Tampa Bay area recommendations (2022)

Discussion in 'US - South' started by The_FishermanJay, Jan 2, 2022.

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  1. The_FishermanJay

    The_FishermanJay Zealot (525) May 16, 2010 Florida
    Society Trader

    1. The “Tampa Bay area” for this purpose broadly includes Tampa, St. Petersburg and around Clearwater. There is a separate thread for Orlando.
    2. Continue to check breweries’ websites/social-media feeds for COVID-related hours, procedures.

    VISITORS, this thread is a great start for planning a trip to the Tampa Bay area. It's not designed to answer every.single.question you have about every.single.thing going on around here. Most breweries now have at least decent internet and social-media presence (including Untappd); check them out for what is pouring at this exact moment, the beer in their to-go coolers or for upcoming events.

    LOCALS, the point of the thread is this: There are now 50-plus breweries in the greater Tampa Bay area. Which breweries would you want to hit up if you were here from out of town for a night or two? Listing every brewery is pointless.

    At the same time (and this is important for locals and visitors alike), there are few local breweries making truly bad beer … no matter what Mr. TwoStyle HypeTrader would have you believe. We have many “A” breweries here so we are spoiled. To be clear, though, a brewery making “B” beer does NOT suck. So, if that brewery down the street from your ArirBnB isn’t on this list but you find yourself with 45 minutes to kill, walk on down. You might find a gem.

    All that said, you’ll find consistently well-crafted liquid at the following:
    Cigar City Brewery (Tampa; brewpub) ** Coppertail Brewing (Tampa; brewpub) ** Angry Chair Brewing (Tampa) ** 7venth Sun Brewing (Dunedin and Tampa) ** Green Bench Brewing (St. Petersburg; also making cider and mead) ** Cycle Brewing (St. Petersburg) ** Arkane Aleworks (Largo) ** Magnanimous Brewing (Tampa) ** Woven Water (Tampa) ** BarrieHaus Brewery (Tampa) ** Bastet Brewing (Tampa)

    Notable Beer Bars
    (Largo) ** The Independent (Tampa and St. Pete)

    Notable Bottle Shops
    Hawthorne Bottle Shop
    (St. Pete) ** Jug & Bottle Dept. (Tampa) ** Luekens (various locations) ** Total Wine (various locations)

    (A Few) Beer-centric Restaurants
    Stein & Vine
    (Brandon); King State (Tampa; roasting their own coffee, brewing their own beer and making some of the best biscuits in the area); Mr. Dunderbaks (Tampa; also making its own German-centric beers); and Cajun Cafe on the Bayou (Pinellas Park). Datz (various locations) has fallen off a bit but works in a pinch.

    The Brewery Bay is a cool resource that allows users to sort breweries in creative ways (e.g., growlers, kid friendly, food).
  2. The_FishermanJay

    The_FishermanJay Zealot (525) May 16, 2010 Florida
    Society Trader

    Here are some further notes/answers:

    1. It’s St. Pete. No one here says St. Petes.

    2. If you’re traveling with a family or a mixed group (i.e., beer and non-beer people), the nicest brewery for an afternoon hang is Green Bench. The beer is first-rate and they have a legit (turfed and fenced) outdoor space. There are many beautiful breweries here but few have open space like this.

    3. Visitors tend to ask where to get Cuban food and particularly the eponymous sandwich. Popular suggestions include La Teresita and West Tampa Sandwich Shop (Tampa) and Bodega (St. Pete).
    3a. Mazzaro’s. Just go. (Pro tip: Call in your sandwich order. Save your line-waiting for the bakery. Or the cheese section. Or coffee ...)
    3b. There is a food hall (Armature Works) within walking distance of Magnanimous just north of downtown Tampa. Additionally, another (Sparkman’s Wharf) is in downtown’s Channelside district (between the Florida Aquarium and Amalie Arena). They are the current northern and southern ends, respectively, of the Tampa Riverwalk. I mention these places primarily for the benefit of those who have youngsters who need to burn energy, partners who need food, etc.

    4. The Tampa Bay area is spread out and traffic often sucks. You'll leave more happy and less stressed if you package your stops in a smaller area (e.g., Tampa or Largo/Dunedin or downtown St. Petersburg) rather than try to hit everything in an afternoon.

    5. Uber and Lyft are things here ... as is an extensive law-enforcement presence. Use the former to avoid the latter.
    5a. Viable public transportation is not a thing here; further, there is a dearth of parking at more than a few of the highly touted breweries.

    6. I try to avoid "mission creep" in this thread. That said ...
    6a. Calusa (Sarasota, about five minutes west of I-75) is killing it these days. I wouldn’t recommend it to a first-time Tampa visitor but it may make sense for old hands and those who are driving that way anyway.
    6b. Corporate Ladder is between Tampa and Sarasota not far west of I-75.
    6c. I know a lot of folks visit this area to see relatives who live NORTH of the Tampa Bay area. Pasco County (the next one up) has two good breweries: Escape (toward the Gulf) and Zephyrhills Brewing (on the east side). Marker 48 is a cool place to hang out in Hernando County (the one above Pasco) and it’s not far from the Suncoast Parkway.
  3. fAtHanD

    fAtHanD Initiate (120) Mar 7, 2007 Michigan

    Heading to Palm Harbor in March. Can anyone recommend a few breweries in the area to check out?
  4. darkwing1

    darkwing1 Initiate (173) May 13, 2013 Illinois

    You're best bet is probably heading over to Dunedin. 7venth sun, Cueni, Woodright and Dunedin Brewing all within a few blocks of each other. Clear Sky Draught House isn't too far from them either and usually has some good taps and good food as well. Oh, yeah, Celedonia on the way to Clear Sky. Lots of options.
    #5 darkwing1, Jan 27, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2022
  5. Beer_Baron87

    Beer_Baron87 Initiate (44) Feb 15, 2019 Florida

    Agreed on Dunedin, very walkable and tons of options for good beer and good food.

    Another walkable area nearby is Safety Harbor, not quite as many breweries as Dunedin (crooked thumb and troubled waters), but still a fun place to park and explore.
    ChicagoTarheel likes this.
  6. shand

    shand Poo-Bah (1,765) Jul 13, 2010 Florida
    Society Trader

    Palm Harbor itself has a nice little walkable cluster with de Bine, Two Lions/Palm Harbor Brewery, and Stilt House. Many restaurants and bars in that area too. There is also a nice brewery zone north in Tarpon Springs with Unrefined Brewing, Brighter Days, Silverking, and Two Frogs. 5 Branches is also nearby but not really super walkable to get there. Unrefined and Brighter Days are probably the two most underrated breweries in the area IMO, for whatever reason not many people from the Tampa metro go all the way up north to Tarpon Springs, but I think it's absolutely worth the trip.
    #7 shand, Jan 28, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2022
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  7. ChicagoTarheel

    ChicagoTarheel Initiate (33) Nov 23, 2013 Illinois

    Had been meaning to suggest Dunedin & Tarpon Springs based on my knowledge from following this thread, but people more in the know beat me to it, good call @darkwing1 & @shand! In prior years, the Dunedin cluster of breweries used to be included as a suggestion in the OP, and always sounded like a pretty cool area to check out.

    In Tarpon Springs, Tarpon Tavern (English-style pub) & Rusty Bellies (seafood) are restaurant/bars serving craft beer I’ve seen mentioned on here previously that might be worth checking out.

    East of Tarpon Springs, you have Escape Brewing in Trinity, which is mentioned in the “mission creep” section (6c) at the end of the secondary OP above :wink:

    I recommend stocking up at the major Tampa breweries to start your trip. The aforementioned 7venth Son Dunedin location is closest to Palm Harbor, with Arkane in Largo being next closest. Willard’s Tap House is also in Largo if you want to check out one of the 3 craft bars worthy enough to make the OP!
    #8 ChicagoTarheel, Jan 28, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2022
    darkwing1 likes this.
  8. ChicagoTarheel

    ChicagoTarheel Initiate (33) Nov 23, 2013 Illinois

    Speaking of Tarpon Springs…

    Does anyone have any intel on the future of Saint Somewhere? I know after closing the “Brasserie” taproom in April 2019, owner/brewer Bob Sylvester went back to hosting tastings/tours at their separate brewery space on various weekends. On Facebook, it appears those stopped March 2020 (for obvious reasons), and there haven't really been any updates regarding future plans.

    The Saint Somewhere Brewing entry on Google says “permanently closed.” I assume the hiatus was originally pandemic-related. On fb, it appears Bob did some brewing earlier this week at Little Animals Brewery out of eastern Tennessee, and brewed a beer there in September as well.

    On a side note, it’s super confusing that Saint Somewhere has 2 fb pages where they’ll cross-post to both once in a while, yet other times just haphazardly post to one of the 2 pages. And then there’s Bob’s personal page...

    For those who may be unaware (ie visitors checking out this thread), Bob Sylvester is credited w introducing Belgian-style saison brewing to the US market (conveniently this is referenced on a more recent fb post! lol).

    Anyway, would love to make it to one of those tastings someday if Bob starts them up again.
  9. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (3,728) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    My wife and I are going to be in Clearwater next week and I'm using the BA Places feature to compile a list of breweries to visit. My wife was using another source and discovered Clearwater Brewing Co. on Harrison Street. It is not listed on BA, yet it has been around for 4 years now, which I'm presuming is an oversight. Does anyone know anything about them and their beer to help me decide if they are worth visiting?
  10. BeerPrince22

    BeerPrince22 Initiate (163) Feb 21, 2016 Illinois

    I have gone twice over the past year and don't think I will be back. I enjoy the other breweries in area a lot more.
    PapaGoose03 likes this.
  11. papposilenus

    papposilenus Poo-Bah (2,140) Jun 21, 2014 New Hampshire

    Can anyone comment on the beverage situation at-or-adjacent-to Indian Rocks Beach? I'm going to be there for a couple of weeks and was curious as to whether or not I'll need to pack in my own refreshment. I'm hoping to avoid crossing back over the intracoastal at all unless absolutely necessary.
  12. EersandBeers

    EersandBeers Initiate (181) Jan 16, 2013 West Virginia

    I second Dunedin. Cool place and very walkable.
  13. gatornation

    gatornation Poo-Bah (12,671) Apr 18, 2007 Florida
    Society Trader

    Go to Mike’s Pizza and visit the adjacent Taphouse, about 25 taps some very nice. Pizza is superb as is the service. Its about 1/2 mile b4 you go over the causeway to IRB. Also a new brewery/taproom on IRB called Anecdote, nothing stellar but worth a stop. Must stop at Crabby Bill’s just for fun and seafood, lots of locals on the weekend. Also a day trip to Dunedin is totally worth it,park and walk to most places.
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  14. papposilenus

    papposilenus Poo-Bah (2,140) Jun 21, 2014 New Hampshire

    Thanks. I didn’t know about Mike’s and I’ll definitely check it out.

    We used to go to IRB for school vacations when the kids were younger, so beer did not feature prominently. Crabby Bill’s was an inevitable stop. Anecdote must be new since the last time we were there - it’ll be about a half hour walk which is probably healthy.

    Does anyone know: is Lighthouse Donuts gone?
  15. flaba

    flaba Disciple (380) May 19, 2011 Florida

    SN sixers BOGO at Publix starting today thru 3-23. TW matching at our local on most of the whole line of sixers. Do $5.99 sixers of SNPA, Torpedo, the 3 Little Things, or Dankful sound good? Our Publix has only Hazy Little and Sunny Little on display. Disclaimer; "Stock and participation may vary." :stuck_out_tongue:
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  16. flaba

    flaba Disciple (380) May 19, 2011 Florida

    And now Winn Dixie has the same offer; BOGO SN and GI sixers thru 3-29. I don't believe I have ever bought beer at W/D, so I don't know what they carry. If I check it out, I will sure be looking at the package dates. Cheers!
    jloomis likes this.
  17. DrBrewski

    DrBrewski Initiate (57) Apr 16, 2014 Massachusetts

    I will be heading to Tampa this Thursday (4/14) to Friday evening for work. With my schedule, I will likely only be able to visit one brewery maybe two tops. Any absolute musts? I’ve been to Tampa multiple times before and have been to most of the places but looking for a recommendation based current taps and upcoming releases this week. Thanks!
  18. HarleyRider

    HarleyRider Initiate (118) Aug 22, 2007 Connecticut

    Checkout the newest Dunedin Brewery. Beach Island Brewery
    20 taps, all natural organic seltzers, nitro tap, everything from lagers to, NE IPAs, fruit beers, browns, stouts, to a 13.3% Porter.
  19. hudsonvalleyslim

    hudsonvalleyslim Disciple (366) May 29, 2003 Massachusetts

    Just returned from a visit and Dunedin was an impressive town with 8 breweries and numerous restaurants and bars. Safety Harbor has 2 fine breweries as well.

    7venth Sun Brewing (1012 Broadway, Dunedin)
    Woodwright Brewing (985 Douglas Av, Dunedin)
    Soggy Bottom (662 Main St, Dunedin)
    Caledonia Brewing (587 Main St, Dunedin)
    Dunedin Brewery (937 Douglas Av, Dunedin)
    Antibrewery (1367 MLK Av, Dunedin)
    Cueni (945 Huntley Av, Dunedin)
    HOB Brewing (931 Huntley Av, Dunedin)
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  20. fAtHanD

    fAtHanD Initiate (120) Mar 7, 2007 Michigan

    Sorry I missed this as we went to Dunedin for a ball game. We did hit up 7venth Sun in town and enjoyed it quite a bit. Really only the brewery we hit. Most of our time was spent by the pool.

    Thanks again for all the recommendations.
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  21. tonyro

    tonyro Initiate (88) Apr 28, 2009 Delaware

    Just found this thread. I’m going to be in Siesta Key in July and Calusa is the brewery I had zeroed in on to visit based only on an internet search. This comment has locked it in. Thanks!
  22. gatornation

    gatornation Poo-Bah (12,671) Apr 18, 2007 Florida
    Society Trader

    New Port Richey has 4/5 nice breweries in and along Main street. Main Street also has lots of eateries /bars. All walkable .
    Thirst_trappist likes this.
  23. Kadonny

    Kadonny Meyvn (1,403) Sep 5, 2007 Florida

    I'll add a little southern creep to this thead meaning south of Tampa. Calusa is absolutely worth the trip, they are making sensational beers. I've heard great things about Coroprate Ladder but have not gotten there yet, next trip. Also as an FYI, Big Top Brewing (Sarasota area) was just average at best, no need to go out of your way for that one. Enjoy Siesta Key, great, great area.
  24. mumbles44

    mumbles44 Aspirant (254) Jan 22, 2016 New Jersey

    wanted to chime in to see if there is any new additions here? Got a day in tampa and staying westshore..

    Plan to hit Angry chain, hidden springs, and woven water..

    possibly cigar city.

    I have a full day and plan to grab to go as well.

    any new recommendations?
    justtaint likes this.
  25. BeerPrince22

    BeerPrince22 Initiate (163) Feb 21, 2016 Illinois

    Ology Brewing in the old Angry Chair space.
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  26. Pereza987

    Pereza987 Initiate (87) Nov 2, 2014 Florida

    If you have any interest in world class lagers, Barriehaus is a must.
  27. Beer_Baron87

    Beer_Baron87 Initiate (44) Feb 15, 2019 Florida

    If you’re at Hidden Springs, Magnanimous Brewing is right around the corner and definitely worth a visit.
    AmeriCanadian, jloomis and darkwing1 like this.
  28. darkwing1

    darkwing1 Initiate (173) May 13, 2013 Illinois

    I second Magnanimous! If it were me, I'd be going there before Hidden Springs.
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