One of my favorite ways to explore a city when traveling is to visit local breweries. It is a great chance to meet the locals, support small businesses and experience something you don’t have at home too. And there’s an incredible amount of craft breweries in Florida. Plus let’s be honest, a growler or a six-pack of local beer makes a great souvenir too!
I’ve discovered that every brewery has its own story and personal connection. The amount of passion involved with these brewers/owners is just incredible – you can’t help but be happy for their successes.
Here’s a look at some of my favorite craft breweries in Florida –
Florida Beer Company
Over in Cape Canaveral, the Florida Beer Company is super close to Port Canaveral, home to all the cruise ships. We had the chance to visit the brewery during vacation last summer. With over 30 beers on tap, many of them rotating, my favorites were the Sunshine State German-Style Pilsner and the Key West Sunset Ale.
If you’ve ever visited the Caribbean, then you’re familiar with Caribe beer. I was surprised to learn that Florida Beer Company is brewed here, in addition to St. Kitts, Grenada and Trinidad. Try a Caribe on tap and check out all the different flavors too.
With plenty of televisions and kid-friendly games, the brewery also has free popcorn and you’re welcome to bring food in from other places too. Stop in for their daily happy hour and grab a six-pack to go. Plan your visit: 200 Imperial Blvd, Cape Canaveral, FL 32920. www.floridabeer.com.
3 Daughters Brewing
Some friends in St. Pete introduced me to 3 Daughters Brewing years ago and each time we are in the area, I have to stop in for a Beach Blonde Ale on tap. With rotating taps, you’ll find plenty of ciders and new creations featured on every visit.
The brewery’s taproom is filled with family-friendly games with many tables serving as board games too. Take a peek at the canning process while you’re there and check out their events listings as they host weekly run clubs, trivia nights, food trucks and they have a huge, indoor stage with live music typically on the weekends. Plan your visit: 222 22nd St S, St. Petersburg, FL 33712. www.3dbrewing.com.
Intuition Ale Works
Here in Jacksonville, the place for pre-game or pre-concert beers is Intuition Ale Works. Just steps from both the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena and the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp baseball stadium, this popular tap room and brewery is also a short walk from Everbank Field (home of the NFL Jaguars) and concerts at Daily’s Place.
In addition to great beers like the Jon Boat Coastal Ale and the I-10 IPA, the brewery has a variety of stouts, lagers, pilsners and more on constant rotation.
While you’re there, grab a bite to eat at the BLK SHP @ Intuition counter. The team at local favorite Black Sheep Restaurant serves made to order food like brisket sandwiches, cheese curds, a hot dog of the week (with featured toppings), fried shrimp and more. There’s even a kids menu! Plan your visit: 929 E Bay St, Jacksonville, FL 32202. www.intuitionaleworks.com.
Fort Myers Brewing Company
I was introduced to the folks of Fort Myers Brewing Company last June, while in town for the Society of American Travel Writers conference and it was so inspiring to hear how passionate they were for brewing beer. What started as a hobby for brewing beer quickly turned into a business when owners Rob Whyte and Jen Gratz-Whyte moved to the area. They became the first brewery in the area and it’s a huge success.
I had the opportunity to sample a few beers during my visit with their signature Gateway Gold blonde ale being my favorite. A close second was the Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter – delish! The brewery hosts food trucks during the week and welcomes families and four-legged family members too in their relaxed and fun setting. Plan your visit: 12811 Commerce Lakes Dr #28, Ft. Myers, FL 33913. www.fmbrewing.com.
Palm City Brewing Company
With a slogan like “Pints in Paradise”, you know you’ve found a great beer place at Palm City Brewing Company in Fort Myers. Owner and brewer Ryan Bowen turned his hobby of brewing beer into a career after sharing his ‘Last Laugh’ brew with his wife. They put together a business plan and now welcome families and beer fans to their brewery.
If you’re an IPA fan, this is the place for you! They have a big variety of IPAs on tap – I enjoyed both the signature Last Laugh, an American IPA and City Juice, a New England style IPA.
The brewery is also active with the mobile app Untappd – dedicating a video wall showing their current tap listing and showing what other beer fans are drinking — and where!
Another cool aspect to Palm City Brewing is that they dedicate two beer taps to rotate through other local breweries beers — showcasing them and sharing the love with their neighborhood brewers. Plan your visit: 7887 Drew Cir Suite 130, Fort Myers, FL 33967. www.palmcitybeer.com.
What Are Your Favorite Craft Breweries in Florida?
So, that’s a look at just a few of my favorite breweries here in Florida. From to-go growlers to kid-friendly activities and live music to breweries with great passions, I love exploring breweries during our travels.
Do you enjoy visiting breweries when you travel? What type of things do you look for in a good brewery?
Share your favorites in the comments below!