Mar 26, 2023 - Food and Drink

Tampa Bay is a growing beer tourism destination

Illustration of a pattern of hops.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Tampa Bay's beer scene is emerging as a bright spot on Florida's beer map.

State of beer: A handful of newer craft brewers are pushing the limits on flavor and styles in ways that are drawing national attention.

  • The bold, boisterous stouts from Angry Chair and Cigar City are hot tickets, and others like Woven Water and Common Dialect are pouring trendy IPA and Florida Weisse.
  • Eight of the top 10 beers in Florida on the popular Untappd app are made in Tampa, and many other local beers land in the top 50.

Why it matters: The rising tide is helping Tampa-grown breweries expand to new locations and widen distribution while others around the state are opening outposts in town.

  • The growing scene and annual Tampa Bay Beer Week, held earlier this month, make the city a beer tourism destination.

By the numbers: The economic impact of the state's independent brewers reached $4 billion in 2021, according to the Brewers Association, a trade group.

What they're saying: "Everyone is doing unique things, and it's all about the growth of our community," Angry Chair co-owner Ryan Dowdle recently told Fox13.

The backstory: The Tampa boom is a reinvention of the region's deep beer history, dating to Anheuser-Busch opening a (now defunct) brewery in 1959 and the arrival of Pennsylvania-based Yuengling, America's oldest brewer, in 1999.

What to watch: Yuengling, best known for its lager, is doubling down on Tampa with its forthcoming destination venue featuring a restaurant and taproom.

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