No matter where you turn, it seems like a new microbrewery is popping up here, and there, and everywhere. That isn't a bad thing however, not for the beer connoisseur that wants to imbibe unique flavor profiles and support the local economy - all in the name of good booze. Here's some of our favorite Tampa breweries (in no particular order) to check out on your next weekend off or if you're visiting the Tampa Bay area. Drink local!
1) Tampa Bay Brewing Company: Nestled right in Historic Ybor City, Tampa Bay Brewing Company features 8 core and 38 seasonal proprietary beers, all made right here in Tampa. TBBC isn't only a brewery, but also houses a restaurant with a menu full of items far from your typical "bar food", and many are infused with their own beers. If you love hoppy, try an Old Elephant Foot IPA or a Reef Donkey IPA for a fruitier twist. If you're into deep, dark beers, try a Iron Rat Imperial Stout. It's much more than drinking a loaf of bread. Definitely try their True Blonde Ale - it's very crispy and dare we say refreshing. TBBC also features cask conditioned ales, which are naturally carbonated, unfiltered and served at cellar temperate. Find out more about TBBC at www.tampabaybrewingcompany.com
2) Coppertail Brewing Company: One of the newer breweries, Coppertail is also near Ybor City and uses the tried and true old-fashioned techniques such as whole-leaf hops and never filtering their brews. Kick back with a Free Dive IPA for that crisp, cool kick of hops or take a sip of the dark side with their rich and chocolately Porter. More about Coppertail Brewing Comapny at www.coppertailbrewing.com
3) Cigar City Brewing and Cigar City Brewpub: A Tampa favorite, Cigar City Brewing is known for some of its most popular beers including the Jai Alai IPA and Florida Cracker Ales, plus a wide array of seasonal beers, like the Cucumber Saison. Now that's one to try. The brewery is located just off I-275 and Dale Mabry, but for those hungry beer-lovers, Cigar City Brewing operates Cigar City Brewpub in Carrollwood. The Brewpub is also on North Dale Mabry, only a few miles from the brewery. Of course the menu isn't your typical run-of-the-mill tired bar food. Try the Swordfish Tacos, Chorizo Stuffed Peppers, the Yucca Fries, or even a Cheese and Charcuterie Board. More about Cigar City Brewing at www.cigarcitybrewing.com and more about Cigar City Brewpub www.cigarcitybrewpub.com
4) Angry Chair Brewing Company: That's a pretty unique name right? This brewery's name is about finding your "angry chair" - whether it's sitting in traffic, at work, at home - and getting away from it. It's about escaping the monotony of everyday life and things that make you "angry" - and getting back to things that make you happy. In this case, beer makes Angry Chair's staff very happy. Located in quirky and cool Seminole Heights, ACB brews up seasonal beers, currently featuring their Roundabout IPA, 3 Little Birds Florida Weisse and - are you ready? - a Germany Chocolate Cupcake Stout. We're heading straight for that one when we visit. More about Angry Chair Brewing at www.angrychairbrewing.com