Hail, Hunahpu… bringer of chocolate…
As has been reported by many who attended, Saturday’s Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout release event was incredible. This was no simple beer release. This was an event that went well beyond a single beer. Well over 1000 people showed up, and from all over the place. Cigar City put on a truly amazing event, with keg after keg of special brews, unbelievable guess taps, and great food and music. I had the privilege of pouring at some of the outside guest taps (and have the sunburn to prove it). Just at my station alone, we had:
- Funky Buddha Maple Bacon Coffee Porter
- Three Floyds Arctic Panzer Wolf Double IPA
- Founders Nemesis Barleywine
- Saint Somewhere Saison Athene
- Cigar City Pineapple Kolsch
- Cigar City Passion Dragon Berliner
- Swamp Head 10-10-10
- Founders Backwoods Bastard Scotch Ale
- Lost Abbey Angel’s Share
- Founders Breakfast Stout
- Half Acre Daisy Cutter Pale Ale
- Shipyard Emporium Mild (on cask)
It was unreal… other stations had other incredible offerings, and inside the tasting room Cigar City had special brews on every tap. Of course the star of the day was Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout. This beer begins as Marshal Zhukov’s Imperial Stout and is then blended with Peruvian cacao nibs, ancho & pasilla chiles, Madagascar vanilla beans, and cinnamon. It is every bit as decadent and luscious as it sounds. A special treat was when CCB owner Joey Redner came around with a tray of Hunahpu cookies! They were amazing.
In addition to the guest taps, several homebrewing clubs had stations set up pouring their members’ creations. Samplings from Special Hoperations, Tampa Bay B.E.E.R.S., Pinellas Urban Brewers Guild, and the Dunedin Brewers Guild proved without a doubt that homebrewing is alive and well in Tampa Bay, and turning out some very excellent and creative beers.
The other side of this event was the bottle sharing that went on. Many people brought a slew of their personal cellar collections, and shared freely with other celebrants. Some of the beers I saw (and tasted) being shared included:
- Russian River Pliny the Elder
- Troeg’s Nugget Nectar
- Three Floyds Dark Lord
- Sexual Chocolate
- Telegraph Gypsy Ale
- all kinds of homebrew…
And I got to enjoy time with some out-of towners, namely the boys from United We Drink (Phil & Mike), hoist a few with the Willard‘s gang, meet the men behind Funky Buddha, and catch up with the Crazy Cat Lady Beer and Cerveza Chica. As always, it was great to see Gerard (of Road Trips for Beer and Beer in Florida) and all the local folks as well.
If this weekend’s festivities were any foretelling of what the future holds for Cigar City Brewing and big releases, we have a lot to look forward to in Tampa Bay. Kudos to Joey and Wayne and the entire crew of CCB for putting together an amazing event.