For centuries, Connecticut has been home to shade tobacco. Tampa, Fla. has a long history of cigar production. A new collaboration beer, produced by breweries representing both regions, bridges the "unlikely" historical connection.
Later this month, Broad Brook Brewing is set to release its project with Cigar City Brewing, a popular destination brewery on Florida's west coast. The "Made in the Shade" IPA is a collaborative recipe developed by Broad Brook's head brewer Tom Rossing and Cigar City brewmaster Wayne Wambles.
Broad Brook co-founder and president Eric Mance said the breweries' relationship began before he and his partners opened the East Windsor business in October 2013. He was visiting Tampa and stopped into Cigar City, and began speaking with Wambles and founder Joey Redner about his upcoming project. "I was firing questions at them...they were so open," he said.
The brewery representatives kept in "light contact" over the years, Mance said, and when the Broad Brook team considered creating a collaboration brew, Cigar City "was the first [brewery] that came to mind. They've helped us so much."
Rossing flew to Tampa this spring to work with Wambles on the IPA, described as "a refreshing citrus explosion" at 6.5 percent ABV with fresh orange and grapefruit and Mandarina Bavaria, Citra and Pacific Jade hops.
Wambles will travel to East Windsor to brew the beer with Rossing the second week of June, Mance said, and it will be released in 16-ounce, 4-pack cans across Connecticut and western Massachusetts during the last week of June, before the July 4 holiday. (The suggested retail price is $11.99.) Made in the Shade will also be available on draft at the brewery.
Mance said Broad Brook is thrilled to work with Cigar City, a highly visible and respected craft brewer known for its Jai Alai IPA and much-sought-after Hunahpu's Imperial Stout. In the fall, Rossing will travel to Tampa again to brew a "reciprocal" beer with Wambles.
"For us, it's just fantastic," Mance said. "Just for us to be collaborating with a brewery that’s so well-known. They just rocketed and hit it [out of the] park. [They're] a brewery to look up to, and aspire to. "
Broad Brook Brewing, 2 North Road, East Windsor, is open to the public Wednesday, 3 to 7 p.m. , Thursday, 3 to 8 p.m., Friday, 2 to 9 p.m., Saturday, noon to 8 p.m. and Sunday, 1 to 6 p.m. 860-623-1000, broadbrookbrewing.com.