One of Florida's most popular microbrews is headed to sea.
Two of Tampa's Cigar City Brewing's craft beers will be featured aboard all 13 of Carnival Cruise Line's Florida-based cruise ships. The line made the announcement last Sunday aboard the Carnival Legend at a ceremony at the Port of Tampa.
"Carnival continues to seek high-quality brands to enhance our guests' experience, and Cigar City Brewing has been rated among the top craft breweries in the world," said Eddie Allen, Carnival's vice president of beverage operations. "Cigar City Brewing craft beers are a fantastic addition to our already extensive beverage menus and will provide our guests a chance to enjoy two delicious and refreshing beers that aren't available on any other cruise line."
The two offerings are the Florida Cracker Belgian-Style White Ale and Invasion Pale Ale.
The white ale, named after Florida's colonial-era "Cracker" cowboys is brewed with unmalted wheat, orange peel and coriander and described by the company as having a spicy, dry finish. The IPA is named in deference to Tampa's piracy history. It's described as having an aroma featuring peach, mango, lime and papaya with a light caramel malt character with tropical and citrus hop flavor and bitterness. The brewery began selling its microbrews commercially in 2009 and has grown in popularity each year.
"Cigar City Brewing could not be happier than to partner with another great Florida institution, that being Carnival Cruise Lines. Everyone at Cigar City Brewing is thrilled to start this wonderful partnership," said Joe Burns, national sales manager for Cigar City Brewing.
The partnership, which is the largest of its kind between a microbrewery and a cruise line, augments Carnival's own private label draft beer offering, ThirstyFrog Red, which is available on all Carnival ships.
Carnival Cruise Lines sails out of five Florida ports, offering 3- to 8-night itineraries from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, PortMiami, Port Canaveral, the Port of Tampa and Jaxport in Jacksonville. The 13 ships including Carnival's newest and largest ship, the Miami-based Carnival Breeze, carry a combined 2 million passengers a year.