“Local.” The phrase of the day! Thankfully, for craft beer, “local” is at the core of the industry. If you’ve traveled anywhere in our great state, or anyplace afar, from quaint downtowns to big city streets, chances are you’ve seen, been in, or participated in a craft microbrewery. The number of local breweries in the US has grown in the past decade from a little over 1,000 to over 6,000 today; lucky for us, over 90 of those are located in Tampa Bay! This is great news for Florida communities, economies and, of course, the local beer lovers. It would be a full-time job trying to keep up with all the new breweries and all the different beers they make. New life goal? We think so! The FLocal team went on a mission to walk the beautiful streets of downtown St. Petersburg to explore some of the finest craft microbreweries and sample their brews. We must say, it did not disappoint.
First Stop: Green Bench Brewing Company
Green Bench Brewing Company claims bragging rights as being the first craft microbrewery to take root in downtown St. Petersburg. It’s rich history dates back to the early 1900s, to a time when the city streets were lined with green benches, encouraging community and conversation amongst locals and visitors. Keeping true to its original concept, Green Bench Brewing Company is proud to serve as a gathering place for residents and travelers alike. Boasting a 6,000 square feet beer garden allows space for local food trucks and vendors, community events and, most importantly, drink and play in the Florida sunshine. Looking for the perfect summer beer? Green Bench created the Florida IPA fruited/sour IPA series by importing fresh fruit from northeastern US states, giving them a refreshing, irresistible taste.
1. Brandy Sour Stout – Dry, tart, dark, complex flavors.
2. Raspberry Brut – Foder-fermented farmhouse cider aged in wine
barrels on fresh raspberries.
3. Saison de Banc Vert – Saisons, also known as farmhouse ales, were
originally brewed as a summer seasonal beer in the French-speaking
region of Belgium. This one is dry, crisp, and packed with
fruity esters from this particular yeast strain.
4. Honey Saison – Great honey mouthfeel with a mild sweetness.
5. Cherry Pie – Brewed with cherry, raspberry and lactose. Goes
down smooth like liquid cherry pie.
Second Stop: Pinellas Aleworks (PAW)
In a space that was once the historic Harold’s auto-body shop, Pinellas Ale Woks (PAW) joined the local craft beer scene in January 2016. Located in the Grand Central district of St. Pete, PAW’s welcoming atmosphere and interactive tap room scheme draws crowds from near and far, two legged and four. Themed after PAW’s head brewer’s love of his yellow lab, you can always be sure to see a dog or two inside the PAW tap room! K-9 themed beer, events and art can all be found at the popular spot. Have an event coming up? Check out PAW’s new event room located next to its colorful beer garden!
1. Milk Bone – Sweet & creamy stout. Brewed with lactose.
2. Play Dead – 12% ABV Barleywine, strong with a touch of malt
3. Off the Leash – American IPA with tropical, lemon bitterness.
4. Stay – American Pale Ale. American hop profile. Fruity and
slightly floral aroma.
5. Sit – Amber Ale – Sessional beer balanced with malt.
Citrusy American hops.
Third Stop: 3 Daughters Brewing
“How many beers do we have to sell to put three daughters through college?” The inspiration for 3 Daughters Brewing is deep rooted in passion and family, two things that still hold true to the brewery today. Inside of St. Pete’s largest craft brew tap room is a brick built into the corner of the bar that pays homage to head brewer’s great-grandfather, who also owned a craft brewery in Lexington, Kentucky, over 100 years ago. On the same bar, opposite the century old brick, are the handprints of the three daughters who inspired its name. The family-friendly space is equipped with large amounts of seating, life-size games and a stage for live performances by local artists. Love the atmosphere, but not into beer? Check out the new cider bar, located in the tap room at the back of the brewery!
1. Beach Blonde – Blonde ale, light and refreshing with enough hops/citrus/
malty sweetness for a perfect beach beer.
2. Bimini Twist IPA – 72 IBU, citrus hops up front with malt backbones,
3. Rod Bender Red Ale – Big, bold flavors with a smooth balance, sweet
4. Key Lime Cider – Light in color with a bitter fruit aroma. Key lime juice
mixed with sweet apple cider gives it its flavor.
5. A Wake Coffee Blonde – Clear and deep golden
Written by Brandy Schaeffer