Local Brews: Best Craft Beers from St. Pete Breweries
The gulf side of Tampa Bay isn’t referred to as the “Gulp Coast” for nothing! St. Petersburg has become almost synonymous with local brews, to the point where Forbes Magazine even referred to the area as God’s Tasting Room. They even stated, “St. Petersburg now rivals Portland and other top craft beer destinations.” The number of incredible local St. Pete Breweries that grows exponentially each year makes it the perfect place to brewery bounce around town, sampling all of the inventive craft creations that have infused the unique flavors of the area into frothy goodness. The best part about breweries in St. Pete is that they are all within short driving distance from St. Pete Beach!
Cycle Brewing Company
Some of the best craft beers in the area (and possibly the world!) can be found in the Grand Central District of St. Petersburg. The first stop for any craft beer enthusiast has to be Cycle Brewing. Not only is it the perfect brewery to start you on your journey, it’s also located conveniently near the museum district and close to quite a few parking garages. A must try for any true beer connoisseur is their award-winning Cream & Sugar, Please Coffee Porter. This beer single-handedly put Cycle Brewing on the map when it made them one of two Tampa Bay area breweries (and the only brewery in St. Pete) to be listed on RateBeer’s top 100 best brews in the world. For beer lovers searching for a rich and boozy wake-me-up, this brew is the perfect experience. What makes its flavor so special is the unique blend of malt, caramel, coffee and chocolate flavors. This beer is definitely on the darker, fuller bodied style. If you don’t get your fill or want to take some of their offerings to go, they are one of the few breweries to actually fill any glass or can growler, regardless of whether their logo is on it or not! Although not all beers are available for fill every day, those that are have a clearly marked “G” on their tap list. Cycle Brewing opens at 3 PM on Monday through Thursday, but you can get there earlier on Saturday and Sunday when doors open at noon.
Cage Brewing Company
Another Grand Central all-star is just down the street at Cage Brewing. The origin story for Cage Brewing begins at R Bar on Treasure Island and ends with an incredible facility in the heart of St. Petersburg that is covered in work from local artists. A large grassy yard makes this brewery very pet-friendly, and local brews like the Grand Central Red and light Summer Wheatley perfectly compliment the laid back vibe.
Pinellas Ale Works
Just across the street is Pinellas Ale Works, another pet-friendly brewery located at the intersection of 20th Street and First Avenue happens to feature some unique beer names that definitely fit the theme with Sit! (an Amber Ale) and Stay! (an American Pale Ale), Doberman (Brown Ale) and the Pomeranian (a Porter). Both breweries open at 3 PM on Monday through Thursday, but you can start your day earlier on the weekend when doors open at noon. While we’re on the subject, they may not brew their own craft beer but Dog Bar is another great spot to enjoy a perfect pour with your pooch. They do offer a large variety of over 20 brews on tap, and have both on leash and off leash areas to play with your pup. You can even rent the space for doggy birthday parties!
Green Bench Brewing Company
Some of the city’s staples are right around the corner, and all feature a very different vibe. Green Bench Brewing Co. is located just a short walk from Tropicana Field, home of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and this cozy brewery packs a powerful punch when it comes to the impact it’s made in the St. Petersburg craft beer scene. Green Bench Brewing Co. happens to be St. Pete’s first microbrewery, formed by old high school friends who were raised in the area. History is seeped into every detail of this project; from the red brick garage built in 1926 that it’s housed in, to its name stemming from the 2,500+ green benches that lined downtown St. Petersburg in the early 1900s. The reason for naming their brewery after these benches that lent St. Pete its nickname is pretty special too: the founders wanted to instill a sense of hospitality and togetherness, and for their spot to “serve as a modern day catalyst for community and cheer.” Some of the highlights of this brewery are the Green Bench IPA and the Skyway Wheat.
Another game changer in the area when it comes to local craft beer is probably also one of the biggest, 3Daughters Brewery. Located on 22nd street South, they started brewing craft beers when looking for the perfect recipe for beer battered fish in a local restaurant. The popularity of their brews quickly led to the decision to open a brewery and they now feature over 60 craft beer recipes on tap. Not only can many of their brews be found in restaurants and stores throughout the Tampa Bay area, they are also extremely popular throughout the state of Florida, Georgia and the Bahamas. Their most popular beer is probably their Beach Blonde Ale, with the Bimini Twist IPA right behind it. Their seasonal craft beers are no joke either, with around four options at a time featuring incredible flavors and ready for sampling in their tasting room. The beauty of a trip to 3Daughters might even exceed its beers however, with a huge area ready to host events like “Yoga on Tap”, Silent Discos, trivia nights with incredible themes and more. It also fits the theme for St. Petersburg breweries, meaning its space is full of fun games (including some of the board variety) to gather around and play while you sip. Favorites include: Jenga, ConnectFour, foosball, darts, shuffleboard, ping pong and more. They also have one giant Christmas village that is up year round, but makes visits during the Christmas season even more exciting. Doors open around 2PM on Monday through Friday, and 12PM and 1PM on Saturday and Sunday.
Mad Beach Brewing Company
If you make your way down towards the Gulf beaches of Tampa Bay, you’ll discover that locally brewed craft beer isn’t restricted to the heart of urban Tampa Bay either. There are two pretty special breweries that happen to sit close to our hearts and our location, as they are within walking distance of St. Pete Beach. The first, Mad Beach Brewing is located in John’s Pass on Madeira Beach and their tap lineup is as unique as their location. With options like their Coco Cidra (Coconut Cider), I Yam What I Yam (Imperial Sweet Potato Ale), No Meadiocre (Saw Palmetto Mead) and WASA Watermelon Sangria you will certainly not be bored with your choices. Pair your selection with their house made and self-described “Caribbean inspired pub food”! This brewery opens a little earlier than most, welcoming patrons in at 11AM.
Mastry’s Brewing Company
Mastry’s Brewing Co. is also proud to be the first craft brewery and tasting room on St. Pete Beach. Located right on Blind Pass Road, the laid back vibe of this incredible spot is infused with the casual and somewhat lackadaisical feel of the close by beach town. Steeped in tradition (literally!), Mastry’s adds a new take to old world beers. The founders claim that their traditions run deep, and we would have to agree based on the fact that they take much of their inspiration from German, English and even Eastern European brews. Their motto is that “Mastry’s Brewing Co. takes you on a tour of the world, all from a tasting room on the beach. It’s a vacation in a glass”, because sometimes you need to take a vacation from your vacation. Mastry’s opens its doors at 2PM on Monday through Friday, but you can get there a little earlier on weekends at noon.
If you’re unsure about making the trek through the “Gulp Coast” trail of St. Pete, we’ve got the perfect solution. There are plenty of bars in the area that feature many of these very popular brews. One of them happens to be RumFish Grill. Located on St. Pete Beach, RumFish Grill is proud to offer plenty of wonderful craft beer options from many of the local St. Petersburg breweries mentioned above. They also feature a craft beer flight so you can take a tasting tour of four local brews at a time.