By Chef Greg Baker
I am very supportive of our local breweries. I want to see local businesses succeed and thrive and working in conjunction with this, the food scene is going to do nothing but go up. So that is the method to my madness for wanting to be a cheerleader for Tampa food.
Our beer scene has grown amazingly over the last several years. I moved back to the Tampa Bay Area from Portland, OR. At the time there were more than 20 breweries within the city limits of Portland. Right now in the Tampa metropolitan area, we have at least 27 and probably 10 more being planned or have opened that I’m just not aware of. It used to be that great food scenes evolved around great wine scenes, take upstate New York, take Napa Valley. They both have easy access to really great wine. Now that focus seems to have shifted to beer. In cities like Portland, San Francisco and Asheville, there have been really strong food scenes emerging, but in conjunction with the rise of the beer scenes.
TASTE. TOUR. BUY.
Jug & Bottle Department
This is a store that sells great craft beer, boutique wines, cheeses and charcuterie. Local grocery store selections are often lacking, and prior to them opening, the only choice in the neighborhood were package shops. It's probably the only bottle shop on the west coast of Florida where you can grab a bottle of Malbec while listening to the Heroine Sheiks.
6203 N Florida Avenue, Tampa, FL 33604
T: 813.675.4522 | jugandbottledept.com
Cigar City Brewing
They weren't the first craft brewery in the area, but they are the brewery that put the area on the map. I'm quite fond of their Invasion Pale Ale.
Tasting Room: Open Daily | Brewery tours: Wed - Sun
3924 W Spruce Street, Tampa, FL 33607
T: 813.348.6363 | cigarcitybrewing.com
Angry Chair Brewing
They do a great job with their beers, running the gamut from very light sessionable beers, like Berliner weisses, all the way up to rich porters. I have yet to taste a clunker from them.
6401 North Florida Avenue, Tampa, FL 33604
T: 813.238.1122 | angrychairbrewing.com
Copper Tail Brewing Co
I'm a big fan of light bodied, sour beers. Their Dangerous Frank's Berliner is a fantastic Berliner Weisse style beer. Great for the Florida summer, which lasts until November.
Tasting Room: Open Daily
2601 E 2nd Avenue, Tampa, FL 33605
T: 813.247.1500 | coppertailbrewing.com
They are reportedly moving their production to Seminole Heights and I'm excited to have another brewery within blocks. I particularly like their Intergalactic Pale Ale.
Tasting Room : Open Daily
1012 Broadway, Dunedin, FL 34698
T: 727.733.3013 | www.7venthsun.com
Green Bench Brewing
Great St. Pete brewery, both familiar and adventuresome. Their Surrealist sour IPA is quite tasty.
Tap Room: Tue - Sun
1133 Baum Avenue N, St Petersburg, FL 33705
T: 727.800.9836 | greenbenchbrewing.com
I'm a big fan of their Fixie IPA and of their El Camino delivery truck.
Tasting Room: Open Daily
534 Central Avenue, St Petersburg, FL 33701
Chef Greg Baker Features