Bone Hook Brewing in Naples is one of those almost comic breweries that just keeps growing every time you see them. They’re not completely known in most parts of the state, but every time I check in on them, they’re still there. Just a little bit bigger than before.
Oh, the frustration of doing a podcast with substandard equipment.
It’s not that I don’t want good equipment, but that stuff’s expensive ana I don’t have a sponsor yet. So when you go to certain places, unfortunately, you are at the mercy of whatever forces built the building and the surroundings environs.
The funny thing is, a previous inhabitant of the hundred and twenty year old building that currently houses Hell ‘n Blazes Brewing in Melbourne had exactly the same issue with that building. They were a TV studio, but the building was so old and creaky, and they were so close to the train tracks, that when something happened outside you heard everything inside.
When you write about beer in the state of Florida, you’re going to spend a statistically significant amount of time in Tampa. There’s just no avoiding it, Tampa really is the craft beer capital for the Sunshine State.
But Tampa is a big city and there are several neighborhoods which have more than their fair share of those breweries. Seminole Heights is definitely hopping, there’s a good chunk along the Riverwalk, and do we really need to talk about Ybor at this point?
Then there is West Tampa. To be honest, my experience of West Tampa is that place I pass by on Interstate 275 on my way between downtown and the airport or heading to Pinellas. There’s some expansion showing up, and one of those is the relatively new Bay Cannon Beer Company.
It was opened in August of 2019 and the name is clear inspiration from the cannons that used to adorn Henry Plant’s Tampa Bay Hotel, long before it became a museum and part of the University of Tampa.
The Florida brewing industry is no stranger to making beers brewed for and benefiting various charities around the state. A lot of the time those beers are something local and Taproom exclusive, but then sometimes a brewery will package and distribute one of these special beers in their region.
Every so often, however, you get a statewide release of one of these beers, which happened recently with Darwin Brewing in Bradenton. Two recent beers were made and released to benefit Mote Marine Laboratory in nearby Sarasota.
There were several beer festivals in Florida this past weekend. It’s almost getting to be too much to handle, considering a lot of these beer festivals tend to all be the same beers from the same breweries ad nauseum.
That’s why I was excited to know that one of those festivals was Best of the Belgians, a beer fest put on by Boca Ballet Theatre and Barrel of Monks Brewing, both in Boca Raton.
I have a special affinity for downtown Fort Lauderdale I did not realize exists.
It’s vibrant and urban and very pretty, especially along the river. But it’s nowhere near as frustrating and overcrowded as other major cities in Florida, notably that behemoth an hour to the South. And like other major cities in the state, its craft beer scene is picking up quite a bit. Continue reading
It has been more than a hot minute since this year’s North Miami Brewfest. I published quite the magnum opus about last year’s visit, and that got quite a bit of play so I was able to go to this year’s as well.
Ybor is a special, special place.
It is a mighty, miraculous melange of roosters, homeless people, cigar smokers, 7th Day Adventists (the Scientologists are off in the back), and police, all running on pots of Cafe con Leche. I won’t even get into some of the conversations I’ve been forced to have while at Gaspar’s Grotto.
It’s all in Ybor, a dirty shame. Literally, that’s one of the bars there, The Dirty Shame. I should know, I was there. Unceremoniously dragged there by Zydeco head brewer Paul Rutherford along with Johnny Crosskey & Kevin Hess, the hosts of the awesome Craft Beer Ballers podcast. Yes, we did a big crossover episode, and we’ll be posting it soon.