Tag Archives: Tampa

8 tips to safely enjoying Hunahpu’s Day

HDAY-announcement-300x300Tomorrow in Tampa, beer-lovers from around the nation will collectively cheer as the gates to Hunahpu’s Day Beer Festival 2016 open at 11:00 p.m. Hundreds will fan out across the festival ground seeking the white whales (extremely rare beers) being poured by scores of breweries. With so much great — and high-gravity (potent) — beer being poured it is important to keep some survival tips in mind.

Here are my eight tips for enjoying beer festivals responsibly:

Tip #1: Eat something before the festival.

A carb-heavy meal will help slow down the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream. Think pasta, a burger and fries, a big steak and baked potato or even pancakes. These slow-digesting foods reduce the amount of alcohol that is absorbed directly into the blood stream through the mucous membrane lining of the stomach. Food also slows the rate of the stomach emptying into the small intestine, where absorption of alcohol occurs at a much faster rate.

Tip #2: Drink water.

Experts say that drinking eight-ounces of water for every 12-ounces of beer will help to counteract the diuretic effects of alcohol. The dreaded day-after hangover is at least partially attributable to dehydration caused by alcohol stripping water from your body. Combat this by keeping the water flowing. At a beer festival, make it a point to drink at least four-ounces of water for every four to five samples.

Tip #3: Wear sunscreen

Its Florida, the festival is outside and, even if it is overcast, that means there will be plenty of UV rays bombarding your body. Sunscreen will prevent you from burning the s*#t out of your arms, legs, the backs of your knees and most importantly if you are wearing flip flops (remember it is Florida) the tops of your feet. Just try to wear shoes at work Monday when they are blistering, I dare you.

Tip #4: Have a plan.

At events like Hunahpu’s Day where there are literally scores of beers to try, you will miss out on a lot of great beers if you do not get the lay of the land before you arrive at the fest. The fine folks at Cigar City have created a smartphone app to help out with this. Go to your App Store and search Hunahpu, then download and enjoy. Some of the best beers will be in short supply, so if you see a brewery whose beers you absolutely must try, get in their line first. But, do not pass up smaller breweries, often the next big think comes from these up and coming brewers.

Tip #5: Pace yourself.

Sure, you only have a limited amount of time to try as many beers as you can. But, remember this is a tasting event, not a drunk fest. No one likes the belligerent fool that stumbles from table to table only to get as much beer as possible. Follow the plan you made for yourself from the previous tip and enjoy tasting different beers. You will have a better time and, though you may not get to all the beers, you are likely to find some new favorites.

Tip #6: Take Notes.

Because you may find your new all-time favorite beer, keep track of the brews you drink. Nothing is worse than getting home after a festival and not being able to remember the name of that awesome brew from the brewer in West Virginia. Apps like Untappd are invaluable for festivals since they allow you to log, rate and even take a photo and take notes on the beers you try.

Tip #7: Bring cash.

Often beer fests will have food trucks, t-shirt vendors and other shopping opportunities. Do not find yourself unable to buy that must-have t-shirt or hat because the vendor only takes cash. Even if they do take credit cards, paying in cash is invariably faster, leaving you more time to taste beers.

Tip #8: Get home safe.

The best day at a beer festival can be brought to a screeching halt if you get behind the wheel of a car after drinking too much. Believe me, I know (read my experience with this beginning here). Most festivals have a lower price ticket for designated drivers that include soft drinks. If that is not an option, plan on taking a cab or even Uber (get $20 off your first Uber ride when you download the app and use promo code, “l2jkr”).

Follow these eight tips and you are sure to have a great time exploring the ever expanding world of craft beer.


Posted by on March 11, 2016 in Beer, Beer Festival


Tags: , , , , ,

Hunapuh will not be the only beer sought at Cigar City Brewing this weekend

CigarCityBrewingCigar City Brewing has become something of a legend in Florida and around the country. This past October at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colo. the Tampa brewery attracted long lines of rabid fans eager to taste their beers. This weekend, throngs of fans, even more rabid than those in Denver, will be camped out at the brewery’s gates. But, the masses this weekend will be seeking something specific; Cigar City’s Hunapuh’s Imperial Stout. This potent brew is a concoction of Cacao Nibs, Madagascar Vanilla Beans, Ancho Chilis, Pasilla Chilis and Cinnamon.

The folks at Cigar City aren’t resting on their laurels by just offering their much-sought-after annual release, though. No, these mad geniuses also plan to have dozens of other brews available to what will likely be a huge crowd of beer lovers congregated to enjoy great beer and great times.

The list, published earlier this week, contains beers from Cigar City and dozens of other noteworthy breweries. Anyone that leaves this celebration without having tasted at least one amazing brew is not trying very hard. The semi-complete list follows.

Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout
Jai Alai IPA
Maduro Brown Ale
Hotter Than Helles Lager
Florida Cracker White Ale
Invasion Pale Ale
Cervezas Frescas Series Guanabana Ale
Cubano Espresso Brown Ale
Dos Anos Kumquat Berliner Weisse
Ghost Stories Braggot
Hornswoggled Irish Red
Humidor Series Double American Black Ale
Humidor Series India Pale Ale
Patio Tools Dry Irish Stout (NITRO)
Torcedores Series Josh Brengle’s Double IPA

Almond Biscotti Double Cream Ale
Blueberry Muffin Brown Ale
Chickory Dickory Choc Brown Ale
Chocolate Cherry Almond Scotch Ale
Chocolate Raspberry Lager
Cucumber Lager
Dry-Hopped IPA
Dry-Hopped Pale Ale
Galaxy IPA
Habanero Mango IPA
Hazelnut Coffee Brown Ale
Hopped Up Johnnie Imperial Stout
Humidor Series Dry-Hopped Double IPA
Humidor Series Smoked Habanero IPA
Peaches & Cream Lager
Right Side Up Pineapple Lager
S’mores Brown Ale
Tropical White Oak Jai Alai IPA
Vanilla Maduro Brown Ale
Whiskey Irish Stout
White Oak Jai Alai IPA

2010 Bourbon Sea Bass
2011 Apple Brandy Warmer Winter Winter Warmer
2011 Bohr Imperial Stout
2011 Bohr/Dirac Blend
2011 Dos Costas Oeste aged on Grapefruit Wood
2011 Dos Costas Oeste aged on Lemon Wood
2011 Dos Costas Oeste aged on Spanish Cedar
2011 Oak-aged Dirac Imperial Stout
2012 Batch 1000 – Kalevipoeg Baltic Porter
2012 Cognac Imperial Sweet Stout
2012 Good Gourd Imperial Pumpkin Ale
2012 Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout
2012 Leon Barrel-aged Barley Wine
2012 Snack Attack!

21st Amendment Brewery
Bitter American

7venth Sun Brewing
Belge d’Or
Chelsea Grin
Graffiti Orange

Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Wild Turkey Bourbon Barrel Stout

Angry Chair Brewing Company
Split Dessert Ale
Camille Blueberry Berliner Weisse
Raspberry Berliner weisse

Ballast Point Brewing
Habanero Sculpin

Barley Mow Brewing
C-Dub Rauchbier (collab with Florida Beer)

B. Nektar Meadery
Evil Genius
Zombie Killer

Bell’s Brewery, Inc.
Expedition Stout
Hopslam Double IPA
Third Coast Old Ale

Blue Point Brewing Company
No Apologies Double IPA

Bold City Brewery
1901 Roasted Red Ale aged in Woodford Reserve Bourbon Barrels

Bashah (collab with Stone)

Cask & Larder
Imperial Sunshine Porter

Cigar City Brewpub
Jamonera Belgian Porter

Cold Storage Craft Brewery
Betchy Brown Ale

Dogfish Head Brewery
World Wide Stout

The Duck-Rabbit Craft Brewery
Milk Stout

Due South Brewing
Island Hopper Double IPA
Dessert Inn Rye IPA (collab with Cigar City Brewpub)

Dunedin Brewery
Subtropical Farmhouse (7venth Sun & CCB collab)
Rye Heart (Terrapin collab)

Founders Brewing
2011 Imperial Stout
All Day IPA

The Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery
Pineapple Hop Gun
Starfruit Berliner

Gravity BrewLab
Grodzilla Smokey Sour Ale
Kobra Kai Thai Chili Berliner Weisse
Aguanile Rum Barrel-aged Cortadito Porter
Smokey O’Hoolahan Barrel-aged Irish Dry Stout
What’s Puckerin’ Gilbert’s Grape

Green Flash Brewing
Candela Rye Barley Wine (collab with CCB)
Hop Head Red
Palate Wrecker
Surf’s Up IPA

Green Room Brewing
Double Overhead Double IPA

Half Acre Beer Company
Baume Hopped Rye Stout
Space India Pale Ale

Highland Brewing
2 Knuckle Dunkle

Intuition Ale Works
I-10 IPA

J Wakefield Brewing
Dr. Zarkov Sour Ale
Emmit Fitz-Hume Cabernet Sauvignon Berliner
Master Blaster Porter
Mate Bliss Brown
Miami Madness
Rebengas Fruta Bomba Berliner

Florida Beer Key West
Southernmost Wheat

Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company
Southern Gentleman Bourbon Barrel-aged Pecan Nut Brown Ale

The Lost Abbey

Pinglehead Brewing Company
Ghost Chili Mind Drive Imperial Porter
Black Hops India Black Ale

Port Brewing Company
Wipeout Double IPA

Proof Brewing Company
Batch 26 Imperial Stout

Shorts Brewing Company
Key Lime Pie

Swamp Head Brewery
Pappy Brings the Funk

Terrapin Beer Company
Double Chocolate Bourbon Barrel-aged Moo-Hoo

The Bruery
Autumn Maple
White Oak
Smoking Wood

Three Floyds Brewing
Czech Booty Kamp Pilsner
Gumballhead American Wheat Ale
In the Name of Suffering Black IPA
Michiana Power Pale Ale
Sand Pebbles American Brown Ale
Supa Rice Ronin of Death Rice Ale
Zombie Dust Pale Ale

Uinta Brewing
Sea Legs Baltic Porter

Westbrook Brewing
Cap’n Skoon’s Ballistic Baltic Stout


Cigar City Brewing Bourbon Barrel-aged Cherry Cordial Imperial Sweet Stout
Cigar City Brewing Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Brown Ale
Funky Buddha Last Snow Porter
Gravity Brewlab Caligula Blushed (wild ale openly fermented in a clay vessel)
J. Wakefield Brewing DFPF Floridaweisse
Three Floyds 2011 Bourbon Barrel-aged Vanilla Dark Lord Imperial Stout

Leave a comment

Posted by on March 8, 2013 in Beer, Beer Festival


Tags: , , , , ,

Sweetwater brews to flow into Tampa area Oct. 15

It’s always a good thing when a new beer enters a market. It provides consumers with yet another choice for a tasty, quality beer to drink and expands the craft beer scene. In just a few short weeks, Sweetwater Brewing Company will do just that and begin serving several of their flagship brews in the Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg/Clearwater area of Florida.

“After an arduous and comprehensive wholesaler assignment process,” Sweetwater Director of Sales, Dave Guender began. “We are glad to announce that we’ve selected Pepin Distributing Company for the Tampa market, and Great Bay Distributors for St. Petersburg and Clearwater.”

Sweetwater will bring their tent pole 420 Extra Pale Ale to bars and restaurants throughout the area beginning Oct. 15. Later in the week 12-ounce bottles of 420, Sweetwater Blue, and Sweetwater IPA will hit store shelves.

Along with the roll out of Sweetwater brews, the company is planning several days of launch parties and events. Founder and Big Kahuna Freddie Bensch will join the festivities to help his 15-year-old company hop things up in Tampa. Among the events are:

Wednesdays, Oct. 17

  • Pub crawl featuring SweetWater samplings, specials and meet-and-greet with Freddy in Tampa (times/locations TBD)

Thursday, Oct. 18

  • Pub crawl featuring SweetWater samplings, specials and meet-and-greet with Freddy  in St. Petersburg (times/locations TBD)

Friday, Oct. 19

  • SweetWater’s presents Olde Bay Café’s Craft Beer & Crab Festival at Edgewater Park in Dunedin from 2-10 p.m.
  • Brews featured at Safety Harbor 3rd Friday in downtown Safety Harbor from 6-10 p.m.
  • SweetWater will be flowing at the JJGrey & Mofro show at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg at 8 p.m.

Follow the brewery’s Florida events on its Florida Facebook page for updates on events and appearances at:

Leave a comment

Posted by on October 5, 2012 in Beer, Beer News, Craft Beer Brewery


Tags: , , , , , ,

Save Cigar City Brewery Tap Room

The Tap Room at Cigar City Brewing in Tampa is under attack! The Tampa City Counsel wants to close it. Steve Rushe from our friends at the Beer Junto blog has organized a petition signing at Total Wine in the St. John’s Town Center to help save this mecca for beer lovers.

Stop by Total Wine today and sample Cigar City beers with Carolyn from Florida Micro Distributors and sign the petetion.

Save the Tap Room!

Leave a comment

Posted by on November 13, 2010 in Beer, Beer Styles, Craft Beer Brewery


Tags: , , , , , , ,