TAMPA BAY – The Craft Beer scene was just ranked 3rd in the nation poll by a USA Today. Largely credited for Tampa explosion onto the craft beer scene is founder Cigar City Brewing, Joey Redner Jr.
“I was looking around the world and seeing a beer scene that was a lot more robust. And when we started here we went to fill flavor gaps.” Redner said. “Out of that we developed our ethos. We were willing to try new things.”
The learning curve of craft beer:
“The early days when i did a lot more work was more satisfying. I miss the days of coming home and being filthy from cleaning a keg.”
Selling Cigar City Brewing and rapid expansion:
“I still have a lot of passion for it. I look at it as something I do and not something Ive done.” Redner says. “We are the largest craft brewing, born and built in Florida. We are still growing at a fast base. We are struggling to keep up and to keep up with that I would have had to go into really big debt. And i wasn’t comfortable with that.”
Critical and business saving decisions:
Redner reflects on one of the many critical decisions he made to lead his company to where it is today. “Making the decision to focus more on the manufacturing side than the brew side. I took a lot of money from a profitable side of the company and put it towards something that was unprofitable.”