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CCB News • August 6, 2021

CCB & Dark Door Spirits Team up on new Ready-To-Drink Cocktail

Paper Plane, a Cigar City Brewing Crafted Cocktail, launches soon.

Having spent more than 12 years honing our skills in the world of brewing, the men and women of Cigar City Brewing welcomed the challenge of creating flavorful craft seltzers in 2020 and introduced Cigar City Seltzer to great acclaim. In 2021, we’re venturing into the world of craft cocktails with the help of another iconic Tampa brand with the launch of our Paper Plane ready-to-drink cocktail. Combining the talents of Cigar City Brewing and Dark Door Spirits, this limited release is one of the first canned versions of mixology’s most popular modern recipes.

This new canned cocktail is a first for our brewery, but likely not our last. As innovation continues to be a driver for our brand, it was intuitive to lean on the expertise of a nearby craft distiller and collaborate on the release in much the same way we’ve collaborated with other craft breweries.

The challenge was to find a way to create a cocktail that authentically encapsulated both local brands. How could our team contribute beyond recipe ideas (and some welcome sampling of Dark Door’s amazing spirits)? The folks at Dark Door had the answer: they distilled our Citrus Siesta Golden Ale to create a spirit made from grain and hops and, by extension, fashioned a cocktail with the soul of a beer.

The ethos at Cigar City Brewing has been to brew the beers we want to drink, and the Paper Plane cocktail is no different. While many cocktail recipes were considered, it was an easy decision to go with the Paper Plane, a modern classic of mixology created by renowned bartender Sam Ross. When we’re not drinking beer, it’s often this cocktail that our team members order when visiting our favorite Tampa haunts.

“We were very excited to work on something unique to the ready-to-drink space with our friends at Cigar City Brewing,” said Shane Neukam, Brand Manager for Dark Door Spirits. “As we began this project, we all agreed that it had to be something fun and different, and that’s how we landed on the Paper Plane. We were looking for the one we could creatively make our own, and in the end it’s something we are really proud of.”

Citrus Siesta Golden Ale’s orange and lime qualities shine through in the resulting barrel-aged spirit. Aperol normally found in the cocktail recipe is achieved through the addition of both pink and red grapefruit, while Dark Door’s Ibisco Amaro provides the body and herbal qualities traditionally imparted by Amaro Nonino. With the ultimate addition of lemon, these dynamic ingredients combine to create a 5.0% ABV concoction whose light carbonation adds a tactile dimension to our take on the cocktail.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Cigar City Brewing,” said Justin Clark, Vice President of Commercial Development for CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective, of which CCB is a leading partner. “We’ve been friends with the folks over at Dark Door Spirits for a while so this was a fun collaboration. I love the convenience of being able to bring a complex cocktail with you anywhere that I can take a cooler. Typically, there would be too much involved to have a beverage like this at the ready. While this release is crafted as limited and small-batch, we are planning what’s next for CCB beyond beer innovation.”

We’re celebrating the release of Paper Plane with a launch party at the Spruce Street Taproom on Friday, August 13th. Check out our social media for details on the party and to keep up with everything else going on inside our brewery. Be sure to snag a 4-pack of Paper Plane before this small-batch release flies off the radar!

A glass of Paper Plane ready-to-drink cocktail sits next to its can in front of barrels baring the Dark Door Spirits brand imagery.
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