27 August 2014

Before Canvitational, Get to know - Cigar City Brewing

We are getting excited for the upcoming Canvitational event happening next month.  The lineup is very impressive again this year with Canvitational the only place you can get many of these beers due to their distribution. We wanted to get to know each of the participating breweries a little bit better. So, we've sent out a six pack questionnaire to each of them and we wanted to share them with you.

Cigar City Brewing is a well known name in the craft beer community.  They have been making a name for themselves with hoppy IPAs, big imperial stouts, and other approachable beers for beer geeks and novices alike. Their offerings include eight year round beers and multiple special release beers along with seasonal beers. Look for them and the following beers at Canvitational:

Jai Alai (don't miss this one)- A big citrus and floral noted IPA
 Florida Cracker – A Belgian Style Wit
 Invasion - A 5% pale ale that punches well above its weight

Next in our series is Joe Burns, National Sales Manager at Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, Florida.

1. What music is usually playing on the brew deck? 

Depends on the brewer. We have two brew houses on site and the music in Brew House 1 varies by the day of the week, old rock, jazz, blues, with a culmination of Django Reinhart Friday. Its like clockwork with Brew House 1.

 2. What's your brewing mission? What are you trying to accomplish with your beer?

We are trying to highlight the Tampa culture and the Cuban culture of the area. Florida is very diverse and we want to show folks names, tastes, and the history of our area.

 3. How many beards can be found in the brewery on any given day?

 We have 65 employees, and we are mostly beardless. I just looked at our wall of employee pictures, and would say that we have about 20 guys with some type of facial hair.

 4. Which beers outside of your own do you enjoy? What beer do you wish you came up with? Why?

 The folks here are the brewery have very diverse pallets. We all seem to love sours, and hoppy pale ales. I am personally a big Bells fan, with the Amber being one of my favorites.

 5. What's your go-to shift beer after a long day brewing?

 The beer of choice around here is Invasion Pale Ale. Light bodied, hop forward, low ABV.

 6. Is there anything else you would like us to know about you and/or your company?

 We are constantly asked to ship beer out of Florida. Truth is we sell very little beer outside of Florida, as 94+% of the beer that we produce is sold in Florida. We are very involved in the legislative side of the business and continue to try to get others as involved as we are. The brewery has 6 full time reps in Florida, two in the Tampa/St Pete/Sarasota/Ft Myers/Naples market, two in the Miami/Ft Lauderdale/Keys markets, one in Orlando/Gainsville, and one in Jacksonville/Tallahassee market. We work very hard to align ourselves with Florida institutions who do a great job of selling and marketing our products. A few examples are, Tropicana Field (Tampa Bay Rays), Disney properties, Epcot Food and Wine, Epcot Flower and Garden Fest, Carnival Cruise Lines, Publix Supermarkets, ABC Liquors, Sloppy Joe's (Key West), Tampa Int'l Airport, to name a few. Cigar City Brewing has a brew pub located 10 miles away from the brewery which is a full service restaurant with a small 7 bbl system in it. We have the only operating/manufacturing brewery inside of an airport in the US. It is located in Concourse C (Southwest Airlines/Airtran Airlines) with a small 2 bbl system. Cigar City Cider is about to go into full production in the month of August. It will be available in cans and draft, just as our beers are. Cigar City Brewing has a great team that really believes in what we are doing.

What is Canvitational?

The 2nd Annual Sun King CANvitational will take place in the heart of Midwest – Indianapolis, IN. Located on Georgia Street, known for Super Bowl XLVI festivities and Pan Am Plaza, the CANvitational is set to showcase 40+ craft breweries from all over America who CAN.

 On Saturday, September 20th, 2014, the 2nd Annual CANvitational will enlighten patrons to sampling craft beer from award winning breweries from across the USA, enjoy local eats provided by local food trucks and music that will be sure to get you dancing in the streets, in an urban downtown atmosphere. Tickets are available and the event will feature some familiar breweries, as well as many out of state. You can find more information about them and the event at http://canvitational.com/.

Tickets are available here.  There is a $20 discount for tickets purchased before Septermber 1st.

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