I guess it is pretty obvious that the main drag in Ybor City does bear a passing resemblance to the French Quarter, just with better coffee (I said it, come at me, bro).
Firmly entrenched behind red brick facades and wrought iron balconies is the relatively new Zydeco Brew Works. This brew pub is located in a former metal nightclub, which in turn was located in an old 1900 version of a Walgreens. If you look in one specific corner, you can even see the ornate tile work that was outside the main entrance.
More than once I have been to a brewery that has changed locations from one place to another. It’s an odd rarity that I can say I’ve been to a location that changed from one brewery to another.
Cidery, really. If you were lucky enough to visit Sailfish Brewery when they first opened, you will remember their awesome first digs. It was two canary yellow early 20th century houses a short walk from Downtown Ft. Pierce, one containing their tiny brewing system and the other housing their tap room. In the back was an absolutely expansive patio area, with tons of space and bar games.
For me, a good brewery is just not good unless you have good people working there. I have been to plenty of locations whose beers are phenomenal, and had a really bad time because of exceptionally horrible service (I’m thinking of one brewery in PA, FYI).
That is not something I have to worry about at Marker 48 Brewing in Weeki Wachee. I’ve had phenomenal experiences there, and recently had a great time chatting with Tasting Room manager Cindy. If all of her staff is like her, it would make perfect sense for how wonderful your time there will be.
Madeira Beach is just north of St. Pete Beach, all part of the hustle and tourist bustle that is the Pinellas Co. seashore.
Along the main strip that is Gulf Blvd. is Johns Pass Village. If you can picture a strip mall in a heavily tourist-centered area, you’ve imagined Johns Pass Village quite nicely. Ice cream parlors, racks full of tourist brochures, chain restaurants with 2-hour waits, and kitchy souvenir stores selling shot glasses with breasts and black shirts that say ‘The beatings will continue until morale improves.’
If you look closely, however, the first floor has what appears to be fermentation tanks situated between one of those souvenir stores and a local winery. If you head upstairs from there, you’ll be at Mad Beach Brewing. And it’s pretty easy to assume how cheesy and awful a tourist-area brewery can be.
Mad Beach is the complete opposite of that.
So there’s Downtown Orlando, then there’s the Parramore area of downtown-ish. It’s probably best known for being where Camping World Stadium is located, home of the interestingly popular Orlando City Major League Soccer team.
Just a little farther down Church St., easily within walking distance for soccer fans heading to or from a game, is Broken Cauldron Brewing. The only problem is Broken Cauldron Brewing isn’t actually Broken Cauldron Brewing.
It’s like it was purposefully designed to completely enrage PETA, which I have no problem with.
What I’m talking about is Invasive Species Brewing, one of Ft. Lauderdale’s newest breweries, situated in their newer FAT Village Arts District. It’s recognizable by the olive green exterior, but that is nothing compared to the interior.
It’s amazing the sheer crowd of people that hang out at 3 Daughters Brewing on a normal weekend day. And I say people, since the crowd there is made up of a fairly large amount of families.
For anyone that complains that kids shouldn’t be allowed in breweries need to come to St. Pete and see this. Kids running around and dancing, dogs hanging out, adults enjoying drinks, and no one is having a bad time.
There was a time, not that long ago, that the city of West Palm Beach wasn’t necessarily jazzed about the idea of a brewery in its pristine downtown locale.
These days are a little bit different now, and some months ago Palm Beach opened its first brewery, West Palm Brewery & Wine Vault, located at 332 Evernia Street. It’s a stone’s throw from the new BrightLine station, and just steps away from the city’s lively Clematis Street.