When I moved to St. Petersburg a little over a year ago, one of the first things I was excited to do was try out the local breweries. Since then, I’ve explored breweries all over Pinellas County and I’ve traveled over to Tampa quite a few times to try what they had to offer.
I’ll start by saying that I tend not to be super adventurous with my beers. I stay away from anything too dark or too deep in flavor. I can taste and appreciate your Blackened Toasted Roasted Cocoa Coffee Creme Stout, but after a few sips I’m back to my go-tos. I mostly stick in the Wheat/IPA/Light Ales arena, and if it has a hint of citrus I’m in love.
Although my heart will always be in St. Pete, I’ve found my favorite beers and breweries from here to there and everywhere.
Of all the breweries, this is where you’ll find me the most. Even though I always have to head to an ATM beforehand (it’s cash only), I’ll whip out Fivers for Crank all day. Especially with it’s 7% ABV, it’s easy to start spending money. Crank is a bright hazy orange IPA with a citrusy taste. It’s very drinkable but not too light in flavor. Try it yourself if you haven’t yet, rarely have I heard a bad comment.
Another thing I love about going to Cycle is the atmosphere. It’s dark and cozy, and while it can be busy I’ve never had a problem finding a place to sit. But that could also be because I go at not cool times like too early and during the day. Anyway. There’s always music playing, the big rolling door is always open, art decorates the walls, and there’s benches outside to sit.
3 Daughters Brewing
3 Daughters was the first brewery I ever visited, and I’ve been back many times since. Although I’ve had a few different beers, I stick with what is probably the simplest beer they have – the Beach Blonde Ale. At 5% ABV, it’s refreshing and light, perfect when it’s hot out and you’re craving just the tiniest amount of citrus
Sticking with a lighter beer is, of course, the secret to why I also manage to win all the games. 3 Daughters has a huge area full of tabletop shuffleboard, cornholl, foosball, darts, chess, jenga and more. My personal favorite? The ping-pong tables inside.
I also like that they often have live music. It makes it feel like you’re at one big party where everyone is having fun!
Fun Fact: There’s a tree that looks exactly like Didi Pickles from The Rugrats in the parking lot at 3 Daughters. If you go for nothing else, go for this.
Coppertail Brewing Co.
I’ve only been to Coppertail once, but I can’t wait to go back again. My reasoning for this is mostly because they’ve done a phenomenal job with the taproom. And the art. And the labels. And obviously the beer.
I’ve liked the few beers I’ve had from Coppertail and very much recommend them (Wheat Stroke and Free Dive) but I think my true admiration for Coppertail comes from hearing about its story, the way it got its name, and the way they really stay true to the brand.
Cigar City Cider & Mead
I love going to Cigar City Cider & Mead because while I normally avoid sweet drinks, everything here tastes very good and it’s fun to see and try the unique combinations they have on tap. On the cider list, they’ve got Mango, Watermelon, Strawberry Banana, Peaches N Cream and of course, Hard Cider (and more). Over on the mead side they have drinks made with cactus, wildflower, and cardamom, just to name a few.
I’ve been a few times and always go for a flight. It’s more fun to try a little bit of a few different ones than a lot of a few, especially when there are so many flavors to try.
I have to add – this list is certainly not exhaustive. We’re so lucky to have so many amazing breweries to choose from, and I often find myself at Green Bench and St. Pete Brewing Co. If I’m not heading over to a brewery but still want some good beer, I’ll head over to Ale & The Witch, World of Beer, or The Blue Goose. And with so many new breweries popping up all the time, I can’t wait to see what other yummy beers they bring!