Whether visiting for the NFL’s biggest game in February 2021 or simply a long weekend, Tampa Bay is home to some of the most highly-regarded breweries in the craft beer world.
The news sent some waves of relief from breweries who have been gut-punched by the State of Florida’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
With the announcement that Hunahpu’s Day 2020 is canceled for the first time in the event’s eleven-year history, many beer enthusiasts are wondering how to support their Tampa Bay craft beer community. While other events are still taking place, it seems like more cancellations will occur in the coming days and weeks. Some cities have even suspended large gatherings of people as a precaution against spreading COVID-19
Florida’s oldest brewpub can be found up in the Panhandle in the Central Time Zone and the city of Pensacola. McGuire’s Irish Pub has grown to two locations (with a much larger second location in neighboring Destin), and both serve the original Irish Red Ale that has been praised by both Fred Eckhardt and Michael Jackson.
Flagship February continues, and so does our salute to Florida’s classic craft beers.
As the series travels further south into Pinellas County, Dunedin Brewery’s Red Head Red Ale has been lovingly crafted by the Bryant family, who founded the Dunedin Brewery in its namesake city.
For the second year in a row, it’s Flagship February or (#FlagshipFebruary), and while beer writers around the country are saluting their favorite beers that lead the charge in the craft beer revolution, only Floridian been enthusiasts understand just how late Florida was to the party when it comes to craft beer. While west of the Mississippi, Sierra Nevada, Deschutes, New Belgium, and many others were blazing trails in the 1970s and 1980s, Florida’s first wave of craft beer rebirth died off in the late nineties and few beers from that era are still available. Florida’s first brewers and breweries were a happy few that decided they were going to brew beer in The Southernmost State no matter what, and a handful of beers from these pioneers are still available today. This series of articles pay tribute to them – the OGs of Florida craft beer – who took a leap of faith and decided to chase a dream that hadn’t fully formed yet, the dream of Sunshine State craft beer.