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MankerBeer Meets: Pre-CBC: Doug Dozark/Cycle Brewing

Photo: Todd Bates / Creative Loafing

Photo: Todd Bates / Creative Loafing

Gulfport, a mid-western town in Floridas that received its current name in 1910 and has a population of 12-13.000 citizens. Gulfport is also home to Peg’s Cantina, a brewpub where the brewer in today’s MankerBeer Meets used to work before eventually starting up his own brewery. Doug Dozark worked at Cigar City for a couple of years before taking the role of head brewer at Peg’s where he worked for a while before feeling that it was time to start what is now becoming Cycle Brewing. Copenhagen Beer Celebration will the first time Doug has brought his beers outside of the US and among the beers are Cycle Brewing beers, Peg’s rarities like Rare DOS as well as other G.O.O.D beers (more on the beers here). Make sure not to miss Doug and his beers and do not hesitate to ask him about the emerging beer scene in Florida or what we can expect from Cycle Brewing in the future.


MankerBeer (MB): Taking off from brew pub Peg’s Cantina in Gulfport, Florida Cycle Brewing is a rather new adventure. How would you describe Cycle Brewing and the journey so far?
Douglas Dozark (DD): Cycle brewing is really just a reflection of where are as a brewery, Peg’s is very small and Gulfport is a great but also tiny community and our beers are starting to outgrow our location. We are opening the Cycle Brewing brewery in downtown St Petersburg, only a few miles away but with a greater impact on the community that has really supported our beers and our message of fresh local beers. So far things have gone very well, there has been some question of why we would depart from the name and reputation we established with Peg’s and the reality is that Peg’s is not a brand, it is a place that started as a restaurant over 8 years ago and only became a brewpub about 4 years ago. Peg’s is not an identity we can export and we think that’s great for Peg’s and an opportunity for Cycle to be the next step.


MB: What have been the biggest obstacles so far when setting up Cycle Brewing and have they in any way had any impact on the brewery?
DD: The only obstacle we have had is location scouting, and the size and location of our brewery has certainly impacted what we can do. We decided to get a prime, but very small location so that we can maximize our presence in the downtown area and also to help manage our growth, it’s hard to say no to bigger tanks and more sales if you have the space, even when it’s not the right move for the quality of the product.


MB: With over two hundred new US craft breweries starting up per year, what would make Cycle Brewing different or why should a beer drinker chose a Cycle Brewing beer over one from say Cigar City?
DD: As the head brewer and more or less creative director of the company I can say that our approach to brewing is what sets is apart, and in several styles I think that’s true. Session IPA is something we have worked hard on and our 2 different yet similar approaches to the style, Freewheel and Fixie, are beers we don’t see a lot of comparison to in our market. Our barrel aged stouts have been a big part of our reputation and to some degree our Florida Weiss (let the style debate begin!) has been a pioneering beer. All of those make for a good reputation and a quality product but what I think will truly make people choose our beer is our message and efforts to support the community. St Petersburg and the Tampa Bay Area in general wants local, and we provide that but our company is getting involved wherever it can in grassroots efforts to improve this city. We are a beer company, we love beer and we work hard to make great beer, but there is more to life than beer and we embrace that.


MB: Your RareR D.O.S is currently ranked as one of the world’s best imperial stouts; do high reviews raise our own expectations or put pressure on you?
DD: The rankings are fun to see, it’s quite flattering to get that kind of attention for a beer brewed 30 gallons at a time and put into 15 gallon barrels. I think I can honestly say that I am my harshest critic, so the pressure has always been on to make the best barrel aged stout or really beer in any style. Beer and reviews are subjective, I think we all understand that you will never please everybody but for me when I taste my beers, especially from the barrel I have to be very honest with myself when asking is this the best barrel aged beer I’ve had? Would I stake my reputation on this beer? I want the answer to be yes but sometimes it’s not and I have to go in a different direction with it.


MB: When looking at Peg’s menu it is difficult not to get hungry; what food and beer pairings would you suggest among your own beers?
DD: Right now I would say a Freewheel with the fresh salsa and chips has been hitting the spot for me, also the Shrimp Burrito, the lighter fare with a 4.7% Nelson Sauvin hop bomb goes very well together.


MB: In a recent article in the Tampa Tribune I read that only 5.6 percent of beer sales in Florida come from microbreweries, a relatively low number when compared to other states. Why do you believe Florida lack behind in craft beer sales?
DD: I think there are many factors behind Florida’s sluggish embracing of craft beer, location, age demographics, reputation and therefore expectation for the beer scene. All of that is changing and what I see now is a building wave and growth in craft at a greater rate than most other states. Florida craft beer sales are rising, and fast.o I think all of the craft breweries owe at least a small thank you to Cigar City for seizing the opportunity to make innovative quality beers and grow large enough to get them out there to everybody. They showed that if you make a great product people will buy it and now we have some momentum and I expect craft market share to grow significantly each year for quite a while.


MB: I read in Tampa Bay Times that you’re focusing on beers and IPAs, being a good fit for the Florida beer drinkers – but what else is in line for the future?
DD: Hard to say what is next, I think bright hops character and sessionable ABVs are going to continue their rise and we are certainly excited about that. I have a feeling the culinary ties with beer in terms or pairings and even recipe formulation will continue and using ingredients beyond the basic 4 has a ton of potential.


MB: Before you started as head brewer at Peg’s you worked four years at Cigar City – what lessons and experience would you highlight from those years?
DD: The years I spent at Cigar City were enlightening in many ways. The best thing I learned was what kind of brewery I want to run and what direction I want to go in personally. Working for such a fast growing and creative brewery opened my eyes to the possibilities for recipes, events and planning, and so many pitfalls and problems I want to avoid for my brewery. I learned about various equipment options, how many people it takes to operate and one of the most valuable was how to deal with errors.


MB: What should beer fans at Copenhagen Beer Celebration really not miss?
DD: We are bringing a lot of great beers, both Rare and RareR DOS, a collaboration with Jonathan Wakefield brewed with Dulce de Leche and hopefully our session IPAs fixie and freewheel held up well on the journey across the ocean.


We are happy that Doug wanted to answer our questions and we know that all of you beer lovers are thrilled to see the below list! The beers then? Changes may occur. Different beers will be poured during different sessions and well, you know the drill by know. For the full list of beers attending CBC check out this post!


Cycle Brewing CBC Beer List:

  • Freewheel Session IPA
  • G.O.O.D Night Imperial Stout
  • Fixie Session IPA
  • G.O.O.D Bottom of the 9th Brown Ale
  • G.O.O.D Rare DOS
  • G.O.O.D RareR DOS
  • G.O.O.D Dancing Cody IPA
  • Patch Kit Wheat Porter
  • Hazelnut Imperial Stout
Magnus "Manker" Björnstjerna

Grundare och skribent på Från ett fokus på allt vad USA har att erbjuda och med en kärlek till gedigen amerikansk mat, bra bourbon och framförallt all landets fantastiska öl har Manker nu börjat förstå storheten i belgisk öl.

Magnus "Manker" Björnstjerna

Grundare och skribent på Från ett fokus på allt vad USA har att erbjuda och med en kärlek till gedigen amerikansk mat, bra bourbon och framförallt all landets fantastiska öl har Manker nu börjat förstå storheten i belgisk öl.

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3 Responses to “MankerBeer Meets: Pre-CBC: Doug Dozark/Cycle Brewing”


  1. […] from Australia (Sören Eriksen/8 Wired), China (Michael Jackson/Boxing Cat Brewery), Denmark (Amager Bryghus) and the US (most lately Doug Dozark/Cycle Brewing), just to mention a few. Copenhagen Beer […]

  2. […] Speedway Stouten. Coconut, Vietnamese och Hammerhead höll alla högsta klass och tillsammans med Doug Dozark och Cycles samtliga mörka öl och Omnipollo Noa kickade de rumpa med den i mitt tyckte lite […]

  3. […] okända bryggerier. När vi inför Copenhagen Beer Celebration tog upp just Floridas ölscen med Doug Dozark från Cycle Brewing och Wayne Wambles från Cigar City så var de båda i en uppbyggnadsfas. Sedan […]

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