Sarasota

Discussion in 'South-Atlantic' started by ZAP, Jan 27, 2017.

  1. ZAP

    ZAP Poo-Bah (3,347) Dec 1, 2001 Minnesota

    I don't think this fits in the Tampa/St. Pete's thread but not sure.

    Vacationing here for the first time and just wondering if there are any "can't miss" breweries, brew pubs, beer bars or restaurants etc?

    We'll be close to Siesta Beach but don't mind driving a little if it results in quality beer.

    Thanks!
     
  2. MHorridge

    MHorridge Aspirant (256) May 16, 2010 Florida
    Beer Trader

    @ZAP, @scrappacito posted this just a few months back (in September) so I would think it's still on point:

    I live in Sarasota.
    Beer bars: Mr Beery's, Tap 72, Mandeville Beer Garden
    Growlers: Craft Growlers to Go, Ranch Growlers to
    Go
    Sarasota area Breweries: Calusa, Big Top, JDubs, Darwin, Motorworks
    Bottle Shops: Shortstop Market​

    Calusa is probably the only one of those breweries I'd describe as "can't miss." There is also a Total Wine a stone's throw from I-75 along University Parkway. It might be a good place to stock up on Florida/Tampa Bay-area beers for your time here.

    Finally, and perhaps unnecessarily, I would add that SRQ is just an hour south of Tampa/St Pete so if you need a non-beach day, it's not that far. Have fun while you're here; cheers!
     
  3. rightcoast7

    rightcoast7 Disciple (339) Apr 2, 2011 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Also live here and agree 100% with the above post. If you don't go to Calusa, you've made a serious mistake. I'd say everything else is negotiable.

    For other beer bars, you may want to check out Tavern on Main downtown. They had a few different Funky Buddha beers on tap yesterday, including Last Buffalo.

    Also, if you're near the south bridge to Siesta, there is a newer TW a couple of miles south on route 41 that would be much closer than the one on University. But if you do head out to university, you should also check out the new Dub Shack satellite branch of JDubs. They just had a soft opening yesterday and I believe should be open this weekend.
     
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  4. duvalbill

    duvalbill Initiate (128) Apr 9, 2015 Florida

    Calusa is a can't miss, as others above already mentioned. They just bottled their citra hopped IPA, so you can take that home with you if you're inclined. Siesta Key Rum makes award winning rum if you want to check out a distillery also.

    On the key, I highly recommend Cevichela - a little taco and ceviche place that makes outstanding food.

    Off the key, I'd recommend Owen's Fish Camp (they don't take reservations however), Shore Diner on St. Armand's Circle, and Selva.
     
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  5. Pinball_Guy

    Pinball_Guy Aspirant (245) Aug 7, 2014 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Agreed on Calusa. Zero Zero if available, also Citronius.

    I stop for growlers and a pint while I wait every time I'm passing thru.

    Right off Clark Rd / 72, less than 5 mins from I-75.
     
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  6. Bfairhurst74

    Bfairhurst74 Initiate (198) Nov 16, 2014 Florida
    Beer Trader

    I have to say that Calusa is the spot in Sarasota. I went there Wednesday for the first time. They had three IPA's on all of them were very good. Also, the coffee cinnamon brown ale on nitro was outstanding as well. Definitely go here!
     
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  7. IPAkindaguy

    IPAkindaguy Aspirant (291) Aug 20, 2010 Florida
    Beer Trader

    If your on the key check out 3.14 PI/Base Cafe. Craft focused beer bar right on the key. Great spot.
     
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  8. scrappacito

    scrappacito Initiate (134) Apr 30, 2009 Florida

    I also like Calusa but JDubs and Big Top are also great choices to visit while in town. Check Calusa's hours. They are closed Mondays and open weekdays at 2 pm.
     
    #8 scrappacito, Jan 30, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
  9. ZAP

    ZAP Poo-Bah (3,347) Dec 1, 2001 Minnesota

    Just curious on this red tide warning shit I'm seeing. How bad is this? We're not coming until Mid-March....hope it is cleared out by then...or maybe it's not as big of a deal as it seems..
     
  10. rightcoast7

    rightcoast7 Disciple (339) Apr 2, 2011 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Hard to say. It comes and goes, so what's happening now may be much different than what is happening in March. When it's here, it can vary in intensity from annoying to stay far away from the beach at all costs. Hopefully it clears out by the time you visit.

    It can also be quite localized, so that one beach is unusable, but another a few miles away is fine. I have not heard about the current warnings, but FWIW I watched the sunset on Friday night from Longboat Key (north end of the Sarasota beaches) and didn't notice any signs of red tide, so it can't be that bad or widespread right now.
     
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  11. MHorridge

    MHorridge Aspirant (256) May 16, 2010 Florida
    Beer Trader

    @rightcoast7 did a great job of summing up red tide. The only thing I'd add is that it's often a bigger deal for those with respiratory issues (e.g., asthma). But six weeks is a pretty long time for a bloom to hang around.
     
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  12. DrinksAlone

    DrinksAlone Initiate (111) Jan 18, 2017 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Like everyone stated above Calusa is a can't miss. Jdubs is good too but don't waste your time at BigTop. Calusa just started brewing a Southern Equinox DIPA and it is fantastic. They will also be releasing a BA imperial brown soon that is supposed to be insane... Cheers!
     
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  13. scrappacito

    scrappacito Initiate (134) Apr 30, 2009 Florida

    When was the last time you spent any time at Big Top ?
     
  14. DrinksAlone

    DrinksAlone Initiate (111) Jan 18, 2017 Florida
    Beer Trader

    I live less than 2 miles from Big Top, stop in there every few weeks. They have a few that are good, but nothing that is great. I like their Hawaiian Lion and some of their smaller batch releases. The BA Ashley Gang that they released around Xmas was awful. Their BA Okefenokee wasn't too bad though.

    IMO, if you are going to hit up breweries in the area, this would be my last option.. Calusa and Jbuds are both 10* better
     
    rightcoast7 likes this.
  15. ZAP

    ZAP Poo-Bah (3,347) Dec 1, 2001 Minnesota

    Thanks for the help so far. I'll be coming in to Sarasota from Clermont (Orlando) on a Sunday and was thinking of these possible stops. Might have to pick two of them.

    Darwin Brewing (Bradenton)
    Motorworks (Bradenton)

    Craft Growlers To Go (Lakewood Ranch)

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated....Craft Growlers to go looks like they have a killer lineup of Florida beers.
     
  16. Viclovescourtney

    Viclovescourtney Initiate (131) Apr 27, 2016 Florida
    Beer Trader

    I would really try to fit going to calusa in your itinerary.
     
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  17. Bfairhurst74

    Bfairhurst74 Initiate (198) Nov 16, 2014 Florida
    Beer Trader


    I would go as far to say that Calusa should be at the top of your list. It's really that good.
     
    ZAP likes this.
  18. jloomis

    jloomis Disciple (313) Jan 6, 2010 Florida
    Beer Trader

    I second (third) this statement. Don't miss Calusa this batch of Citronius is awesome!


    If You really want to fit two places in and try different things my second spot would be craft growlers to go.
     
    ZAP likes this.
  19. ZAP

    ZAP Poo-Bah (3,347) Dec 1, 2001 Minnesota

    Yes. That is a definite stop later in the week. #1 on my list. Just looking to hit these other places on the way in from Orlando so we can stay closer to Sarasota immediate area the rest of the days we are there.
     
  20. marcrgrenier

    marcrgrenier Initiate (133) Apr 22, 2015 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    piggy backing here on this thread...my parents are vacationing in the sarasota area and I was wondering what is available in beer stores to bring back? I've had jai alai and some funky buddha from years past, but are things like civil society available in stores? Also, any recommended florida ipas that can be bought in stores?
     
  21. jloomis

    jloomis Disciple (313) Jan 6, 2010 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Civil Society is only available at the brewery several hours away. Depending on where they are they could stop by Calusa and grab a bottle of Citronius.

    MIA's pale ale is in 6-packs and is quite good. Jai Alai is still a go to. Coppertail's Free Dive if fresh is good as well. Other then that I have to say the best IPAs are not canned/bottled or are brewery only.
     
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  22. duvalbill

    duvalbill Initiate (128) Apr 9, 2015 Florida

    Fresh Sunshine City from Green Bench is a great IPA.

    Would also recommend fresh Invasion from CCB, which I prefer to Jai Alai.
     
  23. marcrgrenier

    marcrgrenier Initiate (133) Apr 22, 2015 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    Great, thanks. Are there bottle shops either close to 75 or in Englewood that these beers are available in? My folks won't be willing to go too far out of their way, last year I just told them to go to Publix and they were able to grab jai alai and nib smuggler.
     
  24. Viclovescourtney

    Viclovescourtney Initiate (131) Apr 27, 2016 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Tell them to go check out siesta key beach in Sarasota. On their way home they can swing by calusa and get you any available bottles and/or growler fills. Not doing to find any shops in Englewood but most publix stores have a decent local craft selection.
     
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  25. rightcoast7

    rightcoast7 Disciple (339) Apr 2, 2011 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Closest bottle shops to Englewood would be Island Time Spirits or ABC, both on Route 41 in Venice, which is just a few minutes north of Englewood. About 20 minutes further north on 41 is a large Total Wine in Sarasota.
     
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  26. DrinksAlone

    DrinksAlone Initiate (111) Jan 18, 2017 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Without a doubt you need to hit up Calusa. By far the best in Sarasota and it keeps getting better and better. They currently have awesome DIPA collab with Casa Agria that is so good.
     
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  27. DrinksAlone

    DrinksAlone Initiate (111) Jan 18, 2017 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Hit up Island Time Spirits in Venice... They have the best bottle selection in the area, by far! 421 S Tamiami Trail, Venice, FL 34285
     
    ZAP likes this.
  28. ZAP

    ZAP Poo-Bah (3,347) Dec 1, 2001 Minnesota

    I agree. Was there this week and they are doing some great things. I'll post a trip recap later this week but no question they were the top brewpub for beer quality in the area. Kind of liked the scene at Motorworks as well and the beer was decent enough we thought...like I said I'll post recap this week.
     
  29. ZAP

    ZAP Poo-Bah (3,347) Dec 1, 2001 Minnesota

    Thanks for all the help. We really enjoyed Sarasota area. Couldn't get to everything but we plan on coming back next year.

    A few thoughts:

    On our way in we hit Motorworks and Darwin. Pirates game had just ended so it was hopping with live music both places. Really liked Motorworks venue and the beers were pretty solid if not a little pricey. Darwin we thought was average at best.

    While on the key we hit 3.14 PI/Base cafe a couple of times and drank a decent amount there and also enjoyed a hell of a nice Calzone. I'd recommend this one for sure. Not much else on the key for craft.

    Siesta Key Beach was as nice as anticipated and not as crowded as we expected....at least not as bad as Clearwater Beach last year. We usually parked by the tennis courts at 9:45 and played tennis from 10-12.. By the time we finished the lots were jammed full and we just walked over to the beach with our cooler from there and spent the afternoons in the sun.

    We ate at Walt's Fish Market and thought that was good.

    Calusa was the top beer we had. Real quality beer at this place. Several top notch IPA's. They just started distributing to a few accounts in the area this last week so hopefully by next year they are on tap at some restaurants in the area as well.

    Hit JDubbs before an Orioles game and it was a cool place with good beer. We'd stop there again if we went that direction.

    On the way back we hit 3Keys Brewery in Bradenton and that was decent too and they had some nice guest taps on as well.

    Drank a lot of good Florida and southern beers off-sale as well. Great trip. Thanks again for all the advice.
     
  30. DrinksAlone

    DrinksAlone Initiate (111) Jan 18, 2017 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Cheers, glad you enjoyed it!! My wife and I moved down here from Chicago last summer and we do not regret it at all... Plus the beer scene kills Chicago's.
     
  31. BKnarr

    BKnarr Aspirant (293) Sep 5, 2012 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Nick?
     
  32. DrinksAlone

    DrinksAlone Initiate (111) Jan 18, 2017 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Yes!!
     
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  33. BKnarr

    BKnarr Aspirant (293) Sep 5, 2012 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Ha! It's Brandon! Didn't know you were on BA. See you at Calusa Anniversary in a couple weeks?
     
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  34. ZAP

    ZAP Poo-Bah (3,347) Dec 1, 2001 Minnesota

    Trust me we've discussed doing that same thing we liked the Sarasota area so much. If nothing else from Jan-May.
     
    DrinksAlone likes this.
  35. Bfairhurst74

    Bfairhurst74 Initiate (198) Nov 16, 2014 Florida
    Beer Trader

    When's he anniversary party? Any details? I haven't seen anything on it yet.
     
  36. BKnarr

    BKnarr Aspirant (293) Sep 5, 2012 Florida
    Beer Trader

    If you have Facebook, there's an event page for it. If not, it's April 29 from noon to close. Bottle release, special glassware, special tappings, live music, food trucks. Should be a good time.
     
    Bfairhurst74 likes this.
  37. duvalbill

    duvalbill Initiate (128) Apr 9, 2015 Florida



    should be a good time, might see some new beers for the event, including the vanilla RIS, which is going to be killer. They put a lot of time into it.
     
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  38. DrinksAlone

    DrinksAlone Initiate (111) Jan 18, 2017 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Hey buddy, I will absolutely be there!!
     
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  39. DrinksAlone

    DrinksAlone Initiate (111) Jan 18, 2017 Florida
    Beer Trader

    I'm looking forward to trying some of their sours that they have brewed. I know they had some at foeder for thought but I didn't get a chance to attend.
     
    BKnarr likes this.
  40. LFC_YNWA

    LFC_YNWA Aspirant (278) May 31, 2014 New Jersey
    Beer Trader Subscriber

    Go to Sarasota every April for a seminar. Was given the heads up about Calusa somewhere else on here. Really looking forward to checking it out. Last time we stumbled on Sarasota Brewing Co. I'm glad I won't be making any similar mistakes this weekend :)
     
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