Cigar City Brewing

Not Rated.
Cigar City BrewingCigar City Brewing
Based on:
317 Beers
40,498 Hads
Place Score: 99
Reviews: 196
Visits: 606
Avg: 4.5
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar ]

3924 W Spruce St
Ste A
Tampa, Florida, 33607-2441
United States
phone: (813) 348-6363

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @cigarcitybeer

Notes:  Master Beer Listing
Place added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-26-2008

No notes at this time.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 196 | Visits: 606
Reviews by blackcoyote13:
Photo of blackcoyote13
4.16/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Sam_Schwartz
4.53/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

Cool place. I would definitely recommend taking the tour, you get a glass to keep and 4 pours. I only wish they would have had some stouts on when we were there.

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Photo of rjp217
4.7/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Photo of benzalman
4.19/5  rDev -6.9%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Bernaldre
4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Kurmaraja
3.73/5  rDev -17.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75

I'm not sure I get all the rave reviews of the PLACE. Yes, they do make some fabulous beers ... but the place itself is nothing special, they rarely have the fabulous beers on tap, and the one off stuff is generally of moderate quality.

Vibe is bustling, packed with a lot of tourists it seems (hell, I was one of them), an older crowd than, say Cycle / Coppertail / Angry Chair. More "bros". The space itself is nothing special; big gift shop stuck between the two bar area selling an odd assortment of items including CCB branded skateboards and soap is odd and seems to speak to the tourist trap idea; grab a crappy momento of your visit. No real attention given to making the place pleasant; main drinking area is just a box room with no windows and a few scattered tables. There are a number of taps but they center on IPA variations that aren't very inspiring and low abv German and English styles (ESBs, Helles Lagers, etc). Fine drinkable brews but nothing I'd go out of my way for. If you think you'll get something like Zhukov you're mistaken. The variations / casks of the browns were the nicest surprise during my visit.

Service was competent, kept the crowds moving.

As an out of towner, a let down. No real local feel, nothing special on tap. I'd much rather have spent more time at Coppertail, Angry Chair, Green Bench, Rapp, or visiting another brewery such as 7th Sun.

 1,391 characters

Photo of maplebaconassassin
5/5  rDev +11.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Top 3 favorite breweries without a doubt

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Photo of JaredSammy
4.32/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of PatrickBeebe
4.74/5  rDev +5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Extremely busy night. Very crowded and loud, yet the bartenders were still on point. Didnt take too long to get a drink. Try to stop by every time I am in the area.

 164 characters

Photo of meanmutt
4.61/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Photo of Beer21
4.1/5  rDev -8.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

Photo of NickySop
4.49/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Photo of jrs3994243
4.51/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Photo of schroeder1200
4.88/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Photo of biggggant
5/5  rDev +11.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Photo of davidanastas
4.63/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

Photo of mtvolkens
5/5  rDev +11.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This place is awesome.

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Photo of razorsdescent
5/5  rDev +11.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This place is a legend for a reason, and yes, they now sell cigars.

67 characters

Photo of shelt11
4.67/5  rDev +3.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Such a cool place. I would recommend to anyone in the area. Very large building, tours by the hour, multiple areas to get beer, crowlers readily available, etc. Impressed!

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Photo of YodersBeerEmporium
4.65/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Photo of tarheels4life23
4.13/5  rDev -8.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Photo of RonRygs
5/5  rDev +11.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Photo of CTAdams
4.57/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Photo of lexgoblue
4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Cool place and friendly staff!

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Photo of The_Snow_Bird
4.88/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

This place seems like a pretty cool hang out spot. As soon as you walk in there are coolers full of bottles and 6 pack can for sale. Then there is the growler fill up station, with a large selection to choose from. Past the merchandise area is the main bar, with an even bigger selection at good prices. The staff was quick and was really knowledgeable about their product.

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Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, FL
99 out of 100 based on 196 ratings.