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Business Journal: Joey Redner selling Cigar City

Posted at 11:10 AM, Mar 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-18 11:10:55-04

In this week's Tampa Bay Business Journal segment, editor Alexis Muellner discusses the sale of Cigar City Brewing, LEGOLAND Florida's expansion, and the national honor Bern's Steak House is receiving.

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Cigar City Brewing will soon no longer owned by Joey Redner. This week the Tampa native agreed to sell Cigar City to Colorado brewery Oskar Blues.

The Denver Post reported the sale price was around $60 million dollars, using an industry standard of $1,000 per barrel. Cigar City did 55,000 barrels of beer and has plans to increase that amount to 70,000.

Oskar Blues is one of four other breweries owned by Boston-based private equity firm Fireman Capital Partners.

"Companies like this reach a point where they can't grow their business alone and so they look for capital," said Muellner. "They're not going anywhere. It doesn't really affect day-to-day operations."

Cigar City had been in talks with A-B InBev, even signing a letter of intent of sale last year. However, the deal fell apart giving Redner an opportunity to look elsewhere to grow his business.

Cigar City becomes part of the United Craft Brews consortium that Fireman Capital Partners runs. Redner will still have a stake in his company. The sale gives him an opportunity to expand Cigar City without risking the entire business by taking out large loans and going into debt.

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LEGOLAND Florida is growing again.

This week the Winter Haven theme park announced five new attractions. There will be additional on-site accommodations, a new, action-packed “4D” theatrical attraction and an all-new summertime event with fireworks and special entertainment.

"The number one deal for theme parks is to reinvent, constantly refresh," said Mullner.

LEGOLAND is building a vacation resort adjacent to the park next to Lake Dexter. Called the LEGOLAND Beach Resort, it will feature 83 single-story duplex units with room to sleep five. The resort is scheduled to open in mid-2017.

Mullner believes the resort is an important sign that turning the old Cypress Gardens into LEGOLAND Florida was a smart business move.

You can learn more about the park's expansion plans by clicking here.

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Bern's Steak House in South Tampa is receiving more national recognition.

The restaurant received a 2016 James Beard award nominee in the Outstanding Wine Program category. Bern's compete against Canlis in Seattle; Commander's Palace in New Orleans; FIG in Charleston, South Carolina; and Sepia in Chicago.

Bern's was nominated in the same category last year. Bern's sommelier Derrick Pagan won a James Beard award for wine service back in 1992.

Bern's is legendary for having the largest wine cellar collection of any restaurant in the world. The steaks the restaurant serves up are pretty darn good, too.

The James Beard Award Winners will be announced May 2 in Chicago.

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For more information on these stories, click on the video player, go to youtu.be/7RDPJNsDc1I or pick up this week's Tampa Bay Business Journal available on newsstands or online.