A Brewery Visit to Sanford Brewing Company in Sanford Florida

I always enjoy exploring Sanford. Its lakeside setting adds charm to this historic Florida town. The downtown area is filled with local restaurants, shops, bars. Of course, one of the big draws for me is its craft beer scene.

It's a great walkable town for enjoying craft beer.

On my recent visit to Sanford, I got to check out the newest brewery in town. Sanford Brewing Company opened in the Fall of 2016 and I was happy to finally check them out. 
Entrance to Sanford Brewing Company

The brewery is housed in a building that has a history dating back a century ago. The design of the brewery showcases a number of craftsmen design elements from that era.

The brewery has that brewpub feel about it since it does serve food. I didn't have a chance to eat anything this visit, but I have friends who have had good things to say about the food. I hear their wings are amazing👍

There are a number of tables to dine and drink in and a few tables outside as well. You may want to enjoy your beer at the bar. The red oak wood that tops the bar comes from reclaimed barn wood circa 1800.
Dining area at Sanford Brewing Company

I have had enjoyed Sanford Brewing Company beers before at local beer events. They were recently pouring at this year's Florida SMaSH Beer Festival in Longwood.

This visit to the brewery I was with a group doing the craft beer tour of the town on the Limo Cycle. Sanford Brewing was our first stop and they had our beer flights waiting for us. While I enjoyed all the beers in my flight, my favorite was Celery City Pale Ale. It's got a nice celery taste up front making it quite unique.
Beer flights at Sanford Brewing Company

Along with their dozen or so drafts on tap, you will find about a dozen more guest taps that tend to be Florida focused.  There are a few bottles and they have wine and cider too.
Beer taps and bottles at Sanford Brewing Company

 The Killa Vanilla Porter was another beer I enjoyed in my beer flight. It is a delicious dessert in a glass. I'd pair that with one of their new desserts!

Sanford Brewing Company is that brewpub where you can bring a group of friends or family and enjoy some bites and beers.

Check out their Facebook Page to keep up with events. They always seem to have some fun things going on.

If you're starting off your Sanford craft beer adventure or ending it, Sandford Brewing Company is a perfect spot to get fueled up with some food and enjoy a couple of brews🍻

My favorite beer: Celery City Pale Ale
Guest taps or bottles:✔
Their beer sold in cans or bottles: No
Crowlers: No
Patio vs Bar: Either
Dogs: Patio
Tours: ?
Visits: 1
Setting: Historic building
Vibe: Brewpub
Reviews from the web: 4.6 Google ~ 3.65 Untappd
What I enjoy: I like that it's a brewpub that serves good beer. The location is ideal for exploring the local craft beer scene.
Local spots nearby to check out: Hollerbach's Willow Tree, Wondermade & Palate Coffee Brewery

More Central Florida breweries to check out.

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A SMaSH of a Beer Festival

Everyone has their favorite way of enjoying craft beer. Mine is hanging at a brewery with friends. I'm not much of a beer festival kind of gal. I reserve my energy for the Great American Beer Festival. Having said that I recently checked out the Florida SMaSH Beer Festival sponsored by Hourglass Brewing in Longmont and I have to say I may be changing my tune.

There were many things I enjoyed about this year's Florida SMaSH. 

I liked the setup in Longwood's Historic District. The Community Building served at the VIP location. VIP got you into the event an hour early, a great bottle share with brewers and complimentary food from The Spot. The VIP area ended up being more valuable as it was nice shelter from the downpour that afternoon.

The tents were set up along the brick street out front. There were tables to sit down and enjoy your beer. Bonus were the real bathrooms!
Longwood Community Building in longwood florida

buffalo chicken sandwich from The Spot in longwood florida
Buffalo Chicken Sandwich with a side of Mac & Cheese 👍

Another aspect of the beer festival I liked was that it was a SMaSH beer event. All the brewers were local and they all used the same Single Malt and Single Hop variety. They were free to add adjuncts and any extras such as barrel aging.

There were over 80 beers to sample. 

On top of the SMaSH beers, the breweries brought one-offs as well.
smash craft beer definition

Central Florida has been in a drought for some time. The day of the event Mother Nature decided it was time for some much-needed rain. It rained pretty much the whole event and we're talking downpour. That tells you something if I was at an event drinking beer for four hours in the rain and still had a blast, you know it was a great event!
A SMaSH of a Beer Festival in longwood florida

Hometown brewery Hourglass Brewing was the host of the event. Hourglass is a big supporter of the local community and the SMaSH Beer Festival is a way for them to give back to the community. Proceeds from the event benefited The Sharing Center, an organization focused on preventing hunger and homelessness in families.
Hourglass brewing at SMaSH of a Beer Festival in Longwood florida

There were forty Florida breweries pouring their beers for the event. There were quite a few breweries there that haven't opened yet. It was a great way to sample their beers and see what we can expect once they open their doors.

Guests were given three tokens to use to vote for their favorite SMaSH beer.
cask & larder beers at SMaSH of a Beer Festival in Longwood florida
Redlight Redlight & Cask & Larder

Red Cypress beers at SMaSH of a Beer Festival in Longwood florida
Red Cypress Brewery 

Daytona beach brewing beers at SMaSH of a Beer Festival in Longwood florida
Daytona Beach Brewing 

Bowigens Beer Company won the People's Choice Award last year.
Bowigens craft beer at SMaSH of a Beer Festival in Longwood florida

Ellipsis Brewing won this year's SMaSH Beer🏆Their beers were tasty! Look for them to open near MCO this fall.
Ellipise Brewing at SMaSH of a Beer Festival in Longwood florida

Tactical Brewing Co. is another brewery that will be opening their doors in Orlando. They will be located in Baldwin Park.
tactical Brewing beer at SMaSH of a Beer Festival in Longwood florida

Ten1- Brewing beers at SMaSH of a Beer Festival in Longwood florida
Ten10 Brewing Co

Deviant Wolfe is looking to open in Sanford!
Deviant Wolf beer at SMaSH of a Beer Festival in Longwood florida

I finally got to try some Grasslands beer. They came down from Tallahassee.
grasslands craft beer at SMaSH of a Beer Festival in Longwood florida

Bayboro Brewing is looking to open in St. Petersburg.
bayboro brewing beer at SMaSH of a Beer Festival in Longwood florida

Brewery at Whisper Creek J.W. Marriott beers at SMaSH of a Beer Festival in Longwood florida
Whisper Creek The Brewery
Jacksonville was in the house with Intuition Ale Works.
intuition ale works at SMaSH of a Beer Festival in Longwood florida

Orlando brewing beer at SMaSH of a Beer Festival in Longwood florida
Orlando Brewing

Wolf Branch Brewing will be opening up in Eustis!
Wolf Branch Craft beer at SMaSH of a Beer Festival in Longwood florida

tomoka brewing beer at SMaSH of a Beer Festival in Longwood florida
Tomoka Brewing Company in Port Orange

I only got to sample about a third of the beers! That's what happens when you run into so many beer friends. I'm bummed I missed out on a lot of the beers at the event, I didn't leave disappointed. I had some great beers and there's only so much this lady can drink after coming down with the flu.
craft beer at SMaSH of a Beer Festival in Longwood florida

When the event was winding down the sun gods appeared! It didn't matter, the rain didn't damper anyone's spirits. I had a blast drinking with friends and meeting new beer friends along the way🍻

This is my kind of beer festival. I will be coming back for more SMaSH beer next year.

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CAN’d Aid Foundation and Cigar City Brewing Invite Community to Build Bikes for Local First Graders

101 Bikes to be Donated to Tampa Blvd Elementary 

Can'd_Aid Letterhead.jpg

WHAT: Cigar City Brewing and the CAN’d Aid Foundation have teamed up to build and donate bikes to 101 underprivileged children in Tampa, FL. After volunteers convene to build the bikes, the entire first grade class at Tampa Blvd Elementary, a Title I school, will receive a new bike and helmet. Jeff Lenoksy, a world-class professional freeride and trials mountainbike rider, will also treat students to a wheelie-filled stunt demo and bike safety training.
Community volunteers are needed to help build the bikes at Cigar City Brewing - where food, beer and all tools necessary to build the bikes will be provided. Volunteers are invited to join Cigar City Brewing representatives and CAN’d Aid at Tampa Boulevard Elementary to help distribute bikes, fit helmets and adjust seats for each of the students.
WHEN: Wednesday, May 24 at Cigar City Brewing
6:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M. Community bike build
  • Beer, food and tools provided for all volunteers
Thursday, May 25 at Tampa Boulevard Elementary
12:45 P.M. CAN’d Aid Foundation makes surprise announcement that each student will receive a brand new bicycle
1:00 P.M. Jeff Lenosky gives bike demo
1:15 P.M. Bikes are distributed to students
WHERE: Bike build will occur at Cigar City Brewing, 3924 W Spruce St, Tampa, FL
Bike donation will occur at Tampa Bay Blvd Elementary, 3111 W Tampa Bay Blvd, Tampa, FL

MEDIA OP: Community bike build and kids on site receiving bike donation.  To interview Sarah Leavitt with CAN’d Aid Foundation, email: sarah@oskarblues.com  
WHY: Cigar City Brewing is a nationally certified Bike Friendly Business, working to improve area pedestrian infrastructure in the Tampa Bay region. They are partnered with organizations including the Vision Zero initiative, Walk Bike Tampa Bay, Bike/Walk Tampa Bay, On Bikes and Cyclovia to make the city more accessible for bikes. The donation is also in support of the CAN’d Aid Foundation TREADS + TRAILS initiative, which focuses on getting people outside. Since its inception in 2013, more than $2.6 million has been raised to support “do-goodery” efforts.

CONTACT: Tia Mattson, 303-868-3131, tia@lemediamix.com


Quote from Justin Clark, COO  at Cigar City Brewing: “Cigar City Brewing has always been excited to do what we can to encourage and promote safe cycling in the Tampa Bay region, so teaming up with Can'd Aid and Tampa Bay Boulevard Elementary School was a natural partnership. Working to help provide an entire grade of elementary students with new bicycles and helmets continues to be a rewarding experience for the whole team. We hope to see more programs like this benefit the area."

Cigar City Brewing Announces Colorado Distribution

TAMPA, FL & DENVER, CO - Cigar City Brewing Announces Colorado Distribution

Tampa, Florida’s Cigar City Brewing is proud to announce the addition of Colorado to the brewery’s distribution network.  This is the fourth new state to receive deliveries of Cigar City Brewing’s award-winning beer in 2017.  CCB will be partnering with numerous distribution partners to cover the state including RMC Distributors, Coors Distributing Company, High Country Beverage and Mountain Beverage Co. Twelve-ounce cans of Jai Alai IPA, Maduro Brown Ale, Florida Cracker Belgian-style White Ale, Invasion Pale Ale and Tampa-style Lager can currently be found in this new market. Special draft releases for the launch will include Marshal Zhukov’s Penultimate Push and Margarita Gose.
Market launch events will be taking place across Colorado from May 15th thru May 18th with numerous Cigar City Brewing representatives present, including Cigar City Brewing’s Brewmaster Wayne Wambles, COO Justin Clark, El Lector Neil Callaghan, and Brand Manager Lucas Widrick. These events will be incredible opportunities for Colorado’s craft beer fans to enjoy some of the first CCB beer to be shipped to the state and to learn about Cigar City Brewing’s brand and its award-winning beer from the people who know it best.
Cigar City Brewing’s beer, including award-winning Jai Alai IPA, is now available in ten states encompassing Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Colorado.  Cigar City Brewing’s ales and lagers are also exported to Denmark.

Cigar City Brewing’s Colorado Launch Events
Monday: May 15th – Denver
  • Ale House at Amato’s - Launch Event
    2501 16th St, Denver, CO 80211
Tuesday: May 16th – Fort Collins
  • Mayor of Old Town - Launch Event
    632 S Mason St, Fort Collins, CO 80524
Wednesday: May 17th – Vail, Colorado Springs & Longmont
  • Vail Ale House - Launch Party
    2161 N Frontage Rd W, Vail, CO 81657
  • Brass Tap - Launch Event
    13271 Bass Pro Dr #110, Colorado Springs, CO 80921
    6-8 pm
  • Parry’s Pizza Longmont - Pint Night
    1232 S Hover Rd #100, Longmont, CO 80501
Thursday: May 18th – Denver, Northglenn & Highlands Ranch
  • Chuburger RiNo - Media Exclusive Event
    3490 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
    Please email tcox@cigarcitybrewingcom if interested in attending
  • Parry’s Pizza Northglenn  - Launch Event
    100 E 120th Ave, Northglenn, CO 80233
  • Parry’s Pizza Highlands Ranch  - Launch Event
    9567 S University Blvd, Highlands Ranch, CO 80126
  • Star Bar  - Official Launch Party
    2137 Larimer St, Denver, CO 80205
Visit Cigar City Brewing’s website [www.cigarcitybrewing.com] to find the CCB beer closest to you.
About Cigar City Brewing:
Cigar City Brewing, makers of Jai Alai and Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout, was founded in 2009 by Joey Redner with the goal of creating quality beer that reflected the flavors and history of the Tampa region.  This unique perspective resonated with the local and national markets alike and the brewery has quickly grown from 1,000 barrels of beer in 2009 to an excess of 65,000 barrels produced in 2016. The 2016 partnership with Oskar Blues of Lyons, Colorado ushered in a new era of growth for this Florida-based organization, with new markets and technologies on the horizon.

Central Florida Breweries

Here is a list of breweries you will find in the Orlando Metro Area. Each brewery is unique and has their own appeal. I feel that every brewery has something to offer. Some may have better beer, but others may have a unique atmosphere. Go out and explore Florida's craft beer scene and see which ones will become your favorite watering hole.

Big River Grille & Brewing Works
City: Orlando

Black Cauldron Brewing
City: Orlando

Bowigens Beer Company
City: Casselberry

Broken Strings Brewery
City: Orlando

Cask & Larder
City: Winter Park

Central 28 Beer Company
City: DeBarry

Crooked Can Brewing Company
City: Winter Garden

craft beer at Dead Lizard Brewing Company in orlando florida

Deadly Sins Brewing
City: Winter Park

City: Mount Dora
beer flight at Mount Dora Brewing in mount dora florida

Ocean Sun Brewing
City: Orlando

Orlando Brewing
City: Orlando

Red Cypress Brewery
City: Winter Springs

Redlight Redlight Beer Parlour 
City: Orlando
My Blog Post

Reprise Brewing
City: St. Cloud

Sanford Brewing Company
City: Sanford
My Blog Post

City: Orlando
craft beer at sea dog brewing in orlando

Ten 10 Brewing Co.
City: Orlando

The Bear & Peacock
City: Winter Park
craft beer at the Bear & Peacock in winter park florida

The Hourglass Brewery
City: Longwood

Whisper Creek Farm: The Kitchen and Brewery
City: Orlando

Wop's Hops Brewing
City: Sanford

Ciders & Mead

Quantum Leap Winery
City: Orlando
My Blog Post
bottles of hard cider from quantum leap winery in orlando florida

*Coming Soon

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Editor's Note: This post was published in November 2016 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.