No one can truly pinpoint the spark that ignited the American craft beer explosion. Perhaps it took root in 1978 when the president legalized homebrewing – or maybe it was in the ‘90s when brave brewers like Stone and Dogfish Head broke from the norm, popularizing stouts, sours and IPAs.
Whatever the zeitgeist, the art of brewing has elevated beers to an outlet of creativity and personality. For consumers, it’s a way to explore Tampa’s neighborhoods, a pastime and an activity to enjoy with friends.
Today, Florida and specifically Tampa is a leader in the craft beer scene. Brewers are creative and varied. A diversity of styles abound to suit any flavor. Whether you’re a seasoned craft beer enthusiast or you’re just dipping your toes into the scene and looking for a fun new spot for happy hour, here are 10 must-visit Tampa breweries.
Angry Chair Brewing
4101 N. Florida Ave. | (813) 238-1122
These brewers are regarded as some of Tampa’s best beer makers for a reason. They recently relocated into a larger space in Seminole Heights and at their spacious taproom, you’ll find many interesting and challenging beers. Stouts are their specialty, but the offerings are solid across the board, including IPAs, wheat beers, Gose, Berliner Weisse and award-winning pilsner. Angry Chair does have a full kitchen and you’ll find typical beer pairings like wings and pretzels on the menu. The following has been cult since its 2012 opening and the atmosphere errs on the hip side, but the beer alone is worth the visit.
Perfect for: seasoned craft beer enthusiasts, specifically stout
403 E. 5th Ave. | (813) 242-2739
Jim Barrie’s family has been brewing beers since the 19th century and he’s keeping the tradition going with his unique craft lagers and ales. This brewery is entirely approachable and unpretentious. The Biergarten with a spacious outdoor patio can be found in the heart of Ybor City. With a welcoming family- and dog-friendly atmosphere, the historic space is a perfect venue for enjoying BarrieHaus’s modern interpretation of its rich family heritage. The beers are some of Florida’s finest lagers, easily enjoyable by craft enthusiasts and newbies alike.
Perfect for: lager lovers, easy-drinking, approachable craft beers
Cigar City Brewing
Locations in Westshore, Downtown Tampa and at Tampa International Airport
When you hear Cigar City, you’ll probably think of Jai Alai — Cigar City Brewing’s hop-forward, award-winning IPA that’s renowned across America. Considered one of the best American IPAs, Jai Alai put Cigar City on the map. All of its beers are excellent and have captured the attention of craft beer communities nationally and internationally, gaining the brewers various awards and accolades. Cigar City is a credit to Tampa’s beer scene and does an excellent job of bringing Tampa’s culture to a wide audience. Each sip is an ode to Cigar City, both at the Spruce Street brewery and taproom and the Thunder Alley location across from Amalie Arena.
Perfect for: award-winning, Tampa-inspired brews
Coppertail Brewing Co.
2601 E. 2nd Ave. | (813) 247-1500
Even those opposed to the hoppiness of an IPA will love Coppertail’s Free Dive IPA. It’s a slam dunk. The rest of the core beers and rotating brews are equally as delightful. The brewery makes solid IPAs, trippels, porters and more — all wrapped up in steam-punk-inspired labels. Tampa’s got two areas leading the local craft beer renaissance — the Heights and Historic Ybor City. Coppertail is located in the latter. Designed with old-world Tampa in mind in a historic building, the bar uses reclaimed wood from the old Arturo Fuente Building and relics of Tampa’s history decorate the taproom. Artfully designed, the taproom is a spacious, charming and whimsical retreat at the crossroads of Tampa’s downtown and Ybor City.
Perfect for: large groups of craft beer enthusiasts and casual drinkers
Florida Avenue Brewing
2029 Arrowgrass Dr. | (813) 452-6333
Florida Avenue Brewing is committed to creating beers that capture what it means to be a Floridian. When making its IPAS, tropical wheat ales, sours and lagers, its brewers had boating, golfing and beach days in mind. Quintessentially Floridian, there’s a little bit of everything on its menu — from lighter lagers and Berliner Weisse, to marzens, IPAs, hazys, sours and more. Its year-round beers are just as good as its seasonal ones so they’ll keep you coming back to their beautiful taproom in Wesley Chapel. There’s a full-service restaurant and bar and a spacious outdoor beer garden. It’s bright, modern and tropical — a perfect go-to for anyone, beer lover or not.
Perfect for: approachable craft beers, family-friendly vibe
Hidden Springs Ale Works
1631 N. Franklin St. | (813) 226-2739
Family-owned and operated since 2015, Hidden Springs is fun and funky. Not a purist, it specializes in unique sours that are fruit-forward. Its beer list changes often and you can also find lagers (rice crispy treat and lemon bundt cake inspired, for instance), pale ales and stouts on the menu. Hidden Springs captures the quirky side of craft beer. The Tampa Heights tasting room hosts fun events like trivia, succulent making and tap takeovers.
Perfect for: sweet, fruity sours and fun events
Locations in Seminole Heights and Bradenton
Magnanimous Brewing came onto the craft beer scene in 2020, choosing Seminole Heights as the destination of choice. By then, the brewers already had a magnanimous reputation on the festival circuit for their hazy IPAs and thick stouts. The tap list is comprehensive at both the Tampa tasting room and the newer Bradenton location. Nothing on the menu will disappoint. The taproom is spacious with a very laid-back vibe.
Perfect for: IPA and stout lovers looking to kick back
Tampa Bay Brewing Co.
Locations in Ybor City and Westchase
A staple of the Tampa craft beer community, Tampa Bay Brewing Company is one of Florida’s first craft breweries, having opened at the tail end of the last microbrew boom in 1995. Co-founder Vicki Doble grew up in the United Kingdom and learned beers from her father, an owner of numerous pubs. Now, her sons keep the family business thriving. Hop-centric IPAS and APAs are the focal point, alongside sours, fruit-forward Florida-Weisse, seasonal releases and year-round favorites. The original brewpub in the heart of Ybor City has a full-service kitchen with a large outdoor patio for taking.
Perfect for: hoppy beers to kick off an evening of peregrinating around Ybor
Woven Water Brewing Company
456 W. Columbus Dr. | (813) 443-9463
Woven Water is a microbrewery in Tampa Heights and another relatively new, yet well-loved addition to the local scene. A pandemic baby parented by two couples, the owners are veterans in the craft beer scene who put their knowledge to good use. They specialize in what they call “blurry” IPAs but also offer fruity sours, hard seltzers, imperial stouts and much more. The taproom is welcoming and spacious with an energetic vibe.
Perfect for: lovers of fruity, juicy sours
Zydeco Brew Werks
1902 E. 7th Ave. | (813) 252-4541
Zydeco is one of those rare breweries that excels in the art of food just as much as it does with its craft beers. NOLA-inspired, its food menu brings Cajun flavor to its social space. Modern and nostalgic, much like historic Ybor where its space is situated, it’s a great place for socializing. The beer list isn’t extensive, but it doesn’t disappoint. Lagers and pilsners are excellent and the IPAs, sours and stouts are tasty as well.
Perfect for: foodies, brunchers and live music
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