Cigar City Brewing at Lakeland’s Brewz Crewz Craft Beer Festival

By Virginia Johnson, Entertainment Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, February 15, 2013

The Brewz Crewz Craft Beer Festival in downtown Lakeland is a chance to sip and savor craft beer from around the country.

Breweries from around the country will be giving out samples of their favorite barley, hops and yeast recipes. That includes a local brewery Cigar City Brewing.

The Tampa-based operation isn’t yet 4 years old - they hit their birthday March 9 - but they are already stacking up loads of industry awards.

According to Vice president Justin Clark, the company has earned a medal every trip they’ve taken to the Great American Beer Fest in Denver, Colorado (two golds, a silver and a bronze), and they were just named the fourth best brewery in the world, according to the website RateBeer.com.

"At the end of the day, we always brew beer we like to drink, and we don’t compromise from that," Clark said. "We brew beer we like to drink and hope other people like to drink it as well."

Two Bay area charities are benefitting from the festival: Elder Point Ministries and the Downtown Lakeland Partnership.

ElderPoint Ministries is a nonprofit organization that operates the third largest food pantry in Polk County and feeds about 1,400 people in the community weekly. It is also Polk County’s lead agency for the Blue Bird Mobility Network, which helps provide volunteer transportation to the elderly.

The Downtown Lakeland Partnership is responsible for Lakeland’s First Friday celebration.

The Brewz Crewz Craft Beer Festival takes place in downtown Lakeland in Munn Park Saturday, February 16th, from 6-9 p.m.