Tomorrow we leave for Florida. Prior to having an active interest in beer, Florida would have been the last place I would have looked for good beer and beer bars. However, I have come to the realization that Florida is ranked higher than ever expected, with top beer bars, top breweries and let’s face it, warm weather.
Cigar City Brewing Co. out of Tampa boast 13 of the top 50 best beers on the East Coast with Hunahpu’s Imperial Stout, the Bourbon Barrel Aged version of Hunahpu and Zhukov’s Final Push (stout) reining in 1, 2 and 3. As far as beer bars go, you have Redlight Redlight (100 on ratebeer.com) in Orlando, the Cock and Bull Pub (a 97 on ratebeer.com) in Sarasota and Peg’s Cantina (94 on ratebeer.com) in Gulf Port.
Saint Somewhere is another brewery that produces fine crafted brews out of FL, Tarpoon Springs to be exact. Saint Somewhere prides themselves on Belgium style beers, including a Farmhouse Ale previously reviewed by Timperial Stout. Click here to read more.
We will be visiting Tampa and Sarasota. On our list of hopeful spots to visit: Cigar City Brewing Co., The Cock and Bull Pub and Stairway to Belgium for some mussels and frites and a bottle list full of Wheat beers, Blonde ales, Tripels, Trappist brews, Strong ales, Saisons and Bruins. Also on their list are some treats from East of the Mississippi: Smuttynose, Weyerbacher, Lazy Magnolia and Bell’s Brewery.
Leave us a comment or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and fill us in on all the places in the Tampa/Sarasota area that can’t be missed. Hell throw in places in other cities in Florida, you never know where we will end up!
From reading Beer Blotter’s Twitter page and Facebook updates, you friends, followers and readers already know about my love affair with Lazy Magnolia Jefferson Stout. We are still in the honeymoon stage but now that I am back in the Pacific NW, this has become a long distance relationship.
Lazy Magnolia is out of Mississippi and currently brews five regular beers. One of which is the Jefferson Stout. At 5%, Jefferson Stout is generally served on nitro and a good bartender will take the time and care to pour it correctly. This sweet potato stout boasts flavors of coffee, caramel and nuts. None of the flavors are overwhelming which creates a smooth, well balanced beer. Earthy undertones roll into a sweet, lengthy finish.
All in all a great stout, high on my list and another reason to re-visit the South.