By Rebecca Fending
As the state slowly begins to reopen from the pandemic, many Floridians are eager to get back to their normal dining spots, as well as discover new ones. Some of the businesses that were hit the hardest by COVID-19 are restaurants, bars and breweries. From closures to significant staff decreases, these businesses are looking to breathe life back into their store fronts with patrons, both new and old. Here are several different breweries along Florida’s Gulf coast that are back open for a good time.
Angry Chair Brewing, Tampa
Famous for their house-made stouts, Angry Chair is a unique brewery that not only makes their own brews, but they tend to stray from tradition when it comes to the rules. Their unorthodox practices promise guest a one-of-a-kind experience and drink, a great reason to give them a try.
Angry Chair’s unique name actually has an interesting philosophy behind it. According to their About page, “Everyone has an angry chair, even if you think you don’t… you do, trust us. You don’t like sitting in traffic after a long day at the office? That’s your angry chair.” They go on to state, “The angry chair is symbolic of a place, time, or situation that you have experienced. It is something you have had to overcome or something that sparked a change in your lifestyle. Your angry chair is unique and is something only you can conquer.”
Their taproom is open from Thursday through Sunday evenings, and they also allow you to carry out certain brews. Angry Chair is well worth the visit both for their eccentric atmosphere and brews.
7venth Sun Brewing Company, Tampa/Dunedin
Two locations, twice the fun. The intriguingly named 7venth Sun Brewing Company is no joke when it comes to custom and interesting brews. Owned and operated by Devon Kreps, a specialist in Fermentation Science with years of experience at Anheuser-Busch, 7venth Sun is constantly presenting their guests with new, fresh brew flavors.
7venth Sun Brewing Company has an excellent outdoor dining and sipping area in the heart of Tampa. They are now open seven days a week, making any day the perfect one to give this special brewery a visit.
Rapp Brewing Company, Seminole
Focused on creating handcrafted small batch brews, Rapp Brewing Company is the place to find exactly what you’re looking for in your new favorite beer. Their claim to fame is the fact that they produce a number of different beers as opposed to most other breweries that focus on a large supply of only a few varying flavors. Their taproom is perfect for meeting or bringing a friend to indulge in new and exciting flavor combinations in a frosty glass.
Rapp Brewing also features a variety of food trucks on their campus with a rotating schedule. They update their Facebook page with featured food trucks for that day. Be sure to check out Rapp Brewing for a truly individual experience with good food and great brews.
Darwin Brewing Company, Bradenton
Unlike their fellow breweries, Darwin Brewing Company specializes in brewing with Latin-inspired flavors and spices curating completely unique and bold brews. They also incorporate indigenous Florida flavors and factors into their product, making this the perfect place to bring Florida visitors or even to learn more about what your native state has to offer.
This brewery also features an array of different events on the weekends, from live stage music to Fourth of July gatherings, you’re bound to find an event that jives with your personal interests. To learn more, take a look at their event calendar.
Big Top Brewing Company, Sarasota
This brewery has the credential of being the first craft brewery in the city of Sarasota. Big Top Brewing got its namesake from Sarasota’s history with The Ringling Circus and local performing arts, making it distinctively Sarasota and a one-of-a-kind brewery.
Big Top features a host of unique IPAs and wheat beers that highlight flavors specific to Florida, such as their Key Lime Wheat Beer that, through the magic of Big Top, tastes like key lime pie complete with the graham cracker crust. They also have a rotating supply of seasonal flavors, one of which, “Ringmaster”, is there crisp Raspberry Berlinger Weisse beer.
Big Top is well worth a drive to Sarasota to experience their talent for knowing exactly what to brew for each person’s taste.
Naples Beach Brewery, Naples
With over 20 brews on tap at any given time, Naples Beach Brewery is a classic among SWFL breweries. Being only 15 minutes away from Naples Beach makes this the best place to cool off with a chilly beer after a long day on the sand. They even have hard seltzer on tap for those of us non-beer drinkers.
Their taproom is open Thursday through Saturday with varying hours, so be sure to check online before planning your visit. They are also pet friendly with an outdoor dining and drinking patio.
Naples Beach Brewery also offers carry out for certain brews. They update their tasting list regularly, so be sure to check it out to find their brew that best fits your taste.
Riptide Brewing Company, Naples
With daily events, rotating food trucks and open seven days a week Riptide Brewing Company is the place to be this summer. Started in fall of 2015, this brewery has been a major success in the Naples area. Their original Brewhouse and fermentation tanks are placed in the middle of their taproom, so you can watch and experience the process their small batch brews go through before finding their way to your glass.
Riptide Brewing has a wide range of IPAs, ales, lagers and stouts on tap at any given time. There’s always something for every guest that walks through their doors, even the most beer-averse of us. Be sure to take a look at their event calendar when planning your visit.