A neon Bud Lite sign still hangs from the ceiling and one wall was covered with tacky souvenirs. But the 40 taps behind the bar suggested something was up in John’s Pass Village.
Craft beer in the heart of tourist-ville?
Seems so. What was once a daiquiri and tacky souvenir shop — informally known as It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere — is now Mad Pub. The daiquiri machines are still whirring — and they’re staying — but the Bud Lite sign was coming down.
It’s a solid craft beer lineup, which last week included the Cigar City Brewing and Green Bench collarboration with JJ Grey's Nare Sugar Brown, and several other Tampa Bay craft beer selections.
Owned by Marcos Diaz, a Cuban refugee who arrived seven years ago and owns the hand-rolled cigar shops next door, Mad Pub is the latest — and with 40 taps, the biggest —— example of craft beer finally spreading to the Pinellas Beaches, where Bud Lite still rules supreme. And not just in neon signs.
The place was under renovation for three months but never closed, which explains the tacky souvenirs and the bare-wood bar. But the 11 big-screen TVs are a new addition. Future additions include an infusion tower to add hops or flavors to beers. And more craft beer bottles.
Mad Pub will be joined soon by Mad Beach Brewing upstairs. With the R Bar Brewpub just a mile away over the bridge in Treasure Island it appears the beach is no longer a beer wasteland.
Mad Pub and Mad Beach Brewing, 12945 Village Blvd., Madeira Beach, 727-362-0008, madbeachbrewing.com.