Apr 23, 2024 - News

Cigar City layoffs come amid downturn for craft beer market

Illustration of a mug of beer, with a sad face in the foam

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tampa boasted one of the biggest craft beer makers in the nation — until last month.

Why it matters: The once-booming craft beer industry has hit a troubling downturn as competition and shifting alcohol consumption habits threaten its future, Axios Denver's John Frank reports.

  • Tampa Bay defines Florida's craft beer scene, with 110 brewers contributing to the state's multibillion-dollar industry.

Driving the news: Cigar City Brewing was among the nation's top craft beer producers in 2023, new data from the Brewers Association shows.

  • But Monster, the energy-drink maker that purchased Cigar City's parent company in 2022, closed the main Tampa facility last month and laid off most of its staff.
  • The building will become a hub for Monster's beer, flavored malt drinks and spirits.
  • Cigar City's taprooms in Tampa will remain open and the brand will keep making its local favorites like Jai Alai and Florida Man, per the Tampa Bay Times.

The big picture: The craft beer industry saw negative production for the second straight year in 2023, continuing a downward trend for independent, small brewers.

Yes, but: Craft beer fared better than the beer market as a whole, according to the Brewers Association, and new brewery openings continue to exceed closings.

What we're watching: Inner Compass Brewing is opening soon in Lakewood Ranch.

Magnanimous Brewing's third tasting room opened in February, taking over 7venth Sun Brewing Company's old Tampa spot.


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