The mark of a good beer town is the ability to perform a serious pub crawl by exclusively visiting breweries. Fortunately, the Tampa Bay area is full of good beer towns. These hops certainly aren’t the only options, but each features some of my favorites.


A great place to start is Brew Bus, there’s a Local Loop that travels between breweries and other beer destinations throughout Seminole Heights, Ybor City and Downtown Tampa. On Sundays, tickets to ride are only $10 and you can get on and off at any stops, all day long. Start at Southern Brewing to try 40 taps of unique small-batch brews, including several quirky fruit treatments. Hop on the bus and get off next at Angry Chair, a small but extremely popular tasting room known for its decadent stouts and fruited Berliners. Wrap it up at Coppertail’s spacious tasting room to try its fruited Berliners, as well as IPAs that rival some of Cycle’s better output.


If you’re still thirsty after Coppertail, it’s not out of the question to suggest a modest hike over to Tampa Bay Brewing Company, a decades-running Ybor standby that features weekly cask ale releases, as well as flagships like the excellent Reef Donkey pale ale, served in its sunny Centro Ybor courtyard. A few blocks down the strip is Cigar City Cider & Mead, which serves a variety of novel flavor treatments for its line of ciders, meads, melomels, metheglins and so on. Across the street is Rock Brothers Brewing, known for its brewing collabs with musical artists ranging from locals Have Gun, Will Travel to 311 and Darius Rucker. If you time it right, you can even catch a concert at Rock Brothers’ intimate upstairs venue, The Attic.


The brewery scene has been especially active in Dunedin as of late, and all of its breweries are within easy walking distance. 7venth Sun is a good starting point, featuring a variety of styles, with an emphasis on wild and farmhouse ales. Take a short 5-minute walk up the road and you’ll be at Dunedin Brewery, Florida’s oldest craft brewery, which serves many new and experimental brews alongside its time-tested flagships. Just down the block is Woodwright Brewing Company, which specializes in faithfully rendered classic European beer styles served in the converted showroom of a woodworking shop, with a spacious, trees-shaded patio out front.


You can do this one of two ways: walk the short Grand Central circuit between Cage Brewing, Pinellas Ale Works and 3 Daughters; or stretch out a little more and hit up Cycle, St. Pete Brewing and Green Bench. Start at Cycle, where you’ll find an array of the best IPAs in town, as well as one of the brewery’s infamous barrel-aged imperial stouts, if you’re lucky.

Cycle usually has a tap or two reserved for Orange Belt Brewing, a Cycle offshoot specializing in sour and wild ales. Next, head down to St. Pete Brewing for a nicely-varied selection of brews in a relaxed tasting room setting. Finish it off with a short trek up to Green Bench, where you’ll find many Belgian- and French-inspired ales, perfect for sipping in the brewery’s sprawling outdoor beer garden.


There’s no walking between these breweries, but if you live in Tampa, catch a Lyft to the Brew Bus Terminal and Brewery, where you can take the Pinellas version of the Full Pour Tour (visit brewbususa.com for schedules and tickets), a 4½ hour tour that includes two Brew Bus beers on board, as well as a pint and brewery tour at each stop. Stop one is Rapp Brewing, famous for making gose cool again — though the other 39 or so beers on tap (including a range of near-forgotten historic European styles) are all very well worth a look. Stop two is Big Storm, the second location of this production brewery, featuring extensive seasonal and limited release brews available only in the taproom. Stop three is Crooked Thumb, a young and excellent brewery focusing on clean, authentic versions of iconic styles like German pils and Belgian single. Don’t forget to spend some time at Brew Bus after the tour — its beers are also outstanding.