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Cigar City Brewing's Hunahpu's Imperial Stout to be celebrated Saturday

Take Cigar City Brewing's acclaimed Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout, throw in ancho, pasilla and guajillo chili peppers, Madagascar vanilla beans, Peruvian cacao nibs and Ceylon cinnamon, and what do you get?

Hunahpu's Imperial Stout, the Tampa brewery's most prized and sought-after offering.

Hunahpu's — a hefty, bold brew with a double-digit ABV and flavor to spare — is such a big deal to beer lovers that Cigar City has dedicated an entire daylong event to celebrate its release, simply known as Hunahpu's Day.

Why all the fuss? In short, Hunahpu's is really, really good. There's no substitute for trying it yourself, but the consensus in the craft beer community is that Hunahpu's is not to be missed — it holds a 99 rating on Beer Advocate and a 100 rating on Rate Beer, with the latter currently rating it as the 11th best beer in the entire world.

Hunahpu's Day is this Saturday, marking the end of Tampa Bay Beer Week. The event promises much fanfare, as well as a chance to get your hands on a few bottles of this year's batch of the celebration's namesake beer and chat with Cigar City's brewers, who will be taking the day off to mingle with visitors and answer questions about their beers.

In just three years, Hunahpu's Day has evolved from a simple seasonal beer release to a full-on block party, with Cigar City fans lining up to fork over $20 for a bottle of this special brew.

"It's the one big party we throw a year," says Justin Clark, Cigar City's vice president. "It's a great celebration of beer, with fans coming out from all over."

In addition to Hunahpu's release, there will be live music, food trucks and beer samples from local homebrew clubs. Guest taps also will be available in the parking lot, including selections from nearly every Florida craft brewery, as well as big national names like Sam Adams, Ballast Point, Shipyard and Avery. Cigar City also will serve limited-release versions of their normal beers.

Hunahpu's Day

The event is 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday at Cigar City Brewing, 3924 W Spruce St., Tampa. The event is free to the public; a 21-and-up wristband is required to purchase 750 mL bottles of Hunahpu's for $20. There is a two bottle limit. Bottle sales and outdoor beer purchases will be cash only, though the tasting room will accept credit cards as usual. Brewery tours will not be available, but visitors are welcome to bring uncommon or interesting beers from home, provided they share with others. Parking will at Sears & Roebuck across the street.

Tampa Bay Beer Week

The bay area's first-ever Beer Week continues, with some of the best that local craft brewers have to offer. Here are some events. For more:

Firkins and Food Trucks: $30 for all-you-can-drink beers from the firkins (kegs of cask-conditioned ale) while they last, foods for purchase from food trucks, normal charge for beers. Barley Mow Brewing Company, 518 West Bay Drive, Largo. (727) 584-7772. 6 p.m. today.

Thirsty Thursday at Datz: Craft beers, beer swag, snacks, giveaways and $1 off pints, snacks, plus one guest gets the chance to tap the spigot into cask to release the ale. No cover. Datz, 2616 S MacDill Ave., Tampa. (813) 831-7000. 6-10 p.m. today.

Local Brews and Local Grooves: Features beers from Florida breweries plus music by the Urbane Cowboys. No cover. The Independent-Seminole Heights, 5016 N Florida Ave., Tampa. (813) 341-4883. 6 p.m. today.

Dogfish Head IPA Pairing: Purchase Dogfish Head's new IPA and sample free foods in pairing. No cover, charge for beers. Fly Bar & Restaurant, 1202 N Franklin St., Tampa. (813) 275-5000. 8-10 p.m. today.

Barrel-Aged Beer Day at Peg's Cantina and Brew Pub: Peg's taps barrel-aged versions of their flagship beers at noon and 7 p.m., including two versions of Rare D.O.S., which received a 100 rating on Beer Advocate and 99 rating on Rate Beer. No cover. Peg's Cantina & Brew Pub, 3038 Beach Blvd. S, Gulfport. (727) 328-2720. Noon Friday.

Dunedin House of Beer Anniversary Party: Celebrate three years for the House of Beer with $4 pours for any of the 40 taps all day, pizza at 7 p.m. and live music. No cover. Dunedin House of Beer, 927 A Broadway, Dunedin. (727) 216-6318. Noon Saturday.

Brunch with the Gorilla Grill: $20, includes glass, three beers and brunch. Saint Somewhere Brewing Co., 1441 Savannah Ave., Tarpon Springs. (813) 503-6181. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday.

Sour Beer Breakfast: Try grain-based, tart "sour" beers, paired with in-house smoked cheeses and other breakfast fare. Limited seating. $30. New World Brewery, 1313 E Eighth Ave., Tampa. (813) 248-4969. 11 a.m. Sunday.

Note: This story has been changed to reflect the following correction: There is now a two bottle limit on Hunahpu's. Parking has been moved to Sears & Roebuck.

Cigar City Brewing's Hunahpu's Imperial Stout to be celebrated Saturday 03/08/12 [Last modified: Friday, March 9, 2012 2:05pm]
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