This is an article I never thought I’d write, simply due to the nature of how terribly difficult it is to get to this particular brewery.
For those in the know, Cigar City has three breweries in Tampa. Everyone knows about the main brewery and tap room behind the Home Depot on Spruce Street. There’s also a brewpub well north of that, which still has an in-house pilot system.
But the third one, and the smallest, is the brewpub located at Tampa international Airport. In Terminal C.
This, of course, means that unless you have a ticket for a flight going through Terminal C, the airport brewpub remains out of reach.
As I thought it would be forever. But, as luck would have it, I managed to need to fly through Tampa, and had to fly through Terminal C. Meaning, awesomely enough, I got to hit the brewpub.
When you go, don’t get your hopes up too high. There’s not a ton of real estate, and the seating is open with gates on one side, and the open seating for a Quiznos on the other. The beer selection is also fairly small, with mostly core beers on draft. It’s also more of a franchise, which is why they also have Coors Light and Miller Light, too (oh, the travesty of it all).
But they always have at least one beer on tap that was brewed in the tiny little pilot system behind the bar. When I went, ine of those beers was I Left My Bags In London (Extra Special Bitter, 5.6% ABV).
It’s got a good, caramely-copper color and a light, malty aroma. I expected bitters to be brighter, for some reason.
As for the taste, yes, it’s bitter. Just slightly bitter, with a light malt taste accentuated with faint notes of wheat. Bitters have never really been my thing, but this one is still bright and summery enough to be very, nicely, drinkable.
And then there’s Preflight (Pale Ale, 5.6 ABV), their SMaSH beer.
Cigar City does love their Citra hops, and this beer is big in Citra hoppiness. Light maltiness, but it’s all about the hops with this. Big on the nose, and big in the flavor.
I have absolutely no idea if and when I’ll get back, but I went. That’s one special Florida brewery I get to cross off my bucket list.
Drink Florida Craft,