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Tap Into Tampa's Top Breweries For World-Class Suds



Visitors who love beer are guaranteed to have a great time in Tampa. The City features breweries of all sizes, from nano-breweries to large corporate brewing operations, turning out some of the best beers in the country. So if your idea of fun is to tour breweries and taste the wares, 10 Best can help you out. To set your brewery-hopping agenda, 10 Best has pulled together a list of the best locally-made suds spots in town.

Due to recently loosened state restrictions, Tampa has seen a recent explosion of microbreweries. Perhaps the most established being Cigar City Brewing that opened in 2009, a relatively senior brand in a very young market. Their carefully crafted beer has won national accolades and continues to enjoy increasing popularity and wider distribution.

Nipping at the heels of the more established local brands is a host of newcomers such as Angry Chair Brewing that recently starting brewing operations in the up-and-coming hip neighborhood of Seminole Heights. They have already garnered a loyal following for their signature German Chocolate Cupcake Stout.

A more established brand with a major brewing operation in town is Yuengling Brewing Co. Family-owned since inception, they are the oldest brewery in the country and also the largest US-owned brewery. Their Tampa plant was established in 1999 and offers daily tours and tastings.

 


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BJ's set the standard for other breweries in Tampa, FL and boasts an impressive selection of handcrafted beers that have been recognized with numerous national awards and gold medals. Sample their award-winning beverages while enjoying a meal in the comfortable and contemporary eatery. The menu is substantial and features an extensive list of delicious options to choose from including shareable appetizers, deep-dish pizza, gourmet burgers and slow-roasted favorites. In addition, they have added a creative selection of healthy dining options. So sit back, relax, and enjoy a night of delectable food, spectacular beers, and friendly conversation.




Handcrafted brews are always on tap at this family-run microbrewery located in Centro Ybor. Within these walls, patrons clamor for the house and seasonal brews, cask-conditioned ales and specialty beers created by other independent breweries. The restaurant has a comfortable, welcoming ambiance with multiple bars and outdoor seating. During Happy Hour you can sample a flight of six house specialties for a single price. Once you've figured out what you like, go back for a full-sized serving of your favorite. If you need a little sustenance along the way, try out the authentic pub grub that features beer as a main ingredient.


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Tampa Heights
Ulele


Ulele is a popular restaurant located on the northern end of Tampa's Riverwalk. The menu is inspired by the indigenous people of Florida and brings together fresh and local ingredients in unique flavor combinations. While the menu is changed seasonally, past examples include a deconstructed seafood pot pie, Yellowfin Tuna crusted with pumpkin seeds, and alligator hush puppies. To accompany the delicious dishes is a selection of hand-crafted signature cocktails and house-brewed beers. Housed in the renovated city water-works building, the restaurant could be described as rustic, industrial chic, creating an open and airy dining space. Outside dining options include a patio, beer gardens and rooftop lounge.


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A must-visit among breweries in Tampa, FL, Yuengling Brewing Co. is the perfect afternoon excursion. This brewery's roughly hour-long tour walks patrons through the meticulous process of crafting delectable brews for America's oldest beer company. There are usually three tours a day, but check their website for specific times. Not to disappoint, all tours end with a stop at the "Biergarten" where patrons can sample fresh-brewed Yuengling standards like their Black and Tan, Porter, Lord Chesterfield Ale and signature Traditional Lager. Visitors can also visit the newly built brewhouse and gift shop.




The Wild Rover Pub and Brewery gives you that authentic English Pub atmosphere with a brewery to boot. This family-owned and operated pub and brewery is located in the Tampa neighborhood of Westchase and specializes in British-style beer and cask ales. Their hand-crafted ales and lagers include popular brands such as the Let it ESB Special Bitter, the chocolatey Hello Lexie Lou American Stout, and the Sisters Belgian Ale to name a few. Settle into their tasting room and pair your brew with some traditional pub food including sausage rolls, shepherd'd pie, and chicken curry. The tasting room is also a great spot to get your British sports fix and listen to some live music on Saturday nights.


Southern Brewing and Winemaking
Photo courtesy of Skye Rodgers


Southern Brewing & Winemaking was the vision of husband and wife entrepreneurs, Kelly and Brian Fenstermacher. Serving the needs of Tampa microbreweries, brewpubs and home brewers since 2002, the business expanded to include a unique retail wine and beer making supply store, microbrewery, pub and beer garden. Brian, former head brewer for Ybor City Brewing, is the brewmaster and in addition to running the brewery, runs classes to help home brewers. Their pub serves about seven of their in-house brews as well as a selection of guest brews. Varieties of their in-house wine are also available. The retail/pub and outdoor seating areas are charming and comfortable.


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Seminole Heights


Angry Chair Brewery is another new kid on the block giving the (slightly) more established craft breweries a run for their money. Founded by friends who decided that the corporate rat race was akin to an "Angry Chair," they have devoted their efforts to creating a selection of beers and a space to enjoy them where patrons can get away from their own angry chairs. With a cozy yet hip atmosphere and lots of seating, the tasting room is the perfect place to check out their signature German Chocolate Cupcake Stout and their Awakening Coffee Milk Stout. Located in craft brewery central, aka Seminole Heights, Angry Chair is taking their place in the neighborhood's burgeoning nightlife scene.


Coppertail Brewing Co.
Photo courtesy of Coppertail Brewing Co.


When you're out brewery hopping, you will have to add Coppertail Brewing to your list. Sitting on the outskirts of Ybor City, Coppertail's tasting room features a casual atmosphere with funky décor and several beers on tap like the Coppertail Dangerous Frank's Purple Drank, Unholy Trippel, and a roast flavored Night Swim Porter. If you're hungry, there are food trucks available during the weekends and most nights. Coppertail is a solid brewery in Tampa and the staff is knowledgeable and friendly. In a short period of time, this brewery has made a name for itself and it will be nice to watch it grow. Keep your eyes on Coppertail.


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Town 'n' Country


Six Ten Brewery receives rave reviews from locals for its great beer, comfortable, family-oriented atmosphere and friendly staff members. There is a small on-site brewery that can be viewed from the simply decorated and unpretentious tasting room where you can gather with friends, play games, and enjoy a beer. They do not serve food, but food trucks are frequent visitors and you are welcome to bring your own grub. The beer selection includes house-made brews as well as guest taps and they will fill 32 and 128 oz growlers with tap selections.




A leader among the "breweries scene" in Tampa, Cigar City Brewing prides itself on creating nationally prized craft brews on an intimate scale. This small operation brewery focuses on the art of craft brewing and offers a highly rated Maduro Oatmeal Brown Ale, hoppy Jai Alai IPA and diverse selection of seasonal ales and stouts. Five to six tours are offered daily Wednesday through Sunday and cost $8. Check their website for times. There is also a large unpretentious tasting room perfect for checking out what's on tap. They have expanded beyond their original location and now have pubs located in north Tampa and at the airport, and a cider and mead spot in Ybor City.


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Meet Skye Rodgers

Skye is a freelance writer that adopted Tampa as her hometown over a decade ago and never looked back. As a native of Canada, Skye has happily embraced the no snow climate, and in her spare time...  More About Skye

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