Florida and craft beer make the perfect pairing, especially when you need to cool down on those warm summer days. Thankfully, whether you usually go for a crisp, hoppy IPA or a dark, rich porter, Sarasota’s craft beer scene has something for everyone.
Here are some places where you can get local craft beer on tap:
Sarasota Brewing Co.
This brewery may have started it all for Sarasota’s craft brewing scene when they opened their doors in 1989. Sarasota Brewing Co. is southwest Florida’s oldest microbrewery and offers at least five of their own unique brews on tap at any time, along with a rotating selection of their favorite brews from around the world.
Big Top Brewing Company
This brewery, established in 2013, dives deep into Sarasota history with their circus-themed beers and ‘big top’ culture. They feature flagship beers such as the hoppy Circus City IPA and Trapeze Monk, a citrusy Belgian witbier; along with other rotating brews.
Going even further back in Sarasota history for its namesake is Calusa Brewing, which just opened in summer of 2016. The brewery is named for the indigenous people of the region: the Calusa Native American tribe, who inhabited Gulf Coast Florida waterways prior to their extinction in the 19th century.
They also pull inspiration from the Calusa tribe for their bold beer flavorings. Calusa means ‘fierce people’ and some favorites include the Calusa Dissonance Breakfast Brown, a coffee and cinnamon brown ale, and the Calusa Surrender, a citrus saison with a peppery finish.
JDub’s Brewing Company
This local brewery might have beers found chilling in the craft beer grocery aisles around Florida, but that doesn’t mean they’ve forgotten their roots. At the brewery, weekly rotations of small batch specials are featured alongside JDub’s favorites.
Throughout 2016, JDub’s is featuring a ‘Fruits of Florida’ IPA series: hop-forward beers brewed with seasonal flavors of blueberry, lychee, raspberry, and orange.
Darwin Brewing Company
Based just north of Sarasota in neighboring Bradenton, this brewery has earned national recognition for its creative brews inspired by South American flavors. The original Darwin Brewing was located in downtown Sarasota’s Rosemary District in the historic Citrus Exchange Building—a citrus distribution warehouse dating to the 1920s, but they ended up outgrowing the space and found a new home to create their local craft brews.
Darwin’s Brewery founder and chef-restaurateur, Darwin Santa Maria also opened Cevichela on Siesta Key this summer. This Peruvian street eats-inspired is a new Siesta Village hotspot and features unique Latin eats paired with local craft brews from Darwin Brewery, JDub’s and Big Top Brewing. You can stop in during happy hour (Tuesday-Friday, 5-7pm) for $2 specials on local craft beers.
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