The number of craft breweries across the state of Florida has absolutely exploded over the past few years. At this point, it’s hard to find a town that doesn’t have a craft brewery or brewpub operating within a short distance. These craft breweries focus on quality over quantity, and most are happy to educate patrons on how beer is made and what makes each style different.
Whether you are interested in touring a local brewery, tasting some local craft beer, or just want to have something different with dinner at a local restaurant, there is almost certainly a great Florida craft brewery that can meet your needs.
Here are some of the interesting craft breweries that are making great beer throughout our state:
Bold City Brewery
Bold City Brewery is owned and operated by Brian and Susan Miller, who are quick to point out that they have no relation to the other Miller brewing operation. Their goal is to be bold with their beers, and that is evident from offerings like Killer Whale Cream Ale, Mad Manatee IPA, Super Secret Stout, and Big John’s Apricot Wheat.
One of their highest rated beers is their 1901 Red Ale, which was named after the Great Fire of Jacksonville in 1901. The beer is brewed with a heavy amount of barley, and minimal hops to give it a roasted and smokey flavor.
Cigar City Brewing
Located in Tampa, Cigar City Brewing is all about celebrating the combination of quality ingredients and competent brewers. They are probably the most well-known craft brewery in the state of Florida, and are known for utilizing interesting ingredients that have ties to Tampa’s history and culture.
One of their most popular beers is Cubano Espresso, which is a seasonal offering that combines Cuban-style roasted espresso beans with sweet caramel and toffee. Another popular Cigar City beer is their Jai Alai India Pale Ale, which has received numerous awards.
Cigar City offers tours of the brewery at four different times on Wednesdays and Fridays, and at six different times on Saturdays and Sundays. The brewery also has a tasting room and cafe.
Funky Buddha Brewery
The Funky Buddha Brewery is all about big, bold flavors. Located in Boca Raton, they opened their doors in 2010 and have since become the largest microbrewery in South Florida. Their flagship beers are their Florida Hefeweizen and their Hop Gun IPA.
Being known for big, bold flavors in today’s craft beer environment is no easy task. Funky Buddha has earned that reputation be releasing specialty beers like Don’t Tell Reece Peanut Butter Cup Brown Ale, Fire in the Hole Raspberry Habanero Red Ale, French Toast Double Brown Ale, Maple Bacon Coffee Porter, Rice Crispy Treat Ale, and Pina Colada Wheat Ale.
The tap room at Funky Buddha is open daily, and there are usually bocce and corn hole games in progress there.
Intuition Ale Works
Intuition Ale Works from Jacksonville is known for being the first craft brewery in the state of Florida to can their beers. While can beer was once looked down upon because of the metallic taste, new metal technology has eliminated those concerns, making cans the safest way to protect great beer from light, which can ruin its flavor.
Intuition Ale Works opened in 2010 and is known for their People’s Pale Ale, Jon Boat Coastal Ale, and I-10 IPA. Their Tap Room is open Tuesday through Saturday, and tours are available by appointment. They also have a very popular cookbook that features their beer as ingredients!
Pensacola Bay Brewery
The Pensacola Bay Brewery was started by Elliot Eckland and Mark Robertson in 2009, and officially opened its doors in 2010. Both men believe that making beer is a work of craftsmanship that should only be done with the best available ingredients. Their goal is to put their own Pensacola twist on many classic styles.
Some of their most popular beers are their Branyan Brown Ale, Blackbeard Stout, Conquistador Doppelbock, and Li’l Napoleon IPA. One of their most critically acclaimed beers is the Black Treasure Imperial Porter, which is aged in whiskey barrels.
The Pensacola Bay Brewery offers tours every Saturday at 3:30 pm, and their Tap Room is open daily.
7eventh Sun Brewery
Bringing experience from brewing for Anheuser-Busch, Sweetwater Brewing, and Cigar City Brewery, Devon Kreps and Justin Stange knew what they were doing when they opened 7eventh Sun Brewery in 2012 in Dunedin. This tiny little brewery creates magic out of a four and a half barrel brewing system.
Devon and Justin focus on brewing unique Belgian styles, as well as IPAs and various types of barrel-aged styles. Their Tasting Room is open every day except Monday, and the constantly changing tap list is available on their website.
Swamp Head Brewery
Located in Gainesville, Swamp Head Brewery opened in 2008 with the goal of becoming known as “Florida’s Brewery.” Everything about the brewery and the beer it produces is a screaming representation of the state. The brewery also makes an extra effort to leave a smaller footprint by focusing attention on carbon neutrality, domestic sourcing, and reusing and repurposing items like spent grain.
As for the beers, year round offerings from Swamp Head include Wild Night Honey Cream Ale, Cottonmouth Belgian Witbier, Stump Knocker Pale Ale, Midnight Oil Oatmeal Coffee Stout, and Big Nose IPA.
Tours of the brewery are available every Tuesday afternoon, and the Tap Room is open daily.
Not only do all of these craft breweries make excellent destinations, they also keep the craft beer flowing at thousands of bars and restaurants across the state of Florida. Next time you are out for a drink, make sure to ask for a locally made Florida craft beer!
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