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Cigars and Beer, Together at Last

If you’ve read any of my reviews (at least, the ones I’ve done at home and not on the clock), you know I’m a huge fan of the beer and cigar combo. But I didn’t know the meaning of “cigar and beer pairing” until I heard about the Cigar City Brewing Company in Tampa, Florida.

Recently profiled by the Associated Press, these guys take beer and cigars to the next level, cranking out brews like the super-tasty Maduro Brown Ale and an extensive line of limited releases dubbed the Humidor Series. According to the article, Cigar City pays tribute to the Cuban heritage of Tampa’s Ybor City district by using ingredients like guava, jalapeños, citrus woods, Cuban espresso, and Spanish cedar, which, as you probably know, is often used in cigar aging.

Owner and Tampa native Joey Redner began his quest for craft beer after a trip to the microbrewing Mecca of Portland, Oregon. “I spent the rest of my time in Florida trying to find those beers and failing,” he told the Associated Press. “And then you start getting into home brewing because you think, ‘Oh, well I’ll just make it myself.’” (Add home brewing to the list of costly hobbies that I will someday attempt to take up.)

Cigar City’s current project will consist of three strong, Belgian-style ales that will be aged in three different woods—Spanish cedar, grapefruit wood, and lemon wood. I’d like to see what a cedar-aged beer would taste like with something like a Hoyo de Monterrey Reposado en Cedros.

So if you’re ever wondering about what craft beer would go perfectly with your favorite stogie, go out and find something from the Cigar City Brewing Company, and if you live in Florida take the road trip. Judging from the quality of the small handful of their beers that I’ve tried up here (out of the bottle), I can only imagine how good they are on tap. Oh, and if anybody knows of any cigar-related brews that I somehow glossed over, please let me know so I can try them.