On the southwestern coast of Florida located south of the Tampa Bay area and North of Fort Myers sits Sarasota. This gem is home to the Sarasota School of Architecture, and it shows! It’s also well known for its beaches and resorts, but it’s also got quite a few fabulous breweries.
- Big Top Brewery
- Brew Life Brewing
- Good Liquid Brewery
- Calusa Brewing
- 3 Car Garage Brewing Company
- 3 Keys Brewing
Wherever the salty air blows, know there’s probably a tasty brewery worth checking out there waiting to be discovered.
Where there’s a city on the coast, there’s bound to be beaches and tourism. With the Sarasota School of Architecture in residence, there are also some beautiful sights to see around. Not to mention, some good food and smooth drinks just waiting to be tasted. So, keep reading for some of the best breweries in the city and a brew to try.
Here are some of the best breweries in Sarasota, Florida. Most are in the city proper, but some are just outside of it in Bradenton. Still in the county though, so be sure to stop by and try out what really makes them great.
Big Top Brewery
While Big Top does make its own brews, it also features some others from nearby small breweries, which is pretty nifty. They also have live shows, offer coupons, and host events which really makes it a great place to hang out and potentially discover something unexpectedly good.
For something a little different from the get-go, check out their Circus City IPA. It’s an English-style IPA, which in itself isn’t all that common. It’s also got a caramel malt finish, which really sets it apart from some other brews. Plus, its aroma is nice and hoppy.
Brew Life Brewing
What does a brewery need with a retro arcade and an art gallery? Who knows, but Brew Life has one of each. Seriously, there are games there like Dig Dug, Ms. Pacman, and Centipede that can just be played like back in the old days. Top off that nostalgia with a thick, foamy beer, and feel like time has moved backward for a bit.
One of their drafts that gets a lot of attention is their Pink Guava IPA. There’s no nonsense about it — it’s an IPA treated with pink guava. So it’s just a classic to go along with the classics or a stroll through the art gallery. Perhaps there will even be a little something to bring home too.
Good Liquid Brewery
Good Liquid is home to more than just fabulous brews, but also other tasty drinks. In true Floridian fashion, they also serve brunch on Saturdays, so be sure to swing in around 11-3 pm to get a full-bodied experience to go along with their excellent drinks. Otherwise, they also host a farmer’s market on Sundays!
While there, check out their Pineapple Jalapeño Cream Ale. It takes a classic Floridian flavor of jalapeños in drinks and blends it in a light ale with some fresh pineapple. There’s not actually a ton of heat, but enough to notice that it’s there.
Calusa is a family-friendly, veteran-owned craft brewery that strives to be a welcoming environment for everyone. They offer a wide range of styles instead of just traditional brews. On top of that, they also host food trucks so it can be a whole experience while visiting.
They have a rotating seasonal stock of beers, but really stand out in their IPAs. For example, Citronious is a single-hop unfiltered Citra India Pale Ale. It’s got a hazy golden color and aromas of various tropical fruits, including mangoes. Very tasty for someone who is fond of citrus!
3 Car Garage Brewing Company
3 Car Garage is just outside of both Sarasota and Bradenton proper. It is still in Sarasota County even if it isn’t in Sarasota city. However, it is definitely worth the jaunt up north a little bit. This place is really good with fabulous staff and brews. They do only small batches and use local ingredients whenever possible, so their tap list rotates frequently. They also host a few events, so be sure to check them out a few times to get the full experience.
One to check out if it’s available in their Three Amigos Mexican Lager. It uses corn to achieve its signature dry finish, lacks bitterness and sweetness, and can be served with or without lime. It is typically available so it’s a safe bet, though there are instances where it isn’t so just be on the lookout.
3 Keys Brewing
3 Keys is another brewery in Bradenton rather than Sarasota city, but it’s also a great place to visit. Not only do they have great food, but they also have great beers and friendly staff. It’s also been voted the best brewery in the Tampa Bay area, so definitely swing by if the opportunity arises and sign up for their rewards program. Bring the family too, it’s got something for everyone.
As far as beers go, check out their Yeastie Boys Hefeweizen. It’s a fabulous wheat beer brewed with noble hops with moderate cloves and banana flavors. It’s a little different as far as Hefeweizens go, and not many things make banana flavors taste like bananas and not that weird extinct banana flavor that candies try to emulate.