The Ale and the Witch Tap House grand opening in Downtown St. Pete - Thursday, February 3rd

This time should be different.  The winds are definitely blowing in the right direction for craft beer-related ventures, especially when run by people with a passion for the business. Andress has taken great care to select a good variety of American craft beer; everyone can find something they will like among the thirty-two taps. From light, crisp pilsners to black-as-night stouts, and everything in between, no one will be disappointed.  The establishment is non-smoking (a big plus in my book), accepts credit cards, and will have live music on most nights.[image-1]

One nice service being offered is the tasting flight. For $6, beer drinkers can get four 4-ounce servings of any combination of the offered beers.  The bartender serves them on a board with a tasting sheet (for those of us geeks who write about beer) as well as the names of the selections. It is a great way to sample beers people might be unsure about without buying a whole pint of something they do not like. It's also an excellent way to discover new beers that people might have been afraid to try.

One question that keeps arising is "what does the name mean?"  I asked Andress.

"In the European 'old days', and even here in the U.S. to a degree, most bars were always the 'something' and the 'something'. Fox and Hound, Bear and Wolf and so on. The entrance ways above the doors would have the 2 figures and would indicate to those who couldn't read (a lot of folks back then) what the name of the pub was. So, being a tap house which serves ales, that part was easy. The second part stems from 'craft' beer: witchcraft, witches brews, witching hour... Build in an identifiable character to represent the identity and market the concept while having fun with it stamping craft beer as the focus."

Here's to hoping some of that "witchcraft" casts a spell on Downtown St. Petersburg.

The official press release that came out today states:

Thursday, February 3rd -- on the Lunar New Year -- is The Ale and The Witch Grand opening party.

32 American "craft" brews are on tap and The Shiny Shoes Band will be jamming some New Orleans Jazz with their quartet.

The party begins at 7:30 p.m. at 111 2nd Ave NE inside the Courtyard of The Tower Plaza.

Free valet parking is available on the corner of Beach Drive and 2nd Ave just in front of Bella Brava (tell them you're going to the "Witch").

Over 17 styles available and many unique offerings are available to enjoy.

Come join us at The Ale and The Witch for a spell!

Thursday, February 3rd. 7:30 p.m. 111 2nd Ave NE, St. Pete (inside the Courtyard of The Tower Plaza).

As the craft beer renaissance continues nationally, so does the growth in Tampa Bay. Following the successes of craft beer bars like Willard's Tap House and The Pour House, there is a new destination for craft beer lovers in Downtown St. Pete.

Nestled in the patio area of the Tower Plaza in downtown St. Petersburg, The Ale and the Witch has opened, bringing 32 taps of American craft beer with it. With a good crowd for a soft opening on January 26th, and a packed house expected for the official Grand Opening on February 3rd, owner Brett Andress seems to have already captured quite a following.

The Ale and the Witch occupies a historically unsuccessful spot in the patio are of the Tower Plaza. A coffee and sandwich shop and a French crepe restaurant were the last two tenants in the past five years, and the space across the courtyard that once was home to Zapata's Cantina still sits empty.

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