Food Traveler Magazine Winter 2016 - Page 34

Winter , BY T H E GLASS Coppertail Brewery Taproom Cigar City Brewery Events (continued) Tampa Bay Beer Week March 2017 This craft beer mega-celebration has hosted more than 750 events since 2012. Throughout Tampa Bay, you’ll find large-scale festivals, special tastings, dinners to learn about pairing the perfect beer with your meal and plenty more. Hunaphu’s Day March 2017 Named after a Mayan legend, this festival is pretty legendary in its own right, too. Admission includes tapas, a tasting glass and unlimited samples of 400 beers. Plus, it’s the only place to get bottles of Cigar City Brewing’s award-winning Hunahphu’s® Imperial Stout. Bad A** III Beerfest April 2017 Tampa Bay Brewing Company Every local brewery and homebrewing club is invited to this event to give you a true taste of Tampa Bay’s craft beer scene. Along with a boatload of samples, you get sneak peek tastings of soon-to-be released brews. 32 FoodTraveler l Winter 2016 Brewmaster Wayne Wambles, Cigar City Brewery Meet the man behind the brew Award-winning brewmaster Wayne Wambles from Cigar City Brewing tells us how he started and what’s up next. How has the craft brewing scene in Tampa Bay changed since Cigar City Brewing appeared on the map? As far as craft beer shelf space in Tampa Bay, there weren’t a lot of options locally. Since we approached it fearlessly and were responded to well, that helped to comfort people who were interested in opening their own breweries. We made it pretty apparent that this was a working business model; it wasn’t just a pipe dream. Which gastropubs in Tampa Bay really elevate pub grub? Anything that Chad Johnson from Haven touches is phenomenal. I’d say it’s the best dinner I’ve had in my life, and that was the first beer dinner he’d ever made. He’s a very impressive chef. What is the future of craft brewing in Tampa Bay? It will get to the point that the bar for quality — and it’s already set pretty high, in my opinion — is going to be set even higher, to the extent that it’s going to be hard to be a brewery and make mediocre beer and survive. There’s so much good beer to be had in the area.