Have a Cow, Man: Florida Cattlemen, Brewer Team Up on New Beer

Tampa-based Cigar City Brewing is making a new limited-edition milk stout—with proceeds supporting the Florida Cattlemen's Foundation, a nonprofit offshoot of the Florida Cattlemen's Association.

As anyone who’s eaten a burger at a pub can tell you, beer and beef go together nicely.

The Florida Cattlemen’s Association, a trade group that represents the state’s cattle ranchers, is taking that to heart—going so far as to work with Cigar City Brewing, a popular craft brewery in Tampa, via its Florida Cattlemen’s Foundation.

Last week the collaboration led to the launch of Cow Boss Imperial Milk Stout, a beer that has Florida’s ranching industry grazing all over it. The foundation worked closely with the brewery to offer ideas for the Florida-sourced beer, which was aged over cypress wood from the state and contains a little lactose to give the brew a bit of a dessert flavor.

The beer came about with the help of Jim Strickland, a rancher in the state and the former chairman of the trade group’s nonprofit arm, the Florida Cattlemen’s Foundation. Strickland reached out to the brewery and made the collaboration a reality while he was still leading the foundation. The label for the beer was even drawn by a cattle rancher who moonlights as an artist.

The foundation also came up with the name.

“We couldn’t be more proud to collaborate with Cigar City Brewing to develop Cow Boss,” Strickland said in a news release. “The Cigar City Brewing team and skill set are exceptional. Their ability to highlight authentic Florida helps tell the story of the Florida cattle rancher to those who may not know of us.”

Cigar City Brewing is known for embracing all things Florida. Earlier this year, in fact, the company created a IPA honoring “Florida Man,” a popular meme making fun of the unusual things that show up in the state’s crime blotters. (The headlines, which usually start “Florida man …”, have gained fame thanks in part to a popular Twitter feed.)

Cow Boss, however, highlights an angle of the state that perhaps isn’t so well-known. (Did you know of Florida’s ranching industry before clicking on this article?) It also has a financial benefit for the foundation: Cigar City will donate $10,000 from the beer’s sales to the foundation, which will use the proceeds to help fund its leadership academy.

“We have a story to tell about the impact of the Florida cattle industry and what the foundation is doing to preserve its history and heritage. Cow Boss can help begin a conversation about the Florida cattle rancher to a wider audience,” said Tommy Harper, the foundation’s chairman.

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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