Cigar City Brewing

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BEER AVG
3.95/5
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

BEER STATS
Beers:
320
Reviews:
8,938
Ratings:
45,084
PLACE STATS
Score:
99
Reviews:
217
Ratings:
689
Avg:
4.49
pDev:
5.35%
 
 
Taps:
0
Bottles/Cans:
0
Cask:
Y
Beer-to-Go:
Y
View: Beers | Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 217 | Ratings: 689
Reviews by blackcoyote13:
Photo of blackcoyote13
4.16/5  rDev -7.3%
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 SDRedDevil
4.65/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5

Pit stop in Tampa from Orlando and boy was it worth it. There are two tasting rooms with different selections in each (cans to go and merch in the front). Insane number of beers on draft plus bottle pours of Huna 2014!!!! Highlight was Caffe Americano.

 252 characters

Photo of user785335
3.93/5  rDev -12.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4

Photo of RCrown
5/5  rDev +11.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

The Michael Jordan of Breweries.

32 characters

Photo of FBarber
4.5/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Great vibe! Two nice bars with plenty of seating in the tasting room area. Excellent quality and service. Prices are very fair and their beers are very good to outstanding. Service was good all around - staff was friendly and the tour guide, Jensen, was excellent. If you get his tour, you won't be disappointed. Great selection of their beers in the coolers. All the main lineup is there along with plenty of rotating and one offs. The website is kept up to date with what is on tap and whats in the to go cooler. Just a great place all around.

 545 characters

Photo of WesMantooth
4.36/5  rDev -2.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25

I was here 2 Saturdays in a row, and the atmosphere was great each time. There is a bar toward the front where you can get growler and crowler fills, and a larger bar toward the back with a bigger draft list. The merchandise selection is great and there are cold bottles and cans to go just inside the door.

My biggest knock would be the cigar offerings. The only ones for sale are local made, which of the 2 I had, ranged from terrible to ok. I know it is a brewery, but, you know... the whole name thing. I nicer humidor, selection, and maybe lounge area (unless I missed it) would be nice. A must visit in FL. Love the speigeleu glasses for pours!

 652 characters

Photo of wilsonrj
4.23/5  rDev -5.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Very smooth and nice blend of hops and citrus with emphasis on hops.

68 characters

Photo of stan913
4.46/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4

Photo of Mikemcgrath4
4.97/5  rDev +10.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.83/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

Had a great time here doing flights of many beers. The quality here is unbeatable. Talked to the guy selling handmade cigars for a while that tossed in an extra cigar for me. We were very hurried as we had our three kids with us. Place was packed, but still got to our beers quickly. Neighborhood feeling still.

 316 characters

Photo of Zonian1
4.64/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

First question: Why do a review of a place like Cigar City, which all BAs have on their bucket list? Answer: because sometimes you can get your hopes up and be disappointed. So here's my review:

My brother and I visited on a weekday at the end of May, 2016. Arrived at the Tap Room not long after opening. As we walked in, the staff was loading the cooler with Oak Aged Jai Alai that had been canned the day before. I raised my hands and shouted, "Yes! Yes!" What great luck that was! We took 4 fourpacks back home with us. So delicious.

At the bar, there were 20 beers on tap, covering a range of options. It's a great vibe, very knowledgable staff. We got a pour from the 2014 bottle of Huna--very cool, although the beer is better fresh, in my opinion.

Yes, CC has to be on your bucket list. You might get lucky like we did, or you might not, but it's still a must-visit if you are in Tampa.

 910 characters

Photo of Mothergoose03
4.55/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5

This is stop #3 of 14 brewpubs for my wife and I on this one week vacation and pub crawl. This place has to be a must-visit by any beer geek who travels to the Tampa area. We arrived in time to join a brewery tour, which meant that we got to drink 4 samplers at different stages of the tour. (An $8 fee and you get to keep the 4 oz. Logo snifter.)

We lucked out after the tour when we went into the tap room to try a few other beers. They were pouring 5 oz. Portions of 2014 Hunaphu from bottles, and this has been one beer on my bucket list to try someday. WOW! Best beer that I've ever had the opportunity to drink! We also tried the White Oak Jai Alai which I didn't like as much as the regular Jai Alai, but it was still a very good beer.

The vibe in this tap room is special, and to get to take a tour caused this to be a special day. I'll say it again, this place has to be a must-visit by any beer geek who is anywhere nearby to Tampa. It is worth the visit.

 967 characters

Photo of krl2112
4.86/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Photo of musicman1234
5/5  rDev +11.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5

Photo of CBrodbeck
4.13/5  rDev -8%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4

Photo of cadaugherty
4.22/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of jloomis
4.87/5  rDev +8.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5

Photo of Jas45678
4.54/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75

Photo of Dr_Fox
4.49/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Photo of giediprime41
4.26/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Photo of mbgeibel
4.26/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4

Photo of Jmikepow
4.26/5  rDev -5.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.5

Photo of roachkid40
4.6/5  rDev +2.4%
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 +0.9%
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 +2.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

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Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, FL
99 out of 100 based on 217 ratings.
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