What Happens in Tampa Bay… is awesome.

Right on the heels of a very successful First Pour event at Tampa Bay’s newest craft brewery, Seventh Sun, more goings on in and around the area are lining up.  There is also some news to share that affects travelers to Tampa Bay that they ought to be aware of.

Back in December, the announcement was made that Cigar City Brewing was going to open a small pub inside Tampa International Airport, a move lauded by craft beer drinkers everywhere.  Typically, the craft beer options found in airsides around the country are lacking at best.  But in a move to update and revamp the concession options in the airport, Cigar City was a natural fit.  Now, the news gets even better.  Not just a pub… a brewpub.  Cigar City will actually be brewing on premise.  According to the Tampa Bay Business Journal, owner Joey Redner figures he can get one or two barrels in the space on Airside C (Southwest, AirTran, and Frontier).  According to the article, the first beers will begin pouring in March of this year.  A good question was raised by a friend of mine when he heard about this, and I do not know the answer yet.  He said “I’m surprised that it’s legal to brew at airports.. I’d think that the TSA would be concerned about a microbiology lab being that close to travelers and aircraft, even if it is just a yeast lab… Or maybe they don’t have a lab, and they bring yeast from the big facility.. Do you know how they deal with that? Was there anything in particular that Cigar City had to do to appease the TSA?”

Anyone have any idea?

Another big piece of news is  Southern Brewing Supply’s move to their new location in Seminole Heights.  Not only will this give the homebrew supply shop more space, more centralized location, and room for classes, but they will be able to open their own nano-brewery!!!  The first phase of the move was to get the retail store moved and up and running; that was completed last week.  The second phase will include a (small) brewery, a brewing classroom, an actual pub, and a beer garden.  Weekend classes are already in full swing, with opportunities for beginners and experienced homebrewers both to come in and learn something new.  Congratulations to Brian and Kelly for the next big step!

Tomorrow night, The Pour House in Tampa is having a Keep the Glass night and pouring from Tampa’s own Tampa Bay Brewing Company!  Until recently, the only place to get TBBC beers was… at TBBC!  Now, with distribution from Pepin and canning coming soon, one of the Bay Area Originals is making its way into local bars.  Several of their beers will be available at the Channelside craft beer hotspot.  If you have never beer to the Pour House, this is the perfect time to get over there!

Finally, on the other side of the Bay, the Ale and the Witch is approaching its one-year anniversary next month (February 2nd), but on any given night you can find something new and wonderful there.  With 30 taps, live music, and one of the best craft beer staffs I have ever had the pleasure to know, the Witch has made a name for itself in a short amount of time as a “must visit” locale.  And with a new wine bar (Wine Madonna) sharing the patio, and a new sushi restaurant (Rollbotto) moving in across the patio, there is something for everyone!  According to the owner, Brett Andress, in 2011 the Witch killed 1,791 kegs of craft beer, had 322 musical shows (and never charged $1 for a cover), and this was all in a year they didn’t open til end of January and were closed on Mondays for the first 3 months.

Not bad for a little craft beer joint.

Lots more coming… Lots going on…

Cheers.

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~ by Sean Nordquist on January 10, 2012.

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