As Plato said, “He was a wise man who invented beer.” It would seem that Sarasota is doing its best to increase in wisdom. Of course, this trend could also be considered a statewide movement now that Florida boasts over 150 craft breweries, yet Sarasota does have its standouts.
Sarasota Brewing Company was the first, and for a long time, it was the only brewery around. An anchor of Gulf Gate Village since 1989, this micro-brewery has also received a number of awards for its food, namely the burgers and Chicago beef sandwiches. Always a great place to catch a game, there always at least 5 unique brews on tap and 20 seasonal beers that rotate throughout the year.
JDub's Brewing Company doesn't have the kitchen, but their taproom is often visited by local food trucks, and their special events bring out a few to compete in their food truck rallies. While JDub's Up Top IPA and Poolside Kolsch have quickly become local favorites that can be bought by the six pack in most stores, the taproom usually has 14 different beers to choose from, including small batch brews where the brewmeisters really get creative. In addition to the food truck rallies, Jdub's also hosts weekly yoga classes and monthly movie nights, events that have made them a favorite place for locals.
Big Top Brewing Company is also devoted to locals. Building on Sarasota's circus tradition, Big Top has put down stakes on Porter Way near I-75, where they offer over a dozen different beers and often host live music, customer appreciation Wednesdays with free pizza, and special celebrations every time a new flavor is released.
The newest brewer to the area, Calusa Brewing offers ten different beers in their tasting room on Derek Avenue, as well as French Roast coffee, and a number of visiting food trucks. Tapping directly into the local music scene, Calusa is another great place to catch some original music.
Manatee County is also brewing up some really good beers. Darwin's got it's start on 4th Street in Sarasota, but has since relocated to Bradenton near McKechnie Field, and Motorworks Brewing Company has become as popular for the live music in the beer garden as for the 30 different beers in the tap room.
Of course, although each of these places offer tours, and sometimes even classes, you don't have to go to the breweries to taste Sarasota's best beers. If you're in north Sarasota, Growlers Pub has over 30 craft beers on tap including a number of local brews. Downtown Sarasota features Tavern on Main, Mandeville Beer Garden, and the Shamrock Pub, all local favorites with a number of local beers. Mr. Beery's in Gulf Gate Village boasts over 100 beers in their arsenal, many of them local, and the Cock n' Bull ensures that east Sarasota is well equipped for any beer-related emergency with 38 taps and over 500 different bottles.
For a great way to get a taste of all the beer Sarasota has to offer, and to do it safely and enjoyably, you might want to try one of the Brew Thru SRQ tours, which offers transportation from brewery to brewery with other beer lovers. With 3 Keys Brewery and Naughty Monk Brewery both opening in Lakewood Ranch soon, Sarasota's beer scene is really "hop"ping.
If you're looking for a place close to your nearest brewery, contact me today, and let's go exploring.
Sarasota Area Real Estate Specialist