A plea from Cigar City Brewing came across my Twitter feed this morning via The Independent – Tampa. This is a perfect example of why I am going to start using my blog more and not just Twitter. Sure, I could retweet the link, say 3-4 words on it, but I want to fully comment on the situation.
The nutshell, the Tampa City Council failed to make permanent the wet zoning license and extend the hours for the tasting room of Cigar City Brewing. I’ve watched enough city council meetings to know this is generally a no brainer for a business like this that has had zero incidents. But for those that don’t live in Tampa or not as familiar, the owner of the CCB’s father has some high profile businesses that have clashed with the city for years. These city council members are punishing the son for issues they may have with the father. I know this because I watched the original city council meeting when they went for their license and zoning originally. They didn’t trust that this would be a legitimate business. Or at least those were the implications. That somehow this would all be a ruse to get some kind wet zoning and turn into some other type of business.
Little does the backwards uninformed who failed to vote on this know, but Cigar City Brewing is known nationally, internationally if you include Canada. Their beers are recognized and respected amongst some of the biggest and best micro-breweries. Shutting down the tasting room, or at the least minimizing it’s ability to do business, is a travesty and yet another sign of how far Tampa really is behind the times.
So if you are a craft beer fan not in Tampa, perhaps follow one of the links from the CCB site and tell a council member about your support for the art and the quality of the beer from CCB. If you do live in the city limits, please tell Ms. Miller, Rev. Scott (who is running for mayor? really you’d not want a world class business like this to not succeed?) and Mr. Stokes (oh, on second thought I will run for city council after telling you I wouldn’t) that not supporting this permanent license is a travesty and a disservice to the city.