About Us

We here at CigarBrief.com are an impassioned group of individuals from all different walks of life. The one thing that we have in common is our passion for cigars and the community that cigar smoking creates. Without further adieu here are the players of the CigarBrief.com staff!

Jason Schwartz:

Hailing from the Far East, I.e. Connecticut, this unlikely walking paradox of Eastern beliefs and cigar smoke has been influential in the creation of Cigar Brief. Part Sun Tzu and part Confucius, Jason likes to say his little slice of Nirvana is smoking a good cigar and we are inclined to believe him, unless we want to get karate-chopped in the trachea!  His real contributions and strengths lie in being well versed in cigars and extremely knowledgeable within the field of spirits-and-stick pairings. As we have developed a fully featured alcohol department, it’s Jason’s mission to bring you the latest news and opinions in the world of cigar pairings and alcohol reviews.  So come along the eight-fold path with us and Jason as he enlightens you about cigars, spirits, and does it all with a little Confucian wit!

Anthony Cantelmo:

Southwest Area Sales Manager for LFD Cigars by day and cigar smoking, craft beer loving enthusiast by night, Anthony has been part of the cigar community for over a decade now. A world traveler and a lover of culture, history, and literature Anthony’s’ articles tend to exhibit this in their every word. Having enjoyed the communal aspect of the cigar industry for years, he has often tried to reflect this in his writings about cigars and those who enjoy them. So if you are looking for a mixture of both honesty about the industry, and a little history in each article, then you need not look any further than the articles of Anthony!

Paul Buza:

Born in Germany and trotting the globe as an army brat, spending a couple of years in Turkey, Hawaii, the East coast, Mid-west, South, and Southwest USA, Paul has been exposed to literally a world full of experiences and cultures and has been instilled with a love for travel, food, drink, art, music and tobacco. He has worked in the retail tobacco and liquor business since 1983, which has allowed him to indulge in all of his passions. Paul brings to the table an extensive, yet ever growing, knowledge of cigars, beer, wine and spirits and looks forward to sharing his observations with you through the pages of Cigar Brief. You are likely to find his reviews sprinkled with philosophy yet peppered with cynicism, not without humor and sarcasm, but always with integrity and never unfair. Paul’s quote to live by is, ”I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy”  (from a bathroom wall, quoted by Tom Waits, Aug. 1, 1977).

Dane Mentzer:

Dane hails from Chicago, home of great beer, great music, and great sports teams. The founder of The Brew Bros, Dane has spent the last several years researching, reviewing, and brewing beer with some of America’s finest craft breweries. While enjoying endless pints of his favorite sudsy beverage, Dane has developed a knack for pairing hand-rolled stogies with quality microbrews. Currently a nurse for the United States Air Force, Dane travels the world sampling the finest beer, cigars, and whiskey. While at home in Las Vegas, Dane focuses on expanding his personal cigar collection, which is difficult with how fast he smokes them. He prefers a nice medium-bodied smoke, and his current favorite is a Romeo y Julieta Reserva Real No. 2

Enzo L:

Cigar Brief is dedicated to recruiting individuals who are both knowledgeable and passionate about the industry. Enzo is both of those ideals and more! Having been an avid cigar smoker for ten years and in the industry for five he brings a wealth of knowledge to our humble organization. During his five years in the cigar industry Enzo has worked in a few prosperous cigar shops, has been a contributor to a cigar publication, and is currently working with various cigar manufacturers. In his different roles he’s been able to network with a lot of the industries principals, and this insider knowledge is invaluable for our site to bring you the most in current cigar news, reviews, and happenings. So it’s with a hearty welcome that we bring Enzo into the fold!

Kay Pfaltz:

Kay Pfaltz is a writer and bestselling author of Lauren’s Story: An American Dog in Paris, recently released in a new fourth edition and number 12 on Barnes & Noble.com’s bestseller list, and The Beagle, a TFH Publication. Kay has been published in English, German and French, including articles in Etudes britannique contemporaines and Bark Magazine. She is a contributing editor for La Joie, and a book reviewer for The News Virginian. She’s a regular contributor to Echo, writes a monthly wine column for Nelson County Life, and teaches English literature for Mary Baldwin College. Kay is an animal activist and donates 100% of profits from Lauren’s Story to animal welfare organizations. Kay holds a B.A. from the University of Virginia, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in English literature from Kings College,University of London. She lives in Roseland,Virginia. Kay has also lived off and on in Paris for the past fourteen years teaching English literature, gastronomy and wine tasting.

Dale Haler:

Dale, a true renaissance man, has lead an interesting life with such broad experiences as owning his own gun store, working in architectural design, and finally settling (for our benefit) on reviewing fine wines and spirits.   Dale would be the first to admit that he’s not a professional sommelier, but rather a devoted follower of all things good and decadent.  With a sharp eye and a satirical focus on the world, its Dale’s intention to bring you an everyday wine drinker’s opinion layered with a bit of wit and a ton of fantastic photography.

The Others: On occasion we have other experts contribute to our site, amongst those individuals are: Jake  (The Mixologist), Alex (The Journalist), Dave (The Curmudgeon), and Gregg (World Traveler & Cigar Lover).

Mission Statement:
We here at CigarBrief.com promise to bring you the latest in cigar news, reviews, and investigative reporting. We promise to be truthful and tell it how it is in our reporting. In other words if we don’t like a stick we will tell you, so you can count on us to be your honest source of information in the online community!