halfwheel.com launched Jan. 1, 2012. Its content includes the archives of TheCigarFeed.com and SmokingStogie.com, sites perviously published by co-founders Charlie Minato and Brooks Whittington. It combined the obsessive industry news coverage of TheCigarFeed and the in-depth reviews of SmokingStogie into a singular place for those passionate about cigars.
In addition, Patrick Lagreid, formerly of Cigar Snob and Examiner.com, and Brian Burt, formerly of Stogie N Brews, joined halfwheel around its launch rounding out the halfwheel staff.
From the first day, we made it clear halfwheel was going to be a different kind of cigar blog. This is not a fly-by-night operation (we have an office), this is not a hobby (some of us do this full-time), this is not our first time (we have worked for newspapers, radio stations, magazines and more) and this is not just another cigar blog.
Cigar blogs have gotten a bad rap, largely because there’s never been a full-time, professional and committed effort. Combined, we visit dozens of factories every year in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and more. We cover more than just IPCPR—we have attended Inter-tabac, NATO, Tobacco Plus and large cigar festivals.
For 2014 our goal is simple: we want to be the place where people in the cigar industry turn to daily. There are plenty of shop owners who start their day with coffee, a cigar and our daily morning emails—this year is all about growing that audience.
We believe that by providing a combination of in-depth news, high quality reviews and editorial content we can easily become that site. More importantly, we believe that we will reach the most coveted end consumers on the market by becoming the site known as the blog where people in the industry find their news.
There is no one that covers the cigar industry in the manner we do. It’s forward-thinking, ready to grow and different. We are committed to everything regarding premium cigars: the history, the people, the business, the laws and most importantly, the tobacco.
Much like cigars are all about the tobacco, halfwheel is all about the content.
The name is actually pretty simple. In factories all throughout Latin America, cigars are placed in bundles of newspaper and ribbon to the tune of 50 cigars a bunch. These bundles are known internally as media ruedas, half wheels.
Normally, the shape of the bundles is wheel like, as you can see here. The term media rueda came about as cigar factories moved from placing cigars in bunches of 100, which were known as ruedas, to bunches of 50. Factories then changed the name from wheel to half wheel.
Today, some cigars still leave the factory in traditional media ruedas, usually placed in SLB cabinets of 50.
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