Tampa Bay area recommendations (2019)

Discussion in 'South-Atlantic' started by MHorridge, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. ChicagoTarheel

    ChicagoTarheel Initiate (41) Nov 23, 2013 Illinois

    Starting Sunday, I’ll be in town for ~1.5 weeks and wanted some advice on making my beer run to begin my stay. This thread has been great getting me up to speed on the landscape of Tampa’s beer scene, but even when I know what breweries to look out for, I feel like it’ll still be a bit overwhelming trying to make decisions once inside the store (ie Total Wine, etc). Would love to get some specific beer rec’s from local ba’s. I am into the hazy ipa’s & adjunct stouts (shocker!), but I’m also into all other styles, so I’d be interested in any must-try Florida beers (from Tampa or elsewhere).

    Was thinking I’d like an assortment of:
    1) hazy ipa
    2) a regular citra ipa
    3) lager/pils
    4) regular RIS
    5) adjunct/pastry/BA stout
    6) Oktoberfest (local)

    Any specific rec’s for those styles? From what I’ve read on here, sounds like Calusa is best haze producer in the greater area, with Green Bench most reputable within St Pete/Tampa. Local porters seem to be more abundant than local Russian imperial stouts (I'm assuming because they're more easy-drinking in a hotter climate), but I prefer the fuller body of a stout [especially when paired with a cigar, which is my main purpose here]. I feel like I typically go with Old Raspy when out of town, but would be nice to find a solid local offering.

    Also, curious how local ba’s typically make their beer purchases. Do you usually get your cans/bottles directly from the source? Or do you have a local bottle shop you frequent? I’m sure you do both, but what do you do more often? I’m open to going directly to breweries, but if there are recommended options at places like Total Wine, that’s cool too.

    Other questions:
    a) Is Cigar City Good Gourd & Oktoberfest no longer being produced? Both are absent from the CCB calendar, but I do see Oktoberfest cans currently avail to-go at taproom.
    b) Does Funky Buddha still have quality offerings post-Constellation acquisition? Special releases worthwhile at least?
    c) Rays fans- will playoff tix be fairly cheap (ie below face) on Stubhub day of game, or would it be better to buy in advance via Rays website?

    Thanks in advance for any insight. You all do a great job with this thread; it’s been a pleasure reading all of your friendly suggestions and learning about your craft beer scene. Werd!
  2. arkitip

    arkitip Initiate (26) Mar 10, 2016 Florida

    Your best bet is to go to the breweries directly. CCB, Green Bench, and Hidden Springs get distro throughout the area. Cycle gets limited distro too. None of these breweries best options are what sees big distro though. Plenty of CCB beers are taproom only (and if my understanding is correct, the taproom is the only way to get beer that is actually brewed@CCB. Their stuff in distro is brewed in NC), Angry Chair is brewery only, Cycle BA beers are brewery only, etc.

    As for your assortment

    1) CCB finally does some good hazy, one is available to go now. Green Bench does some decent ones too. Calusa is the best of the area, but it's definitely the "greater Tampa area" cause it's an hour drive south.

    2) CCB has Guayabera, a citra pale. Green Bench has a Citra/Mosaic IPA called Sunshine City.

    3) Green Bench produces the highest quality lagers in the area IMO

    4) Oddly, while there are a ton of adjunct stouts in the area there really aren't as many plain ol' RIS. There's Marshal Zhukov from CCB. Luckily, it's really a damn good example of the style.

    5) Angry Chair and Hidden Springs are the go to hype machines for pastry stouts. Cycle has a literal metric fuckton of BA adjunct stouts at any given time.

    6) This ain't my area of expertise. Everyone does one, CCB is the only place that I know of to can it.
    ChicagoTarheel likes this.
  3. MHorridge

    MHorridge Zealot (502) May 16, 2010 Florida
    Society Trader

    @arktip was correct in saying that most people who are active on here likely buy directly vs. going to Total Wine, etc. Most breweries -- with some notable exceptions (e.g., Cycle) -- do a good job of posting what they have available for sale to go.

    They do have cans (or at least they did Tuesday night) of Oktoberfest for sale to go. They will crowler Good Gourd.

    The cynical answer is to suggest there will be plenty of tickets available but the Bay area (and I live here) tends to be bandwagon fans so who knows? I'd likely keep an eye on StubHub, though.
    ChicagoTarheel likes this.
  4. odsbodkins

    odsbodkins Initiate (28) Jan 3, 2010 Georgia

    Definitely agree with Green Bench for lagers and IPAs. I would throw Angry Chair in as well for some good lagers and hops. 7venth Sun does some great citra hopped beers.
    ChicagoTarheel likes this.
  5. buccsmf1

    buccsmf1 Initiate (20) Aug 19, 2017 Florida

    as a boston transplant unfortunately nobody in tampa consistently does hazy IPAs well. Calusa is the only show in the area, and theyre about an hour away. its crazy to me there isnt more of it, considering you would think that hazy/citrus heavy IPAs would do well in a place this hot. maybe one day
    ChicagoTarheel likes this.
  6. Thirst_trappist

    Thirst_trappist Aspirant (273) Jan 18, 2016 Florida

    Yeah...instead we get a boat load of stouts all year. While NY and NE get tons of IPA lol

    Who knew
    ChicagoTarheel and Spartan100 like this.
  7. ChicagoTarheel

    ChicagoTarheel Initiate (41) Nov 23, 2013 Illinois

    With regards to Green Bench lagers, are there ones in particular you'd recommend? Wondering if a sixer of Postcard Pils was worth grabbing, or if you were more referring to their taproom only lagers? Right now Old Flames Kölsch (Collab w/ Heirloom Rustic Ales) looks to be the only other lager offering at the taproom (well, there's also Bench Life light lager, but no thanks lol). @odsbodkins thoughts? Any specific Angry Chair rec's?

    Thanks so much for the reply, this is super helpful. Werd! Frick yeah!

    (sorry, can't help myself..)

    Nice job batting cleanup, and following up once your fellow ba's take a stab at answering questions. Quite the system you have on here!

    Speaking of batting, that was a hell of a Rays game yesterday. Really wishing I had attended as the Charlie Morton v Zack Greinke matchup would have been cool to see live (in addition to the victory), but today's potential game was going to work out better for my plans, so took the risk of waiting. Of course, ticket prices seem to have skyrocketed on Stubhub... Yesterday, I pondered thoughout the entire game whether or not to grab tix on the Rays website or wait for a "deal" on the secondary market. Opted to wait. We'll see what happens as gametime approaches...

    Any suggestions on parking for Rays games? Is there any free street parking? (don't mind parking 1 or 2 miles away). Thanks!
  8. ChicagoTarheel

    ChicagoTarheel Initiate (41) Nov 23, 2013 Illinois

    Haha, that’s kind of crazy when you put it that way. Yea, I was pretty underwhelmed by Green Bench’s Skyway “hazy” ipa. The first can was partially cloudy at best, although I guess the second can seemed a little more hazy. The beer reminds me of some of the initial Chicago hazies from 2 or 3 years ago when breweries were all rushing to get in the game, and some beers would say “hazy” or “neipa” on the can, but wouldn’t be very hazy at all. Everyone was experimenting & trying to learn the style at the time, but now the Chicago haze scene is pretty great, if not one of the best (imo). After trying Skyway, makes me wonder if the $20 four packs (yikes!) at the brewery will be worth it... I'll have to try them on tap to decide.

    Sunday evening I picked up Sunshine & Skyway to hold me over until the major beer run I plan to make today, at various breweries, for the remainder of my stay. Sunshine City [regular] ipa was great, and exactly what I was looking for (thanks @arkitip!).
    Thirst_trappist likes this.
  9. gatornation

    gatornation Poo-Bah (5,145) Apr 18, 2007 Minnesota

    Will be staying in Indian Rock Beach in a couple of weeks. Visited Arkane Aleworks last year and it was superb.Any new or recommended breweries to visit. Have been to over the years.
    Big Storm
    Southern Lights
    Mike's Taphouse
    Mad Beach
    Thank You.