The craft beer revolution is changing the way that people across the country – and the world for that matter – think about beer. You may not have realized it, but the Tampa Bay area is home to quite a few craft breweries that are making an impression on connoisseurs everywhere. If you’re fortunate enough to live in the area, or if you’re just visiting and you want to see what the area has to offer, you can make a good day of visiting one of several of these breweries.
Some tips before you head out for the day, in case you haven’t thought of them. First and foremost, it’s best to set up a ride if you can. You don’t want to spend your day at a brewery and then drive home. Of course you can not drink beer while you’re there, but that tends to take the fun out of it. Next, you’ll want to think about food. Many of these breweries offer food on site, but some only have minor snacks. Many will allow you to bring your own food into the brewery though.
With all that in mind, let’s take a quick look at some of the most excellent breweries in the Tampa Bay Area.
Cigar City Brewing Company
Cigar City Brewing Company is one of the breweries at the forefront of the scene. They make some excellent beers, most notably their Jai Alai india pale ale. Their tap room is open all days of the week with a wide range of hours. They are located in the Lincoln Gardens region and they are quick hop off of Route 92. Other notable beers are their Maduro brown ale and their Invasion tropical pale ale.
Coppertail Brewing Company
Founded in 2014, Coppertail Brewing Company has quickly become one of the big names in the area. They have a wide array of offerings, with over 20 beers on tap in their tap room, which is open seven days a week. If you’re interested in a brewery tour you can schedule one on a daily basis – though getting there early is highly recommended as the tour windows are short and they can fill up quickly. The owners have had a long history on the craft brewing scene, and they seem to have a darn good handle on what they’re doing.
Tampa Bay Brewing Company
Tampa Bay Brewing Company is one of the few breweries in the area that have been around for quite some time. They were founded in 1995 and they are often credited with giving life to the Tampa Bay area’s craft brew scene that has since come forth to the lime light. Their Reef Monkey American Pale Ale and Old Elephant Foot IPA are well loved by fans, but they also have collaborated with renowned breweries in the area and across the country for some especially delicious recipes. Make sure to check out their merchandise if you decide to stop by the brewery.
Hidden Springs Ale Works
Another great option right in the heart of Tampa is Hidden Springs Ale Works. Much of their beer is brewed right there in the brewery, and the prices at the tap room aren’t all that steep. They are a bit of a hidden gem in the area. There is plenty of seating so it’s a great place to meet up with friends. They are relatively new to the game, having opened their doors in 2015, and I’m excited to see what’s more to come from them.
Angry Chair Brewing
Last but most certainly not least is Angry Chair Brewing, located conveniently on North Florida Ave. It’s a bit of a smaller tap room, but it’s great for grabbing a beer with coworkers after a long day. Parking can be scarce so keep that in mind, and once again if you can get a ride it’s not a bad idea. Check out their Hop Oddity IPA, which is one of their followers favorites. Surprisingly, pets are allowed so feel free to bring along your dog. If you have something crazy like a gator, I’d check with them before bringing it through the doors.
There you have it, five of my favorite breweries in the Tampa Bay Area. With proper planning you could even check them all out in one bar crawl (seriously, DON’T drive. This is why we have Uber.), but they also stand well on their own. Next time you’re in the mood for a beer make sure to check one of these breweries out. Cheers!