of their Cubano Espresso brown ale. I had a sip of my brother’s a few weeks ago and it was amazing! It’s brewed with espresso beans, vanilla, and cacao nibs. He had it in a frosty mug and it almost tasted like a frappuccino. It’s been brewed in previous years with beans from Mazzaro’s Italian Market, but this year I’ve read that it’s being brewed with Buddy Brew’s Cubano Espresso coffee.
Unfortunately, everyone else seems to like that beer as well – they were completely out by the time we went to fill up our growlers! We filled up with some Jai Alai instead.
Cigar City Brewing is located at 3924 West Spruce Street, Tampa, FL 33607 and is open 11am – 11pm Sunday – Thursday and 11am – 1am Friday – Saturday.