When you think Florida, do you think orange juice? Yeah, I did too until I moved down to Tampa and discovered that it was more than sandy beaches and fruit farms in land. Tampa is the home to a growing craft beer scene, that has exploded in the past couple of years. There’s a handful of breweries that are attracting national attention like Cigar City Brewing, Saint Somewhere and Tampa Bay Brewing Company. That’s just a few, there’s many more that are destined for something great. Plus, theirs an increasing number of bars and restaurants that have craft beer on tap. Almost everywhere you look, there’s good beer.
To celebrate this explosion of craft beer, the breweries, bars and craft beer suppliers are getting together for a week of awesomeness called the Tampa Bay Beer Week. March 3rd to the 10th, Tampa is going to be overflowing with 47+ events centered around the vast collection of local and independent craft beers. If you’re in Tampa, this is like a dream come true. If you’re not in Tampa, you’re going to be missing out.
Here’s just a few of the events on tap:
March 3 – All 40 Taps, All Local, All Week at Willard’s Tap House: It’s a Florida tap take over! Not too long ago, there wouldn’t be enough varieties to takeover every tap, now it’s just a start of the many beers available from Tampa area brewers.
March 4 – Brewer’s Ball: This is one of the highlights of the homebrewing scene in Florida, but you will have to know someone and have some connections to get a hold of a ticket. Fingers crossed that I can find someone that owes me a favor!
March 5 – Bell’s Brewery Night featuring Hopslam at Datz: Hopslam is enough to get me off of my couch, but if you throw in some of the delicious food from Datz and it sounds like we have a real winner.
March 6 – Florida: Meets Philly: Dunedin House Of Beer is showcasing beer from Philly right alongside Florida beer, sort of a salute to Philly beer week and a chance two taste some great beers from two great cities.
March 6 – Dogfish Head Rocks St Petersburg: I know it’s not local, it is a chance to taste some of the wide variety of beers that Dogfish Head brews.
March 6 – Tampa Bay Brewing Company & Cigar City Brewing Beer Dinner: This event is pricey, $85 but it looks like it’ll be worth every penny! It’s a six course meal featuring TBBC and Cigar City Brewing beer paired with amazing food from all over the world, including menu items from as far away as Australia and one that has to be sent over-night from Hawaii.
March 7 – Cigar City Brewmaster’s Tasting: The Independent, one of my favorite craft beer spots hosts this event that will feature the less widely available brews created by Tampa’s legendary Cigar City Brewing Company. This one is on my must-do list.
March 8 – Barley Mow and FBC present: Firkins & Food Trucks: Tampa loves their food trucks almost as much as their craft beer, so this should be an awesome event.
March 8 – Local Brews and Local Grooves: Oh look another event at the Independent, they’re hosting a night of just local beers and local music. The music is provided by americana/roots rock/alt.country styling of local band Urbane Cowboy.
March 8 – Local Beer Only Zombie Pub Crawl: There’s not much information available quite yet on this event, which is understandable because it’s hard to plan any event that involves zombies.
March 9 – Cold Storage Craft Brewery One Year Anniversary: Cold Storage is no longer the new kids on the block and to celebrate they’ll be releasing two new beers and offering samples of their Florida Avenue IPA, Florida Avenue Blueberry, and Florida Avenue Ale.
March 10 – Hunahphu Release: Celebrate the release of Cigar City Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout. This isn’t just any beer release, this is a whole day event with lines stretching for miles (ok, I might be exaggerating a bit). It’s easily one of the highlights of the week.
At this point, I can’t decide what events to go to and which I’m going to have to miss!
For more information, that’s continuously updated, as well as a calendar of all of the events visit TampaBayBeerWeek.com.