Cigar City Brewing featured in new Travel Channel web series

“Microbrew Madness,” a short-form web series, launched today on the Travel Channel website.

microbrew madness logo 300x168 Cigar City Brewing featured in new Travel Channel web series

Image courtesy of Travel Channel.

TravelChannel.com produced 16 webisodes featuring four hosts. One of the six-minute videos chronicles a visit to the tasting room of Tampa’s own Cigar City Brewing. Host Lori Griffis talks to owner Joey Redner and brewmaster Wayne Wambles, and samples some of the brews and food-truck offerings, finishing off with a cigar hand-rolled right in the tasting room.

In addition, TravelChannel.com has gone live with a poll to choose the nation’s favorite brewery of the 16 featured. This is a chance to show some support for the Florida craft beer scene and help spread the word about our great brew to the rest of the world. Click here for the poll.

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Florida hits 100-brewery mark

 Florida hits 100 brewery mark Florida hits 100 brewery markI just finished updating the Florida Brewery Map and List on this site, and according to my counting, the Sunshine State now has 103 operating breweries, and another 31 on the way. Those are remarkable numbers considering that not all that long ago, there weren’t even 31 breweries in the entire state!

A few things that struck me while updating.

Central Florida will soon be booming with beer. Three breweries – Southern Moon, Broken Strings and Ten10 – will be opening in Orlando proper, joining Orlando Brewing and the nano-sized Redlight Redlight. Another, Dead Lizard, was announced last year, but no address has been released. In the bedroom communities just east of O-town, Persimmon Hollow in Deland, WopHops in Sanford, Bowigens in Casselberry, and Crooked Can in Winter Park will be coming online in the months ahead.

Only two breweries have closed since the last update. Brewzzi CityPlace in West Palm Beach has shut its doors as a result of a dispute with its landlord, and Mile Marker Brewing in St. Augustine closed for still-unknown reasons in June.

The Panhandle still is awaiting its turn to “fill in” on the map. Grasslands Brewing is opening in Tallahassee, and Proof Brewing Company’s second location there has started producing, but other than Oyster Bay Brewing opening in Apalachicola, new and planned breweries remain scarce in that part of our state.

If you don’t zoom in too close, the east coast seems to have a solid line of breweries from north of Jacksonville to the Keys. The first person to hit all of them while traveling via watercraft definitely will get a shoutout!

These are the criteria used for the map, copied from a previous post:

  • The brewery or brewpub must produce beer on its premises. This means you will not find companies such as Native Brewing Company in Fort Lauderdale or Fantasy Brewmasters in Fort Myers that contract their beer at other breweries.
  • It does include breweries such as Grayton Beer Company in Santa Rosa Beach, which recently opened a new brewery and no longer contract brews, and Holy Mackerel Beers, which still contracts the bulk of its production, but opened The Mack House – Holy Mackerel Nano Brewery in Fort Lauderdale last year.
  • It includes two brewpubs – Karibrew in Fernandina Beach and Marco Island Brewery – whose brewing process is completed on site but started elsewhere.
  • It does not include BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse locations. Their beer is brewed out of state, but the chain is one of the brewing partners at BrewHub, the recently opened operation in Lakeland that offers brewing and marketing services for other breweries. (BrewHub is on the map.)
  • To be included, a brewery or brewpub must have a physical address – it would be hard to map it otherwise – and if not yet open, it needs to have made solid steps such as ordering or installing equipment, and starting the regulatory process.
  • Other maps and lists out there are based on different criteria.  The Florida Brewers Guild map only lists those breweries and brewpubs that are members. Others list breweries that haven’t made any steps toward opening other than filing as a business entity, sometimes years ago, with no progress since.

As far as which brewery was the 100th? I just don’t have the time to try to figure that out, but any of you are welcome to try.

It’s a good problem to have, but updating this becomes more laborious and time-consuming every time, and I’m sure I’ve made an error or two. As always, I welcome feedback and corrections. You can leave a comment below or on the Facebook page, or shoot an email to gerard@beerinflorida.com.


View Florida Breweries in a larger map

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Brew Hub partner brewery opens in Lakeland

Brew Hub taps 200x300 Brew Hub partner brewery opens in Lakeland

image courtesy of Brew Hub.

The experiment called Brew Hub officially becomes reality today as the 51,000-square-foot “partner brewery” holds the grand opening of its tasting room in Lakeland.

Briefly, the concept is to have a place for existing craft breweries and brewpubs to expand their production while maintaining full control over the brewing process. This differs from the contract brewing model, in which a brewer often just hands over the recipe to another brewery for production.

This is not necessarily a bad thing – sometimes it is the only financially feasible way for a brewery to get off the ground – but it does give some brewers pause.

In the case of one Florida-based brewing company, it will allow it to bring full production from a South Carolina brewery.

Tom Moench, president and founder of Orange Blossom Brewing Company (formerly Orange Blossom Pilsner) has wanted to make his beers in the Sunshine State since entering into an agreement nine years ago with Thomas Creek Brewing in Greenville, South Carolina. After a few other attempts that did not come to fruition, his dream will become reality at Brew Hub, as he moves full production there.

“Having limited production quantities for so long, we are excited for the growth opportunity,” Moench said in a statement.

The move will allow OBBC to expand its production beyond its current three brands. The first of several new brews – an American Style IPA named “Back in the Day IPA” – is expected to be released in the next few months, Moench said.

Besides OBBC, other partner breweries announced are: Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing; BJ’s Brewhouse, a California-based casual-dining chain whose house brews are made off-site – previously its closest contract brewery to Florida was Saint Arnold Brewing in Houston; and Green Man Brewing Company, one of Asheville, North Carolina’s original craft breweries.

IF YOU’RE GOING:

  • What: Brew Hub Tasting Room Grand Opening

  • Where: 3900 S Frontage Rd, Lakeland, FL

  • When: Friday and Saturday (Sept. 5-6), 4 to 10 p.m.

  • For more information: (863) 698-7600 or http://brewhub.com/

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Engine 15 Brewing Co. halts Brew It Yourself program

engine15 logo 300x76 Engine 15 Brewing Co. halts Brew It Yourself programOne of the best parts of the story at Jacksonville’s Engine 15 Brewing Co. was the owners’ support of the local home-brewing community, to the point that they held “Brew It Yourself” programs for both veterans and novices.

But now that the opening of a new facility with a 20 barrel brewhouse draws near, the gang at Engine 15 has announced that the BIY program will soon end.

Here is the text of an email sent about a week ago:

For the past four years, we have loved having kettles for you guys to brew your own beer.  We hope you have learned a lot and made some great beer.  But change is coming and those kettles will soon be relocated downtown.

As we gear up in La Villa, we now have space to store grain and other brewing supplies that used to live at the Beach.  The GREAT news is that we will have more room for YOU very soon.  And we have some very cool ideas for the space so stay tuned.

If you have a gift certificate for Brew-Your-Own, don’t wait…call us TODAY and set up a brew date.  You will get first priority until Friday, Sept 5th since that special someone was so wonderful to buy you that present.  After that, we will open the schedule for any last appointments and the remaining spots will fill up fast.

If you don’t read this in time OR can’t get in to brew, we are happy to use the amount towards beer or food or tshirts.  Of course the credit is not lost.

For those of you curious, we will still brew specialty beers and seasonals at the Beach.  All flagship beers will be brewed downtown. And rumors of a biergarten downtown are still alive but there are permits to be approved and lots of beer to brew before that’s a reality.  But that is the end goal.

As always, we really appreciate your business and are always here to support your drinking habits.

A similar announcement in Engine 15’s monthly newsletter added this: “From the first email blast, a few of you were really disappointed that this Engine feature was going away.  We are too but that’s the nature of business – sometimes it has to change as things grow. Those of you that were regulars BIYers will just have to talk your spouse into letting you convert the garage – ha!  Cheers to beer!”

Engine 15 Brewing Co.’s story starts on page 30 of Florida Breweries Engine 15 Brewing Co. halts Brew It Yourself program

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