Anheuser-Busch may have moved its brewery out of Tampa years ago to make room for more amusement park, but you can still get some great locally produced beers and wines if you know where to look.
For Beer Lovers
11111 N. 30th Street
Practically in the shadow of Busch Gardens sits the Yuengling Brewery. Open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. weekdays, tours are given at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. with free samples to visitors over 21. Started in 1820 in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, by German immigrant David G. Yuengling, the company claims to be the oldest brewery in America. The Tampa facility opened in 1999 in the old Stroh Brewery. Yuengling, pronounced “Ying-Ling,” means “Young Man” in German.
Tampa Bay Brewing Co.
1600 E. Eighth Avenue
Located on the plaza at Centro Ybor, this brew pub always carries at least nine of its home-made concoctions on tap, along with several ales. For those who don’t like to merely confine their beer to a glass, TBBC offers a wide selection of beer-enhanced menu items, from their famous Cheese and Ale dip to Beer Battered Buffalo Chicken. Even the pizza dough is made with ale. If you plan to become a regular, look into joining the Mug Club. Limited to 750 members, the club entitles you to some free merchandise, food and drinks specials, and email notification of upcoming events.
937 Douglas Avenue
A medal winner in several Florida Beer Championships (2002 through 2007), this Pasco County brewer has been bottling its annual and seasonal beers and ales since 1996. You can purchase Dunedin’s beers at numerous locations around Tampa Bay, including ABC Liquors, but to get the full experience head up to the brewery’s own Snug Pub to enjoy its suds and grub. Most nights live music is featured.
For the Wine Connoisseurs
Florida Orange Groves and Winery
1500 Pasadena Avenue South
This St. Petersburg establishment creates its unique tropical, citrus, and berry wines from Florida fruits like Key Lime, mangoes, tangerines, even pink grapefruit. The winery is open for tastings six days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tours are given at 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Keel & Curley Winery
5210 W. Thonotosassa Road
Since 2003, when blueberry farmer Joe Keel was searching for an innovative way to use his post-harvest crop, Keel has been making 100% blueberry wine. His winery now produces three types of blueberry wine (sweet, semi-sweet, and dry). Along with the winery’s signature flavor, it also creates several fusions, including a Strawberry Riesling, a Wild Berry Pinot Noir, and a Black Raspberry Merlot. The tasting room is open Monday through Thursday and Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.; Friday, 10:00 a.m. to midnight; and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Tarpon Springs Castle Winery
320 Tarpon Avenue
Located in the heart of Tarpon Springs’ historic district, owners Joseph and Diana Marks built their winery in the design of an 1820’s federal building. Creating classic grape varieties with custom crushes, the winery only produces a few thousand cases a year as all steps of the process are completed by hand. Open daily from 11: 00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., the winery offers tours and wine tastings in addition to making their facilities available for your own special event.