Tampa Bay Brewing Co.

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Tampa Bay Brewing Co.Tampa Bay Brewing Co.
Very Good
1,206 Ratings
Tampa Bay Brewing Co.Tampa Bay Brewing Co.

Type: Brewery, Bar, Eatery

1600 East 8th Ave
Tampa, Florida, 33605
United States

(813) 247-1422 | map

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Ratings: 160 |  Reviews: 90
Photo of Rifugium
2.54/5  rDev -38.2%
vibe: 2 | quality: 1.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 2.5 | food: 4

Many people seem to talk this place up, and it has an unexpectedly high rating. I really don't know why. Homerism is the only thing I can fathom.

The place screams "tourist trap," and reminded me of a typical family-oriented / college kid hangout, similar to a low-end chain. It's big, it's noisy, it's crowded, it's tacky, it's generic. I'm also really shocked at the way their beer is praised. Their beer...was really not very good at all. Sub-chain quality, if I had to put a label on it. BJ's and RB at least have some good offerings. The beer here? Generic, home-brewy, mass-appealing swill, most of it. There were maybe a few relatively inoffensive brews, but others I literally found undrinkable, and I couldn't even get through a sampler of some without holding my nose and downing it like a trooper. On the plus side, they definitely had a very good selection, but it was all quantity, no quality. No quality. I'd equate these beers with something like Gordon Biersch, or even bordering on Michelob. They're selling crap and getting away with it.

Service was definitely on the ball, which was good. It was pretty busy, but our bartender was handling his area like a champ. Also, the food was quite good. It almost took my mind off the terrible beer, but not quite. I had the fish and chips, which was excellent...but I was craving a tasty IPA or something to go along with it, and I was SOL.

For what was being offered, the prices here were too high, I thought.

To sum up again: this is a tourist trap. I do not recommend Tampa Bay Brewing at all for the serious beer drinker. If you find yourself in Tampa, go to Cigar City, go to Datz. Avoid TBBC like the plague.

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Photo of DamonB
2.55/5  rDev -38%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4 | selection: 1 | food: 2

A brewery with NO BEER! Visited on dec. 6, 2011 and was horrified to find out that, even though they had chalkboards in all of their exterior windows listing 10 craft beers, they were out of 8 of them. We had driven all the way down there and paid for overpriced parking just to try their beer and weren't told until after we were seated that they had somehow run out of all but 2 of their menu beers. The 2 that they did have were both IPA, and we aren't big fans of bitter beers so those were also no good. The server told us that they had 2 guest taps, one with woodchuck cider and the other with Hoegaarden, so we ordered one of each of those only to have the server come back to tell us that the Hoegaarden was also tapped out! If it weren't so late and we hadn't already paid for parking we would have left. We decided to go ahead and order food and the meatloaf I got was cold when it arrived. By this point I knew that if I spoke to the server I would end up yelling at her so I just ate it and drank my tepid water then left extremely angry.

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Photo of Ravenacht
2.75/5  rDev -33.1%

Photo of Vancer
3.13/5  rDev -23.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 2.5 | food: 2

Visited the T.B. brewery on a golf trip back in 12/04 before I knew about B.A. – could have reviewed many a brew from that night. As you can see, MANY hand crafted brews all set in a homey, comfortable place. The availability of brews will rotate quite a bit. Long bar with friendly bartenders and waitresses. Nice all around menu and good portions. Gumbo / crab cakes are excellent. Would luv to go there again. Their motto: "Beer is Your Friend". How appropriate.

Vbor is a good area, and you can walk down 7th avenue to more clubs; Coyote Ugly, Irish bars, dance clubs etc. After your taste buds go numb from the craft brews, of course.

Update 3/20/06: Revisted with my wife while on vacation. VERY disspointed. Only 6 craft brews on tap, no cross-over brews for the wife, who's not yet into bigger brews. Plastic wrapper in her cheeseburger. Restrooms were a dirty disaster.

Major point reductions, I was embarrassed to have taken her there.

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Photo of valrxman
3.24/5  rDev -21.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Nice brewpub with good variety of beer on tap. A few to go cans in the cooler. Get the Reef Donkey if you like hops.

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Photo of goldtar
3.3/5  rDev -19.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

This stop has an unusaul location in an open air maill. Outside seating is available, always a plus in Tampa. The Cuban was average but the Rat Stout was above average. Okay atmosphere with an outdoor bar. Overall a friendly place with a good family vibe.

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Photo of argock
3.31/5  rDev -19.5%
vibe: 2 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 4

I visited on a Thursday night after a work event. Very dead in the outdoor as well as indoor bar area. The indoor barman was very friendly and attentive while the outdoor guy was more interested in smoking with his friends than serving beer. The selection and quality of their beers are both very good, but the place was relatively empty, given it was a Thursday night at 10:45. They had about 9 beers available on tap and I tried 3 over the course of the 2 to 2 1/2 hours I was there. Prices of $4.95/pint are reasonable. I enjoyed the beers, but the service and atmosphere were nothing to get excited about.

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Photo of tchaos
3.38/5  rDev -17.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Tampa Bay Brewing Company (TBBC) is a showcase for a rotation of their brews (http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/487/?view=beers), including a selection on cask. They supplement the in-house brews with a handful of guest taps.

In its new location in Centro Ybor, TBBC's atmosphere depends heavily on the day of the week and nearby events. On my most recent trip there prior to a concert, it was very flat...almost oppressively so. However, when the outdoor patio is available, it gets lively.

Service is average, which is somewhat disappointing give the vast number of drinking establishments in Ybor. Food, however, makes TBBC stand out, with a menu that incorporates their beer into many items. It makes the establishment an above-average choice for reasonably-priced food in Ybor, as well as craft beer.

 811 characters

Photo of TrapJaw77
3.39/5  rDev -17.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3.5

Photo of Dicers
3.43/5  rDev -16.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3 | food: 3.5

Photo of HopDerek
3.45/5  rDev -16.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Stopped in on a Sunday around 4pm. Place was moderately happening, but there were plenty of open tables both indoors and out as well as seats open at the bar. A good mix of booths, tables, and a nice bar area, with an additional one in the back, as well as darts and pool tables. Brewing equipment lines the walls, with big tanks behind a window in the bar. Lots of merchandise options sit behind the entry desk.

Seated promptly and ordered the sampler, consisting of 9 different beers. All beers were very good for their style, nothing phenomenal, but all true to the style. Food was also fairly decent, with a nice variety of options.

Only downside was our server, who forgot to bring us several things, including a beer that my girlfriend ordered. After several passes by, and waiting on the same table over and over again, she actually had to go up to the bar to get her own beer. He seemed apologetic, stating he had been working all day, and was always coming up asking if we needed things when it was evident that we didn't, but when something was needed, he was either nowhere to be found, or would just forget.

Even still, the place was easy to get to, easy to find parking nearby, and had a really nice vibe, food, and brews. Definitely will be returning the next time I'm in the Tampa area.

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Photo of DrummerDan
3.48/5  rDev -15.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

I am disappointed this place moved. There is no charm anymore. You could be in any restaurant in any city at this point. The old building really added to the atmosphere and I am not staying as long as I did in the old building. I am a fish in a bowl when I drink here. No intimacy or ambiance.

What isn't disappointing at all is the beer they brew here. Fantastic beers. The Iron Rat Stout is good. Pillowy head with some foamy pockets on top of opaque ruby black ale. Rich roasted smell with a bit of a burnt overture. There is an initial bitter hop flavor then a bitter coffee and then a caramel tone. I prefer sweet stouts so I didn't expect to like this as much as I did.

The service was slow and the waitress did not know their beers. I sit at the bar when alone and have always had great service. The selection is better than in the old location and there are a few guest taps.

I have not had great food yet but I'll continue to sample from their menu. A few things have been terrible, the pizza and soup should be avoided. The pizza sauce is likely from a can and very acidic, the soup was water with a heavy flour taste. My daughter did have the ice cream on our most recent visit and she loved it and the bit I tasted was fantastic. I'm not sure if they make the ice cream or just add malt to good vanilla but it made the rather ho hum meal finish on a good note.

Their beers are priced well, guest taps are a bit expensive and the food is pricey for the portions and quality. Don't get me wrong, I do like the beers but I don't like the place anymore and the food hasn't wowed me yet.

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Photo of apurpura214
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%

Photo of jenbys2001
3.5/5  rDev -14.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I never visited Tampa Bay Brewing Company when it was in its previous location. But I enjoyed coming here one evening with friends after seeing a movie in Ybor. It's conveniently located right in front of the theater. They brew a nice selection of beers and the menu provides a great deal of information about each one (hops and malts used, photos of each beer in the glass, etc). The food menu is extensive and the food was delicious. The atmosphere is pleasant and the location is prime for people watching, although nothing spectacular. The vibe is comparable to any chain restaurant (think Outback or Red Lobster). My only complaint is that the service is rather poor. We complained about it throughout the night and everyone in my group said they had also received mediocre service in previous visits.

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Photo of mickyge
3.63/5  rDev -11.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

Photo of Fordknox
3.63/5  rDev -11.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.75

Photo of BrewCrew2010
3.65/5  rDev -11.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Went there before Fruit in the Room event so this was our first time there and we were only there for about an hour and a half. But these were our thoughts...

The atmosphere was nice. Family friendly while still maintaining the brewpub feel. Loved how you could see all the brewing equipment, but my biggest complaint is that it was very humid on the inside. Loved that they had an outside bar and didn't realized they had 2 TVs out there. I think they could have used more TVs inside, but that's just me. Service was average. Nothing amazing. Good about checking up on us, but like I said, nothing too outstanding. Good selection of beer being that they had a lot of their own brews and maybe half a dozen other beers on tap. Food was good, but typical pub food. Overall, I loved this place and would like to go again.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.65/5  rDev -11.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

A nice stop while in Ybor City. The beers here are average to very good with a few stand out examples (the Wit and Hefe-Weizen are very good). The service was just OK, as the bartender gave me a hard time for wanting my 12 beer selections in the sampler 4 at a time (I always prefer this so they don't go flat and I can comment on their head retention, etc). The food was very good. I shared a Calzone and Bangers-n-mash with some friends. The atmosphere is slightly rustic and food time was average. Be warned, the parking police in Ybor City are Nazi's.

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Photo of chinchill
3.68/5  rDev -10.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.75

Large venue with both indoor and outdoor seating including a large table for large parties. 8 regular taps [although out of one on my visit] plus 3 seasonals. Good service but understaffed for the large mid week lunch crowd. Food looked good. Large pub atmosphere. Flatscreen TVs available but not featured.

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Photo of BrewerB
3.7/5  rDev -10%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

After discovering what beer is supposed to taste like, I was delighted to return to my hometown and discover that we had our own brewpub!

Atmosphere here is pretty run-of-the-mill. Patio with outdoor seating and a separate bar is certainly a nice touch for those sunny Florida days. Indoor bar has a fair amount of seating.

Quality of the beer is good but not noteworthy. I was impressed enough to make a few return visits.

Service tended to be prompt and friendly. I mentioned that I homebrewed and was quickly introduced to the brewmaster. From that point on, I was known by name and I appreciated that level of attention.

Variety of beer is another great plus. I recall a smoked brown beer being quite interesting. Good breadth of styles and they typically have something unique on tap.

Food as I recall was typical brewpub-type fare.

Reasonable prices.

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Photo of slander
3.71/5  rDev -9.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Photo of rspauldi
3.73/5  rDev -9.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Photo of ktrillionaire
3.74/5  rDev -9%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

This place feels strange. It is cavernous, but always empty.

They have pretty good beer, and a wide variety of styles (I think they brew @10 full-time varieties); nothing is spectacular. I take that back, I've had some cask ales that were ridiculous here. I like the Moose Killer Barleywine, and the True Blonde. And cask IPA, delicious.

I don't know if they have brews from other brewers, it never occurred to me to ask.

Certainly worth checking out; usually you can have the run of the place.

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Photo of WynnO
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of TR0219
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

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Tampa Bay Brewing Co. in Tampa, FL
Brewery rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 1,206 ratings