Scenes from My Very First Craft Beer Brewery Tour in Tampa, Florida {Cigar City Brewing}

Cigar City Brewing Brewery Tour

Last month I headed over to Tampa when Carnival announced their partnership with Cigar City Brewing. You can read all about that here: Carnival Cruise Line Upping the Beercation Ante Partnering with Cigar City Brewing

I’ve been a fan of Cigar City beers since first trying their Maduro over at La Luce inside the Hilton Bonnet Creek Resort.

“In a state known for theme parks, Cigar City Brewing has become a major attraction for those who appreciate and seek out excellent beer. It opened with a flourish and spread its reach quickly, appealing to both hardened beer geeks and brew novices with eyebrow-raising flavors and commitment to quality. Capitalizing on the Latin culture and tobacco-manufacturing history of Tampa Bay, Cigar City highlights those strengths on its labels and in its beer names and recipes.”

Cigar City Brewing‘s Brewery Tour is basically free. Well, for beer drinkers it is.

Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, Florida

You buy one beer from the growler bar and you get a tour of the brewery as well as the souvenir pint glass it’s served in. I chose the Experimental Hop #527 IPA and was an instant fangirl.

Experimental Hop #527 IPA at Cigar City Brewing

After everyone had a proper pint in hand, the group headed into the brewery.

Cigar City Brewing Brewery Tour in Tampa, Florida

Beer goggles are required as are sanitary blue booties if you have Florida footwear on.

Cigar City Brewing Brewery Tour in Tampa, Florida

So my first “hot” tip on touring the brewery is do it in the winter. The brewery itself is in a huge “non-air conditioned” warehouse and we were sweating from the moment we stepped inside. My poor IPA couldn’t even hold up to the heat and quickly warmed up. Not a good look and those who know me know I don’t do “outside in the summer” unless that beverage I’m holding has a nice tropical beach or pool in the background.

Cigar City Brewing Brewery Tour in Tampa, Florida

Despite the sweltering heat, we had an amazing tour guide who really knew his stuff and allowed us to sample another beer right from the brew kettle.

Cigar City Brewing Brewery Tour in Tampa, Florida

The tour was pretty cool but I was ready to head back into the building where it was literally cool.

Cigar City Brewing Brewery Tour in Tampa, Florida

Cigar City Brewing Brewery Tour in Tampa, Florida

We grabbed a high top inside the lounge area and decided to order one of the beer samplers. Because…beer.

Cigar City Brewing Brewery Tour in Tampa, Florida - Beer Sampler

The options available inside the brewery rival anything you can find at your local package store. We sipped on Cucumber, Peach, Cinnamon and my favorite Cubano which tasted like coffee.

As an Orlando local I found this experience to be very unique and definitely worthy of the two hour drive. I can’t wait to return.  Luckily, I will have the chance to sample some more Cigar City Beer as they are one of the partnering sponsors of the Taste of the Nation Orlando event I will attending this weekend!

To find out more about this annual food and wine (and beer) event visit the official Taste of the Nation Orlando website here. I hope to see you there on Saturday!