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Cigar City Brewing serves the best craft beer in Florida, website says

It’s a craft beer so rich, so indulgent and so coveted it commands its own festival: Double Barrel Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout.

Brewed on rare occasions by Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing Company, Double Barrel Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout ranks as the top beer in Florida, according to the Daily Meal’s list of “The Best Beers in Every State.”

A mouthwatering slideshow on the dining website salutes the brew’s over-the-top blast of chocolate, espresso, dark toffee, vanilla, tobacco and chili flavors. The spicy beer is aged inside apple brandy and rum barrels.

To determine each state’s shining beacon of beer, the Daily Meal combed through popular beer-rating websites Beer Advocate (where Hunahpu’s ranks No. 4 on its top beers list), RateBeer (also No. 4) and Untappd (No. 7), and recent winners of the Great American Beer Festival. The Mayan mythology-inspired beer has also netted countless awards on the beer-festival circuit.

In 2007, Tampa native Joey Redner founded Cigar City and brewed his first beer, a batch of Maduro Brown Ale, in early 2009, according to the brewery’s website. In 2010, Redner opened Cigar City’s taproom and started the every-March Hunahpu’s Day, the only festival where the sought-after stout is sold to the public. He sold Cigar City to Colorado’s Oskar Blues Brewery in March 2016.

It’s not the first time Cigar City has turned heads for its brews. In 2015, the Orlando Sentinel covered the release of Florida Man Double IPA, so named for the cast of harebrained hustlers, fugitives and thieves whose only-in-Florida nuttiness keeps topping weird-news headlines.

For stout devotees, Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout is a decadent dessert in a glass and is worth the schlep to Tampa. But South Florida breweries also rank high on beer-rating websites: The Oakland Park-based Funky Buddha Brewery’s Morning Wood imperial porter is No. 23 on Beer Advocate’s list of the top 250 beers.

At the Great American Beer Festival in October, Fort Lauderdale’s LauderAle Brewery won a gold medal in October for its C. Porter, a barrel-aged coconut-coffee porter available year-round in its taproom. The Buddha, meanwhile, picked up a silver medal for No Crusts, a brown ale reminiscent of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

For more information on Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout, go to CigarCityBrewing.com.

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pvalys@southflorida.com or 954-356-4364

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