Drink Local Florida Blog

Tampa Bay Lightning Celebrate 25th Anniversary with Specialty Craft Beer from Big Storm Brewing

All hockey and beer fans who want to help the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrate their silver anniversary can do so by toasting to the hockey club with a pint of Big Storm’s The Lightning 25 craft lager.

Big Storm Brewing unveiled the new light lager at their Pinellas county tasting room on Friday, September 15th with a crowd packed to see the guest of honor, Dave Andreychuk, former Lightning forward and team captain from the 2004 Stanley Cup Championship team.

Big Storm The Lightning 25 Can Design

A light lager with American cluster hops and German pilsner barley malt, The Lightning 25 is now available at both Big Storm locations (Pinellas and Pasco) and will be available for all pre-season and regular season Lightning games at Amalie Arena. Beginning September 19th, The Lightning 25 craft lager will be distributed throughout Tampa Bay, so we’ll be able to enjoy this new local beer while watching the Bolts at a local bar or restaurant, and possibly even at home.

As a huge fan of Tampa Bay area professional sports teams (Rays, Buccaneers, Lightning) as well as an advocate for Florida beer, partnerships like this one between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Big Storm Brewing Company are a confluence of the local things I love most. If you are a Lightning fan, hockey fan, or just a Florida beer fan, then you must try this beer.

This isn’t the first partnership or custom brew between a Tampa Bay professional sports club and a local brewery. In 2016, the Tampa Bay Rays teamed up with Green Bench Brewery, just a short walk from Tropicana Field, to make the 2-Seam Blonde Ale, available exclusively at Rays games. The beer seems to have been successful as the Rays and Green Bench followed up with another fastball-grip craft beer for the 2017 season, the 4-Seam American Lager, and served both varieties on draught for all home games.

While Green Bench offered the 4-Seam on tap at their St. Petersburg tasting room during a Rays Happy Hour to kick-off the launch of the 2017 season's American lager, otherwise both the 4- and 2-Seam craft beers are only available at Tropicana Field. Big Storm’s The Lightning 25 craft lager is significant in that is the first local sports team craft brew to be available via distribution.

Now the Tampa Bay area has exclusive, local craft beers brewed for our NHL and MLB teams. We’re just waiting for the Buccaneers to follow suit, but given the magnitude and money involved in the NFL, they’d need a big-time partner to create their special Buccaneers brew (or grog). A brewery like Cigar City, perhaps? They already have an Invasion Pale ale, it seems like a great fit. (Right now this is just speculation and wishful thinking, but we can dream, right?)

In addition to partnering with the Tampa Bay Lightning to brew The Lightning 25 craft lager, Big Storm Brewing Company will donate a portion of proceeds from sales of this brew to the Lightning Foundation, which raises money and donates to a variety of deserving charities across the Tampa Bay area.

For more information about The Lightning 25 craft lager, see the official press release from the Tampa Bay Lightning on NHL.com.

Posted: September 16, 2017

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