Ten years ago this brewery guide would have been much shorter. Fifteen years ago it would have been blank. Thankfully, we're in 2012 and local breweries are plentiful. The scene is growing quickly, with several breweries opening in just the last year. Beer brewed right in our own backyard? We say “cheers!” to that.
7VENTH SUN BREWING 1012 Broadway, Dunedin, 727-733-3013, seventhsunbrewing.com. The Dunedin-based brewery opened in January and has already garnered a serious reputation for good beers, including the Stave Fly, a double porter aged in virgin American oak barrels, and the Special Brownie Belge Brune. Stop by and fill a growler on-site, or check 7venth Sun’s facebook page (facebook.com/7venthsun) for updates on where to pick up a pint locally.
BARLEY MOW 518 W. Bay Drive, Largo, 727-584-7772, barleymowbrewingco.com. Jay Dingman and Colleen Huffman opened their Largo-based brewing company, Barley Mow, in the former O’Houston’s Irish Pub last October, and they've been very busy brewing ever since. Last year they won bronze for their English Style Barleywine at the Dunedin Walk the Line for Barleywine festival. Barley Mow is a great place to grab a fresh brew and hear quality local music from people like Jun Bustamante and more.
BIG STORM BREWING COMPANY 2438 Merchant Ave., Odessa, 727-807-7998, bigstormbrewery.com. Partners Clay Yarn and Mike Bishop put everything on the line to make their brewery come together. The homebrewers turned pro after Bishop studied under local wisemen at Dunedin Brewery. Their flagship Wavemaker Amber Ale is literally flying off the shelves. And they just opened their tasting room in Odessa.
CIGAR CITY BREWING 3924 W. Spruce St., Tampa, 813-348-6363, cigarcitybrewing.com. Joey Redner sure made a splash when he opened Cigar City Brewing in an industrial park on Spruce Street over four years ago. Since then, business is so good Redner is literally turning down out of state distributors because he can’t make enough beer. The brewery is expanding to meet new supply demands that have shown no sign of slowing down. Locals love CCB’s focus on history and good craft beer; beer snobs love their attention to detail and inventive brew concepts. Plus, the tasting room is so close to downtown offices that one can’t say no to an invite out for a cold pint.
COLD STORAGE CRAFT BREWERY 4101 N. Florida Ave., Tampa, 813-374-2101, coldstoragecraftbrewery.com. The little brewery on Florida Avenue is known for locale-namesake brews like the Florida Avenue wheat ale and Florida Avenue blueberry ale. They just opened their tasting room to the public last month. On the third Saturday of every month, get three beers and a pint glass to keep for just $10.
DUNEDIN BREWERY 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin, 727-736-0606, dunedinbrewery.com. Dunedin Brewery is the oldest micro-brewery in Florida, having seen years of blood, sweat, tears and beers. The brewery is known for its Apricot Wheat and Dunedin Redhead beers, but has branched out over the years. Come see where the local beer scene got its roots and hear some great live music, too.
PEG’S CANTINA 3038 Beach Blvd. S, Gulfport, 727-328-2720, pegscantina.com. Seated in the heart of Gulfport is a tiny brewpub that serves some seriously delicious Mexican-inclined cuisine. Brewer Doug Dozark spent four years learning the tricks of the trade at Cigar City Brewing before moving on to Peg’s. Dozark (son of “Peg”) has had three original beers win a medal at the Best Florida Beer championship, and Peg’s always has at least four taps of original brew available year round. The indoor/outdoor ambiance couldn’t be more perfect.
RAPP BREWING 10930 Endeavour Way Suite C, Seminole, 727-692-7912, rappbrewing.com. Rapp’s opened less than a month ago in Seminole, but the gospel of their beers is spreading fast. Try the Blonde Ale or the Chryssi Saison to beat the heat. Or sip on a Grätzer or a Rappweizer Hefeweizen. Look out for their grand opening sometime in late October.
SAINT SOMEWHERE BREWING 1441 Savannah Ave., Tarpon Springs, 813-503-6181, saintsomewherebrewing.com. Saint Somewhere is brewing traditional small-batch beers in the Belgian style. The brewery is just one of a precious few making farmhouse ales, like the Saison Athene-Saison Athene or the Lectio Divina.
SOUTHERN BREWING AND WINEMAKING 4500 N. Nebraska Ave., Tampa, 813-238-7800, southernbrewingwinemaking.com. The folks over at Southern Brewing and Winemaking know their way around a brewery. This is the place to go to start learning how to brew. They’ve got all the supplies and knowledge you need to start the next great local brewery.
ST. PETE BREWING COMPANY 2820 First Ave. N, St. Petersburg, 727-692-8809, stpetebrew.com. St. Pete Brewing Company is small but on the way to becoming mighty with its St. Pete Orange wheat ale and Pinellas pale ale.
TAMPA BAY BREWING COMPANY 1600 E. Eighth Ave., Tampa, 813-247-1422, tampabaybrewingcompany.com. Following shortly after Dunedin Brewery, Tampa Bay Brewing Company was one of the pioneers in local brewing years before many of the young pups came along. TBBC is still making great beers and keeping up with the quickly evolving industry. Stop by the Centro Ybor brewery and watch the magic happen (slowly) on-site.
THREE PALMS BREWING 1509 Hobbs St., Tampa, 888-813-4856,[email protected]. Based in Tampa, Three Palms Brewing is working steadily to bring great beer to Tampa Bay. Take a little sip of Queen of Wheat Hefeweizen and Ruby Pogo Hoppy Red Ale, two of the new signature ales.
YUENGLING BREWERY 11111 N. 30th St., Tampa, 813-972-8500, yuengling.com. Back before Tampa even knew the words “craft beer,” Yuengling’s brewery was already pumping out big batches of good, cheap beer. They still do tours and tastings, and you can swing by to visit a little beer history.