Brewery using cigar box wood, Cuban espresso to make beer

on 25/08/11 at 1:52 pm

Beer

When a friend gave Joey Redner a taste of a beer that had been aged with Spanish cedar — the wood used to wrap and box cigars — he knew it was an idea worth stealing.

The aroma and flavor instantly reminded the then avid home brewer of his hometown’s historic Ybor City and the hand-rolled cigars Tampa is famous for. And he knew that if he ever owned a brewery, his beer needed to evoke the same memories.

“It just blew me away because when I smelled it, it was like waking down 7th Avenue in Ybor City, walking past a cigar shop,” said Redner, who now owns Cigar City Brewing. “It was a win/win. It was good and it really pinpointed it on the map as coming from my city.”

Plenty of brewers name their beers for the regions where they are made. But Cigar City takes it further, using ingredients such as Spanish cedar, guava, Cuban espresso and citrus woods to craft beers that also taste of Tampa’s heritage.

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