Recently we were in Ybor City and swung by Cigar City Cider & Mead. The tasting room is located in central Ybor and is actually in the original location of the Tampa Bay Brewing Co.

When you walk in, you immediately notice a long bar going down one side of the room and a line of stainless steel brewing equipment down the other which turns out to be where they brew the meads.

20+ taps feature a half dozen beers along with some mead and of course an assortment of cider in a variety flavors. Besides three Cigar City beers, Funky Buddha, Tampa Bay Brewing and Coppertail were represented. 

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The bartender on duty was great. She explained the process used to brew both the ciders and the meads. Turns out that the cider is brewed off site in nearby Auburndale but the treatments that give the unique flavors are done onsite. It was interesting to discover that the majority of the flavors on tap all started off as their standard hard cider. The other interesting thing that we learned was that with the meads, it takes about a month for each percentage of desired ABV to ferment.

Not having much experience with ciders,  I was impressed with the variety of flavors. If I didn't know what I was drinking, I would never have guessed that the Peaches & Cream cider was apple based. We sampled several of the ciders and the one that really stood out was actually a mixture of the "There Is Always $ in the Banana Stand" and "Cowboy Dan's Caramel Extravaganza." Each was good on their own but mixed together they became a liquefied Bananas Foster.

Well worth the visit. Make sure to check them out next time you're in the area.

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