cage brewingNow that 2016 has had a few days to get acclimated to being a new year, it’s time to return to the weekly news updates. I sincerely hope that everyone had a great holiday season and that this new year is more fruitful and happy for all of you.

The waning weeks of 2015 continued with the churn that began earlier in December. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • R Bar, the Treasure Island beach bar/restaurant with a nano-brewing system in the back, no longer is making beer there. Instead, all operations have been moved to their new operation, dubbed Cage Brewing, in St. Petersburg’s Grand Central District. The move represents a huge step-up in brewing capacity – from a 20-gallon system to a 7-barrel brewhouse. The grand opening should be soon; follow their Facebook page to stay current. UPDATE: A soft opening has been scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday (Jan. 9).
  • Peg’s Cantina and Brew Pub, the restaurant/brew pub in Gulfport where Doug Dozark started in 2009 the venture that became Cycle Brewing, has closed. Cycle continues to operate from its downtown St. Petersburg location. A Cycle “side project” dubbed Orange Belt Brewing and specializing in Berliner weisse, barrel-aged sours and farmhouse ales had operated from Peg’s. Read more here.
  • Mad Beach Brewing in Madeira Beach announced that it is now a full-fledged brewpub, serving food from a new menu.

Florida Brewery news

In the rapidly growing Florida craft beer scene, it’s sometimes easy to overlook those “veteran” breweries that opened in the Double-Zero years after the turn of the century. Swamp Head Brewery in Gainesville will bring back a taste of those heady years on Jan. 23 as it celebrates its eighth anniversary in its still relatively new brewing facility. Expect throw-back pricing and special tappings of some of its classic beers that have been hanging out in the cellar. More details here.

It wouldn’t be Hunahpu’s Day without a problem. Tickets for the annual bottle release of Cigar City Brewing’s coveted imperial stout and beer festival, scheduled for March 12, went on sale at 6 p.m. Monday, and another overwhelmed online ticket vendor couldn’t handle the traffic. The Tampa brewery’s Facebook page soon became flooded with complaints, alternated with work-around tips from the more technically savvy beer geeks. Enough people got through, though, that a sell-out was announced in less than 24 hours. Though I haven’t yet talked with anyone there, I know that this had to be disheartening for the Cigar City crew, and I’m confident they are doing everything possible to fix any problems.

Brewery openings

Sanford Brewing elevationOwners of the Sanford Brewing Company recently announced the beginning of construction to transform an 85-year-old property on the Central Florida town’s recently renovated Sanford Avenue into a new, 4,500 square-foot craft beer brewery and taproom. Plans call for it to include a 15-barrel primary brewing system, a 3-barrel pilot brewing system, and a 100-plus seat taproom with food service. The owners hope to begin brewing and serving the public before the second quarter of 2016. Read more here.

Beer festivals

Key Largo Brew on the Bay, Saturday, 1 to 5:30 p.m., Key Largo. More info here.

Maple Bacon Coffee Porter Day, Saturday, 4 to 10 p.m., Oakland Park. More info here.


That’s it for this week.

If you find this website useful, feel free to drop a little money into our tip jar on up there on the right rail. If you’re planning your beer journeys in the Sunshine State, check out our Florida Brewery Map & List, which I’m currently in the process of updating.




Beer in Florida’s mission is to chronicle and support the thriving Florida craft beer community, but as a reminder: Drink responsibly. Designated drivers, hotel rooms, Uber, Lyft, and taxis are all great ideas. In fact, if you haven’t used Uber yet, you can get your first ride free (up to $15) by using the code uberBeerInFlorida when you sign up for the ride-share service.

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The post Florida Craft Beer Bites: Churning for you, and welcome to 2016 appeared first on Beer in Florida.


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