Dining Guide: Craft and import beer bars

CL regularly presents focused listings of the best dining options in Tampa Bay's neighborhoods. This week, we're doing things a little differently by giving you a guide to some of the best craft and import beer bars and brew pubs in Tampa Bay.

THE ALE AND THE WITCH 111 2nd Ave. NE, St. Pete, 727-821-ALE3, thealeandthewitch.com. The new pub on the block in Downtown St. Pete, The Ale offers 32 American brewed craft beers on tap, live music and a rotating selection of work by local artists adorning the walls.

ANGRY PEPPER WATERSIDE SMOKESHACK AND GRILL 4330 Duhme Road, Madeira Beach, 727-391-0800, angrypepper.net. A "Key West style bar and grill" on the Intercoastal that serves Southern barbecue with 26 craft beers on tap and over 100 types in bottle.

BREW GARDEN 904 N. McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater, 727-797-6622, thebrewgarden.com. Brew Garden sets itself apart from many of the local beer bars by specializing in European imports. You'll still find some American craft-brews on tap and in bottles, but the focus is definitely on Belgian classics. —Brian Ries

CIGAR CITY BREWING 3924 W. Spruce St., Tampa, 813-348-6363 x206, cigarcitybrewing.com. Take a seat in the tasting room and down a few pints of one of Tampa's (and the world's) best beers when you come in to fill your growler. —BR

DATZ DELI 2616 S. Macdill Ave., Tampa, 813-831-7000, datzdeli.com. With 37 rotating taps, 80 to 100 bottles available and a rating as the 22nd "Best Beer Restaurant in the World" from RateBeer.com, Datz has certainly shed its reputation of being just a gourmet deli.

DUNEDIN HOUSE OF BEER 927 Broadway, Dunedin, 727-216-6318, dunedinhob.com. Don't let its small size fool you; this craft brew pub has 40 constantly rotating taps of nothing but American-made craft beer goodness. And the fact that it was recently listed in Draft Magazine's "Top 100 Beer Bars in the U.S." is worth at least one visit to see what's going on.

DUNEDIN BREWERY 937 Douglas Ave., Dunedin, 727-736-0606 or dunedinbrewery.com. Pleasing both craft beer lovers and live music fans, Dunedin Brewery serves up an array of its own brews as well as simple, tasty food and some of the best varied live music acts in the Bay.

THE INDEPENDENT 29 Third St. N, St. Petersburg, 727-820-9514, independentbeer.com; 5016 N. Florida Ave., Tampa, 813-341-4883, independenttampa.com. St. Pete's standard for beer bars expanded into a new location in Seminole Heights, both sporting vibes that match the neighborhoods. The HQ in downtown St. Pete is slick and modern, while the Seminole Heights spot is casual and rustic and serves some of the best food in Tampa Bay. —BR

MR. DUNDERBAK'S 14929 Bruce B Downs Blvd., Tampa, 813-977-4104, dunderbaks.com. For years now J.B. Ellis has been a linchpin of the Tampa beer scene at his Mr. Dunderbak's. Last year the bar/restaurant moved to nicer digs, making it easier to enjoy Ellis' massive 51 taps, beer engine, hundreds of bottle selections and serious German food. He also hosts meetings of the Tampa Bay BEERS homebrew club and regularly features live music. —BR

NEW WORLD BREWERY 1313 E. Eighth Ave., Tampa, 813-248-4969, newworldbrewery.net. A popular live music venue in Ybor that's also known for its 20-plus taps and numerous bottles of American craft and Belgian beers. Grab a stone-seared pizza or some smoky barbecue to pair with the frosty brews.

OLDSMAR TAP HOUSE 300 State St. E, Oldsmar, 813-855-9181, oldsmartaphouse.com. With 36 beers on tap, all pouring interesting American craft-brews, along with a healthy and ever-changing selection of 75 beers by the bottle, Oldsmar Tap House is a beer destination. There's also a small food selection of straightforward sandwiches and sausage or cheese platter designed to sate your hunger without getting in the way of your serious beer tasting. —BR

PALM HARBOR HOUSE OF BEER 34970 U.S. 19 N, Palm Harbor, 727-784-2337, PalmHarborHOB.com. The Dunedin House of Beer's newest sibling, the Palm Harbor location also houses an impressive array of beers in quite possibly every style there is. With 50 taps and a wall-to-wall cooler full of bottles, finding something that pleases you won't be a difficult task.

POUR HOUSE 1208 E. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, 813-402-2923, pourhousetampa.com. This new beer and wine bar in Tampa's Grand Central complex near the shipyards is a bright and airy spot with a truly astounding array of 40 taps pouring mostly American craft-brews, along with some key imports.

THE REX PUB 2061 Central Ave., St. Pete, 727-822-2337. The "American cousin" to the Independent bar with over 20 American craft brews on tap, plus a wide selection of bottles. The place is small, with a more relaxed vibe than that of The Independent in the heart of Downtown St. Pete, but the bartenders are just as knowledgeable and accommodating.

TAMPA BAY BREWING COMPANY 1600 E. Eighth Ave., 813-247-1422, tampabaybrewingcompany.com. The Centro Ybor location and tasty menu pull in the crowds, but the real draws are the nine tasty house beers — and 18 or so seasonal offerings — brewed in vats and tuns located right in the dining room proper. —BR

TAMPA TAP ROOM 13150 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa, 813-961-2337, tampataproom.com. The new face of Tank's Tap Room in Carrollwood, Tampa Tap has the same 50 taps of rotating beers from around the world, wine and a full liquor bar.

TAPS WINE & BEER MERCHANTS 777 N. Ashley Drive, Tampa, 813-463-1968, tapswineandbeer.com. One of the pioneers in reviving downtown Tampa's nightlife, Taps' beer and wine selection makes it an easy spot to meet friends after work or a show. The two dozen taps feature a wide variety of brews ranging from pedestrian to interesting, backed up by a menu of crowd-pleasing tapas.

WILLARD'S TAPHOUSE 12500 Starkey Road, Largo, 727-581-8600, willardstaphouse.com. Another star on the Bay area's great taphouse scene, Willard's has 40 taps pouring a who's who of American craft breweries and exciting imports.

WORLD OF BEER 9524 West Linebaugh Ave., Tampa, 813-852-2337; 17004 Palm Pointe Drive, Tampa, 813-632-0020; 5226 Fourth St. N, St. Pete, 727-525-4589; 12904 N. Dale Mabry, Tampa, 813-968-7300; 402 S. Howard Ave., Tampa, 813-251-6800; 2081 Collier Pkwy, Land O Lakes, 813-948-9400; wobusa.com. Our own local chain of beer bars with six in the Bay area. The formula is simple: a whole lot of beer by the bottle — displayed where everyone can see it, a good selection of taps, and a slick but comfortable atmosphere.

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