So, a few days have passed since the beer world was rocked with the news that Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing Company sold to Longmont, Colo. based Oskar Blues itself patially-owned by capital finance firm, Fireman Capital LLC. The sale reportedly was worth $60 million and came just two days after Cigar City’s uber-popular Hunahpu’s Day Release party. But, what does the sale mean to the Florida brewery that has built a reputation for brewing high-quality and sometimes irreverent brews?
The first thing it will mean is an influx of capital and savvy. With nearly 20 years of beer brewing and marketing experience, Oskar Blues is poised to help Cigar City grow in an ever-expanding craft beer landscape.
“Cigar City is facing next-level challenges,” Said outspoken Cigar City founder and CEO, Joey Redner. “And we needed to develop next-level skills and resources to meet them.”
Oskar Blues brings the knowledge, skill and mindset that fit nicely with Redner’s way of seeing things.
“We got into beer out of passion and an unwavering desire to travel our own path.” Redner explained. “We didn’t want to just shove our round peg into some f*cking square hole and hope for the best.”
Secondly, by partnering with a like-minded brewery, Redner seems to ensure Cigar City’s spirit of adventure will continue while locking down solid production and marketing processes.
“What Cigar City has done for the community of Florida craft beer is impressive.” Said Dale Katechis, Soul Founder of Oskar Blues. “It’s important for our culture to do business with people we want to hang out with and Joey and the gang fit.”
In its seven years of existence, Cigar City Brewing has shown near constant growth reaching a production level of nearly 60,000 barrels in 2015, placing the Tampa Bay area and the state of Florida on the craft beer map.
The third thing this new partnership brings is the stability and infrastructure to insure Cigar City will be around to continue producing its outstanding brews and remain in Florida for years to come.
“Florida craft beer drinkers want something they can proudly stand behind.” Redner continued. “These guys (Oskar Blues) get that. They wrote the book on keeping it real.”
Redner will remain CEO of Cigar City after the merger