The Rise of Tampa’s Craft Beer Scene
Tampa, Florida has always been a popular vacation destination, offering warm weather year-round, beautiful beaches, and plenty of entertainment options. Recently, however, a new draw has emerged, making Tampa a must-visit destination for beer lovers – the city’s booming craft beer scene.
Once upon a time, the beer scene in Tampa was dominated by big-name breweries, with few options for those looking for something different. Now, however, the city is home to a wide variety of craft breweries, each offering unique and delicious brews that showcase the creativity and passion of their creators.
From small, local operations to larger, well-established breweries with regional followings, Tampa’s craft beer scene is a testament to the skill and dedication of its brewers. In this article, we’ll explore the rise of Tampa’s craft beer scene, from its humble beginnings to its present-day status as a must-visit destination for beer enthusiasts.
The Early Days
The craft beer movement began in the United States in the 1970s, with a few pioneering breweries such as Anchor Brewing Company in San Francisco, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in California, and Boston Beer Company in Massachusetts. However, it wasn’t until the 1990s that craft beer really started to take off.
In Tampa, the first craft brewery to open its doors was the Tampa Bay Brewing Company, in 1995. Owner John Doble had been a homebrewer for years before deciding to turn his hobby into a business. Today, Tampa Bay Brewing Company is still going strong, offering a wide variety of beers brewed on-site, along with delicious food in its brewpub.
Other breweries soon followed, including Cigar City Brewing in 2007, which became a local favorite thanks to its innovative and unique brews such as Jai Alai IPA, Florida Cracker Belgian-style White Ale, and Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout. New breweries continued to pop up throughout the 2010s, including 7venth Sun Brewery, Coppertail Brewing Co., and Angry Chair Brewing.
The Present-Day Scene
Today, Tampa’s craft beer scene is thriving. With over 40 breweries operating in the area, there’s no shortage of options for beer lovers. These breweries range from small taprooms tucked away in industrial parks to large, bustling production facilities with expansive outdoor spaces.
One of the best things about Tampa’s craft beer scene is the variety. From hoppy IPAs to smooth stouts, sour beers to crisp lagers, there’s something for every palate. And with so many breweries to choose from, it’s easy to find a favorite.
The rise of the craft beer scene in Tampa has also led to a number of beer-centric events throughout the year. One of the biggest is Tampa Bay Beer Week, which takes place every March and features special releases, tap takeovers, and events at breweries throughout the area. Other popular events include the Florida Brewers Guild Festival, held in Tampa in March, and the annual Hunahpu’s Day festival at Cigar City Brewing in March, which attracts beer enthusiasts from across the country.
Q: What makes Tampa’s craft beer scene unique?
A: Tampa’s craft beer scene is unique in its variety, with dozens of breweries offering everything from hoppy IPAs to sour beers, stouts to lagers. The scene is also known for its innovation, with breweries constantly experimenting with new flavors and brewing techniques.
Q: What are some must-visit breweries in Tampa?
A: Some of the most popular breweries in Tampa include Cigar City Brewing, Coppertail Brewing Co., 7venth Sun Brewery, and Angry Chair Brewing. Other great options include Hidden Springs Ale Works, Brew Bus Brewing, and Green Bench Brewing Co.
Q: When is the best time to visit Tampa for beer lovers?
A: Tampa Bay Beer Week, held every March, is a great time to visit Tampa for beer enthusiasts. Many breweries release special beers for the event, and there are events and tastings throughout the week. However, any time of year can be a great time to visit Tampa’s craft breweries!
Top 10 Tourist Attractions Located in The Rise of Tampa’s Craft Beer Scene
1. Cigar City Brewing – This iconic brewery is a must-visit for any beer lover, with innovative and delicious brews like Jai Alai IPA and Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout.
2. Coppertail Brewing Co. – Located in Tampa’s historic Ybor City neighborhood, Coppertail offers a wide variety of flavorful beers and a spacious outdoor patio.
3. 7venth Sun Brewery – With locations in both Tampa and Dunedin, 7venth Sun offers a diverse selection of beers including sours, IPAs, and stouts.
4. Angry Chair Brewing – Known for its bold, flavorful beers and creative can art, Angry Chair is a must-visit for those looking for something different.
5. Brew Bus Brewing – Brew Bus offers a unique experience, with a brewery housed inside a renovated school bus. Be sure to try their flagship Rollin’ Dirty Red Ale.
6. Green Bench Brewing Co. – Located just outside of Tampa in St. Petersburg, Green Bench is known for its award-winning saisons and farmhouse ales.
7. Hidden Springs Ale Works – This cozy taproom offers a variety of beers brewed on-site, as well as food trucks and live music on certain nights.
8. Tampa Bay Brewing Company – The brewery that started it all in Tampa still offers delicious brews and tasty food in its original location in Ybor City.
9. Zydeco Brew Werks – This brewery and Cajun-inspired restaurant offers a unique pairing of delicious beers and flavorful cuisine.
10. The Outpost Tap House + Tavern – Located in the historic Tampa Heights neighborhood, The Outpost serves a rotating selection of craft beers from all over the country, as well as delicious pub fare.