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October 16, 2012
By Manager in the All, Beer category.
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Beer Dinner with Cigar City Planning & Menu

We’re hosting our first beer dinner with Cigar City Brewing on Sunday, October 28th and it’s going to be a great time! Ron Raike- our Brewmaster- and Josh Brengle – a brewer at Cigar City- recently collaborated on Flame Out, a Pale Ale that is scoring a 97 on ratebeer.com. To open the dinner Ron & Josh have collaborated again to brew a traditional German Berliner Weiss – sour and refreshing, as a start this beer will wake us your palate & get it ready for what is about to ensue! Both breweries will pair a beer with each course however, besides the reception beer; I have a feeling these guys are going to keep what they’re up to a secret. All I know is, with these two breweries, we’re all in for a treat!

James & Dennis just gave the first draft of the menu to Ron and Cigar City. The reason that the menu is important to them is that they are brewing and selecting beers that will pair with the flavors of each course. Typically with beer dinners, the chef’s pair the food to the pre-selected beers. This time, the brewers at Cigar City & Ron decided that it would be cool to change up the norm and are selecting and even brewing beers just for each individual course. It’s really exciting to see all the talent coming together for this dinner! How often do you get to hang out with Ron Raike & the guys from Cigar City while eating food made by award winning chefs? This is definitely a night not to be missed! As I said previously, the menu is in its beginning phases and some things are still being conceptualized. These are most of the flavor components but I think you’ll get the idea behind it. The dinner is $65 per person (plus tax & gratuity). Reception starts at 6pm.

Reception

*Still being finalized, however, there is a collaboration that was brewed here at C&L with CCB that should be a Berliner Weisse.

1st Course
Fresh Hop Crusted Venison Carpaccio

baby beet, green olive, orange

2nd Course
Barbecued Cobia Collar

bacon-gouda grits, pickled squash, golden raisin, pumpkin seed relish, mushroom ketchup

3rd Course
Crawfish Boudin

pork cheek hash, fried pickled okra

4th Course
Dark Chocolate-Pumpkin Cake

pumpkin-buttermilk white chocolate ganache, pumpkin seed brittle, cocoa nib whipped cream.

October 15, 2012
By Manager in the All, Beer category.
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“All Jacked Up” – Pumpkin Beer Release

Tuesday, October 16th at 4pm, our brewmaster, Ron Raike will tap our first annual “All Jacked Up” Pumpkin Beer. While big breweries are releasing pumpkin beers in the middle of the summer, we waited until the pumpkins were actually fresh and in season. Our Sous Chef, Jared, roasted 150lbs of Tampa grown calabaza pumpkins to create our new 7% ABV fall tradition beer. Ron says, “The beer is ‘all jacked up’ with traditional pumpkin pie spices and has a wild flower-honey finish.” Tomorrow can’t come fast enough!

September 07, 2012
By Manager in the All, Beer category.
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Fresh Simcoe Hops

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Fresh Simcoe hops just came in yesterday. This is a once a year event as these hops are fresh off the vine and shipped directly to us next day air from the farm that they are grown in. This variety – Simcoe – has limited availability and is sought after for it’s piney resin character. Ron will use them for dry and mash hopping in the brewery. The kitchen has made some syrups with these hops for use in our cocktails and as a ingredient in our southern-inspired creations. Ron expects other varieties to come in as they are harvested.

July 31, 2012
By Manager in the All, Beer, Uncategorized category.
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We’re Getting Closer!

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I have always said when I hear a new restaurant give an opening date to just add a month. In our case, our opening date is a reality because we’re ahead of schedule! The brewery is complete. The draft system has been crafted and will be installed when the mill workers have completed the bar. The draft system is made of large 6 inch fire sprinkler piping and is being crafted by Al Sneller’s machine shop, Victory Bicycles. It’s going to be powder coated a black/grey color and according to Ron it’s going to really stand out. Ron also likes the industrial functional feel of it and says its going to be a beast!

All of our beautiful mill work (wood work) is being done by Dream Cabinets. These guys move quickly and are very professional. In just a few days this place has definitely been transformed!

July 18, 2012
By Manager in the All, Beer, Uncategorized category.
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It’s All Happening!

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Our brewery equipment came in from California yesterday and it’s so shiny and beautiful! I was on vacation with my family and hadn’t been into C&L for two weeks and when I walked in today I got chills! Walls are finished, tiling is laid for the entrance & oyster bar and the brewery looks fantastic. Even though it isn’t finished, this restaurant already has a soul, you can feel it!

James, Dennis, Ron and Larry spent the whole day yesterday with Todd from Premier Stainless unloading all the equipment (note of caution: stainless steel does reflect sunlight! James got a little burnt!) and today they were back to work getting all the parts connected.
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Monday, Al from Premier Stainless -who also brews beer- will be coming in. Al, Ron & Todd will run a test brew with water to make sure everything is working properly and we should be brewing our first beers on Tuesday or Wednesday.

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The best part of all of this, we are ahead of schedule!!! We will have plenty of time to get in the kitchen, train the staff & brew the beer before our Grand Opening just a few days after Labor Day. Get excited, because as I said in the headline, “It’s all happening!”

June 06, 2012
By Manager in the All, Beer category.
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Adventures of a Gypsy Brewer

As you know, our brewery is under construction thus, to keep things brewing our brewmaster, Ron Raike, has been traveling all over the state brewing with Florida breweries. Ron’s first collaboration with Green Room in Jacksonville brought us the Ravenous Ruby Red, which made its debut at Taste of Winter Park in April. The beer is brewed with local Ruby Red Grapefruit, Hamlin Oranges and Indian Coriander and gives us a easy drinking red ale with a malty characteristic, grapefruit punch and coriander finish. The Ravenous Ruby Red was so popular that Ron went back to Green Room and they brewed up a new batch that is due to release any time now. They also made a 10.8 gallon Firkin of cask conditioned and cascade dry-hopped Ravenous Red that made a quick appearance at RedLight RedLight and will be tapped at The Pig very soon.

In addition, Ron has just confirmed the beer he will be brewing with Swamp Head in Gainesville this Friday. They will be making the Ravens Head Saison Noir – a dark Belgian-style Saison aged in California Grenache wine barrels.

We’ll keep you up to date as the brewery continues to progress and of Ron’s adventures in brewing so stay posted!

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All the ingredients for the Ravenous Ruby Red at Green Room

May 18, 2012
By Manager in the All, Beer category.
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Moving Right Along

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I stopped by Cask & Larder this morning to see Ron Raike, our Brewmaster. He’s there every morning overseeing all the construction of the brewery from the ground up and he has very specific designs about how everything is going to be placed. Today he was meeting with our stainless steel contractor, Champion Sheet Metal. Champion is a local company that has done work for Greens & Grille, a local restaurant owned by James Petrakis’ brother, Brian Petrakis. The brewery is being installed in the previous stage area and will be encased in Champion’s stainless steel.

Our 5-barrel Premier Stainless system is due to arrive in July. This system will allow Ron to brew 10 kegs at a time so he can keep brewing and our beer will always be flowing! What’s really cool is that Ron is customizing this system to make the best beers possible & give him the flexibility to brew whatever he wants including half-batches. In addition to our 5-barrel system, he’s having a Half-barrel Nano system installed & a high-quality water filter. Water quality is essential to brewing great beer, since beer is 95% water. Here are some things for all the beer enthusiasts out there to look forward to: Belgium styles and Sours, Palm Ridge whiskey barrel aged cask beers and collaborations with Green Room and Cigar City.