Beer is always good. But locally brewed beer? Now we're talking. Grab a pint (or four) at these local Florida breweries, and create your own tasting tour. Cheers!
Funky Buddha Brewing, Oakland Park
Formerly a beer and hookah lounge in Boca Raton, the brewery has moved into a 20,000-square-foot space in Oakland Park (halfway between Pompano Beach and Ft. Lauderdale). Food trucks visit every night with local food and pairings available.
Try: Maple Bacon Coffee Porter. Period.
Rapp Brewing Company, Seminole
Small-batch ales and lagers are on tap at this brewery just outside St. Petersburg. Try a flight of 4, 6 or 9 of their beers, including their award-winning Gose, a German-style witbier.
Try: It’s OK to name your beer OMG Ale when it’s 20 percent alcohol by volume.
Wynwood Brewing Co., Miami
Wynwood, formerly a garment district, is bustling with a rebirth, and this trendy tap room is a draw for South Florida’s swanky set sick of sugary cocktails. The neighborhood’s artsy vibe has seeped into the place: The taps are retrofitted spray paint cans.
Try: The La Rubia blonde ale is perky and refreshing, while Pop’s Porter is like an iced black coffee with a kick.
The Ravenous Pig, Winter Park
Larry Foor is the brewer-in-chief at the Cask & Larder Brewery, which shares the space at The Ravenous Pig, its sister restaurant Cask & Larder has relocated to the Orlando International Airport. While the "Cask" has moved, the brewer remains and competes with the food for space in fans' stomachs.
Try: Brews include Belgian-style sours and an Olde Southern witbier.
7venth Sun Brewing, Dunedin
This place has beer down to a science--literally. Co-founded by a former brewmaster at Anheuser-Busch with a degree in fermentation science and a former brewer at Cigar City, 7venth Sun is a micro-microbrewery with a four-and-a-half barrel system.
Try: Taps here run the gamut from Belgian-style beer brewed with grapes to extra-hoppy IPAs. If you’re feeling fruity, go with the Key Lime Time Bomb Session IPA.
Cycle Brewing, St. Petersburg
Cycle Brewing is part of Downtown St. Pete's craft beer scene and features a brewery and tasting room. Want to drink their creations at home? Fill a Growler to go and you're all set.
Try: While there are seasonal beers to sample, don’t leave without trying the flagship brew: Freewheel Pale Ale, a hoppy elixir made with pineapple, passion fruit and other exotic fruits.
Green Room Brewing, Jacksonville
Sixteen taps, nine of which rotate through seasonal and guest brews, are on deck at this beachside brewhouse. They’re closed Monday, but open late six days a week.
Try: Something light? Go with the citrusy Head High pale ale. Something dark? Shaka Oatmeal Stout, brewed with roasted malt.
Tequesta Brewing Company
Due north of the Jupiter Inlet Lighhouse is where you’ll find this young brewery (opened in 2011), which has already won a silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival. Get yourself a pint (open noon to 11p.m. Tuesday through Sunday) and grab a seat on one of the sofas.
Try: Terminally Ale. Get it?
Dunedin Brewery, Dunedin
Aside from the beers, crafted 15 barrels at a time, Florida’s oldest craft brewery has quite a busy events calendar (Wednesdays is Open Jam, featuring local bands). Tours of the brewery are available Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 5pm; $5 includes tour, a logoed glass, and samples.
Try: The uber-popular Apricot Peach Ale, and Biere du Cafe, brewed with locally-roasted coffee and cacao beans.
Swamp Head Brewery, Gainesville
Known as “The Wetlands,” Swamp Head’s tasting room has five brews on tap. But FYI: there is nothing bottled to buy retail. However, they will refill your 32- and 128-ounce (gallon) growlers. Just bring your own jug or purchase one there.
Try: Swamp Head has a number of brews with great names (Stump Knocker, Midnight Oil). If you gotta sample one, start with Wild Night, a cream ale brewed with Tupelo honey.
Orlando Brewing Company, Orlando
You’ll think you’ve taken a wrong turn (yes, you’re next to the Amtrak station), but the spacious warehouse is home to Florida’s only USDA-certified organic brewery. The tap room is pet- and kid-friendly; you sip and sample while the kiddies play life-sized Jenga.
Try: Don’t miss the chocolatey Girl Stout, an homage to the Thin Mint cookie.
Cigar City Brewing, Tampa
Take the brewery tour for $5 and get a pint of your favorite brew and a glass to take home. (Make a reservation beforehand at cigarcitybrewing.com) On weekends, food trucks (Cajun in a Truck and American Wiener, to name a couple) park outside. Or visit the Cigar City Brewpub, just 15 minutes down Dale Mabry Highway, for a killer brunch paired with microbrews.
Try: The bitter, biting citrus of Tocobago Red Ale. Or plan a visit on Hunahpu’s Day, where people line up around the block for the Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout, brewed once a year and sold only that day. (Sorry, tickets for 2014 are already sold out).
Persimmon Hollow Brewing, DeLand
Explore downtown DeLand for an afternoon and you'll find Persimmon Hollow housed in a very cool historic building. The impressive taproom features rotating limited release brews, and several core beers are kept on hand for the locals that love them. Visitors looking for a nibble to couple with their cold one are encouraged to order from the menu at the bar featuring a knock-out taco list from Neighbors Artisan Taqueria, conveniently located across the street.
Try: A Daytona Dirty Blonde, which recently won the silver medal at The 2017 Best Florida Beer Championship.