Cigar City Brewing

YOUR RATING = None |
BEER AVG
3.98/5
BEER STATS
Beers:
345
Reviews:
8,815
Ratings:
44,452
Master Beer Listing
PLACE STATS
Place Score:
99
Reviews:
211
Ratings:
670
Avg:
4.47
pDev:
9.62%
 
 
Taps:
0
Bottles/Cans:
0
Cask:
Y
Beer-to-Go:
Y
Cigar City BrewingCigar City Brewing
PLACE INFO

Type: Brewery, Bar

3924 W Spruce St
Ste A
Tampa, Florida, 33607-2441
United States

(813) 348-6363 | map
www.cigarcitybrewing.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-26-2008

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 211 | Ratings: 670
Reviews by blackcoyote13:
Photo of blackcoyote13
4.16/5  rDev -6.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

This was my second time at the brewery, with the first being about 2 years ago. I remember a good selection of draft beers back then, along with some very tasty brews on tap (110k+OT, Zhukov's, etc), friendly staff and an open atmosphere and good prices. Things have since changed.

Firstly, Cigar City has expanded a LOT since my first visit. There is an entirely new tasting room, with no less than 24 different beers on tap. Regular offerings, Marshal Zhukov's, nitro stouts with coffee, sours, strange flavors, you name it and they have something for you to try. Talk about variety to choose from! The original room is now primary a retail area and growler filling station, with a few coolers of bottles to pick through. There is a gentleman from Cuba who sits at a station and hand-wraps cigars from imported tobacco leaves, which are taken for aging and then displayed and sold in the tasting room (a synergistic marketing partnership I would say). The tour guide was excellent and had some candid thoughts on the brewery's history, line of thinking, etc. Samples on the tour were generous and it was extremely affordable (~$5), as is most everything in the tasting room. I did have to sit through a list of how many awards they had won and a bit of bitter rumination from the guide about the beers that beat them out in certain competitions. Not fans of losing an award really it seems. I did have the opportunity to meet the owner who was popping open a 4-pk of The Alchemist's Heady Topper in the tasting room. Joey seemed like a nice enough guy and a half glass was happily shared (even when a sip is all that was requested) so I tip my cap to Joey for keeping the "beer is for sharing" philosophy alive, even when its the #1 BA rated beer at stake. What I am noticing though is that, despite saturation issues with product volume in FL, there are other developments with this brewery that mirror the craft beer "black market" snobbery that is so distasteful these days. I also noted some MASSIVE swings in the quality of the brews that Cigar City is putting out, from the fantastic, wooden delight White Oak Jai Alai to the ash tray and cedar pond water that they tapped on cask called a Humidor Marshal Zhukov's. They are pushing the boundaries of beer for sure, but they do not seem to know when to say uncle and toss something that tastes nasty either. I will leave the tasting notes to the beer reviews though.

I guess with success in the craft beer industry comes a bit of nose lifting too. Cigar City keeps a stock of items which are not for sale to the general public until the Catador's have had their share and only if there is anything left over. This is perfectly legit. However, how they handle inquiring minds who are interested in their more esoteric brews says a lot about your brewery too, especially when you have to turn folks down. It is better customer service not to set out a bunch of items in full display to all customers and then to explain that they dont qualify to purchase these items on display. A bit more tactful to seperate these from the retail shop displays, but this is minor. On my last trip by before leaving town, I dropped by to pick up a bottle of the Forgotten Island quad (aged in Rum barrels), of which there were 18-20 left for sale in the fridge earlier in the day (and had been that way all week). I asked if they had any bottles left and was told that the last bottle had been sold today, which is believable I guess, until you see four to five cases of the bottles sitting behind the counter, some of which are sweating from having been pulled from the fridge to make room for the less popular Gentleman's Club co-op with Widmer that was being loaded earlier that day by an employee. When I inquired about those bottles, there was a bit of a snarky "we have no more for sale" reply, and that was the end of that. Several bottles of the 2013 batch of 110k+OT were visibly sitting around, although the bartender/growler filler lady was happy to inform me that all 110k+OT was sold out to Catadors within 20 minutes of release this year and that all of the bottles had been picked up already. I pointed out the four bottles in question and the bartender promptly retrieved them and placed them under the bar. My experiences were at times similar in the tasting room, with Catadors coming in to brag about the beer they had which was being traded to get other brews or sold for massive profits, without any signs of discomfort from the staff. Lots of younger folks coming in with the an air of importance and lots of friends to brag about their "CCB" conquests too. All in all, I was disappointed that the craft beer industry pretention seems to be soaking in to the staff and also the crowd with this brewery, even if the head honcho does not seem to be too caught onto it. Make no mistake though, the brewery is no slouch and their creativity does result in some incredible beers.

 4,938 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of mbgeibel
4.26/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

Photo of Jmikepow
4.26/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5

Photo of roachkid40
4.6/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Had a great time visiting this brewery. Not too far off the beaten path, my wife and I started with a flight of 4 "irregulars" that included 1.) a Strawberry Cream IPA, 2.) Cask Vanilla Maduro 3.) Jai Alai White oak and 4.)Revenge of Mr. Saison. All different and all great in their own way. My wife had 4 of her own, in which the Cubano Espresso was her fav. After the tasting, we took the tour and got to see where the magic is made. I recommend taking this tour as our guide was very informative of the beer making process as well as the history of the area, in which they have named a few of their beers after (Jai alai -the sport, and Maduro- Tampa use to be the cigar maker capital). Plus, you get to taste test their #1 seller fresh off the production line, as well as access to the White Oak 4 packs....hmmmm.

 829 characters

Photo of FrancisSmooth
4.53/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Seems to just be constantly busy. Selection of beers all fresh and delicious. Had everything you look for in brew pub bar but maybe could use a few waitresses patrolling.

 170 characters

Photo of NDogg44
4.61/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Photo of Peepskp
4.44/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Excellent beers available every day. The atmosphere was a bit sterile given the caliber of beers they produce.

110 characters

Photo of BeerDaveGA
4.57/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Big place, great tours lots of variety As I was about to leave, the skies opened up with one of the biggest downpours I've seen (even in FL) - Lucky!

 150 characters

Photo of mcantu
4/5  rDev -10.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Photo of kismet
4.12/5  rDev -7.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Photo of kidzord
4.68/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

Photo of Rizzy17
4.36/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of fixedfan
4.46/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5

Photo of jbhollis1180
3.91/5  rDev -12.5%
vibe: 3.25 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25

Photo of BecauseWhalezbro
4.68/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Photo of FEUO
3.99/5  rDev -10.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Landed in the area after Huna day. Fridge had a good selection of other stuff. Tap list was ho hum but ok.
Guy working the bottles/growlers to-go counter was a total d-bag. Could not stand this turd. Left me hanging with my thumb up my ass while he chit chatted with two dudes that arrived at the spot AFTER me and who weren't buying any beer. However, my bartender when I went for tasters at the inside bar area was fantastic. Super friendly and talkative. Overall, for a tasting room it was ok. Sort of stale even if a bit busy. Even the vibe at Founders killed this. I would go back if I was close by but I wouldn't go out of my way.

 636 characters

Photo of Sabtos
4.44/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

You walk in, see a bar, a decent CCB draft selection, and are surrounded by coolers with CCB cans and bottles that, if you're from out of state, are pretty much impossible to get outside of a trade, and you think, well, this is pretty good.

Then you lean over a little bit, look down the bar through the walkway and realize, there's another bar. You walk to that bar and see an impressive wall o' taps with 3x as many brews on tap as the first room.

CCB has so many damn beer varieties, they wouldn't even have room for guest beers if they wanted to tap them. And almost all of those styles are well done, and a number of them are unique and/or rare. While we were there, they had a sour brewed with skittles, a de Molen collab, 110k nearing the end of it's run, Florida Man had just been kegged and tapped, and the omg delicious Cubano Espresso, among many many others. Those were just the big time killer standouts for us at the time. It seems the locals really lean towards sours, which is great, but there is so much else going on it's hard to decide.

There appears to normally be a food truck available outside, and with the huge space they have outside, and the picnic tables open for seating, there's plenty of room for anything anywhere, even on Huna weekend.

On top of all this, there are cigars available for purchase.

 1,332 characters

Photo of shadyside
4.54/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Photo of JamieDuncan
4.57/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Photo of DavidRandall
3.79/5  rDev -15.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.39/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Florida_Hop_Head
4.19/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Photo of valrxman
3.54/5  rDev -20.8%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.5

First time rating though I visit a few times a year. Service has greatly improved. Get there at opening on Crowler Tuesday.
Cheers

131 characters

Photo of GoBeerGo
4.57/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Photo of Eziel
4.39/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

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Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, FL
99 out of 100 based on 211 ratings.