The growth of the small brewery industry continues to proceed at a dizzying pace. The Brewers Association announced at the end of November that the number of breweries in the United States passed the 5,000 mark, with 99 percent of those being small and independent breweries.
More than 2,000 are in planning.
But what about in Florida? As regular readers of this blog know, I’ve maintained a Florida Brewery Map and List here since 2012, and just completed a major update of it.
As of January 24, 2017. there are 215 operating breweries in the Sunshine State, with 39 on their way to opening.
Two hundred and fifteen.
Yep, we’ve cracked the 200-brewery mark, and then some.
Though I updated the list and map periodically, this is the first major update since July 2016, when there were 184 operating breweries and 37 on the horizon.
Inevitably, a few have closed along the way, but openings still outnumber those by a large margin.
Could we hit 300 breweries by the end of 2017? It would not be a surprise if we did.
Here are the criteria I use for a brewery to be included on the map:
- The brewery or brewpub must produce beer on its premises. This means you will not find companies such as The Abbey Brewing Co. in Miami Beach, which contracts its beer at other breweries.
- Size doesn’t matter. Whether a brewery makes tens of thousands of barrels per year, or one a week, as long as it can sell and serve to customers, whether on premise or strictly through distribution, it counts.
- It includes two brewpubs – Karibrew in Fernandina Beach and Marco Island Brewery – whose brewing processes are completed on site but started elsewhere.
- In the case of a brewery like Barley Mow Brewing Company in Largo, there is the original brewery/taproom and another location that is production only, without a tasting room, though they have recently opened The Raven brewpub, which will have on-premise brewing in the future. All three locations are listed, with a note that The Raven has not started brewing on premise.
- It does not include BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse locations, which does not brew at any of its restaurants. The chain is one of the brewing partners at BrewHub, the operation in Lakeland that offers brewing and marketing services for other breweries, and contracts at some out-of-state breweries as well. (BrewHub is on the map.)
- Cideries and meaderies are not included, though I might create a separate section for them in the future.
To be included, a brewery or brewpub must have a physical address – it would be hard to map it otherwise – and if not yet open, it needs to have made solid steps such as ordering or installing equipment, or starting the regulatory process. A website or Facebook page is ideal, though not required. Most have them and are linked. Be sure to check that link before you visit for any details, such as operating hours or special events.
Other maps and lists out there are based on different criteria. The Florida Brewers Guild lists those breweries and brewpubs that are members. Others list breweries that haven’t made any steps toward opening other than filing as a business entity, sometimes years ago, with no progress since. There are some fine sites out there with maps of limited local areas, and I appreciate their creators allowing me to use them to research.
This map is a labor of love for me because I am passionate about my home state and its craft beer community. Friends and fans of this site offer invaluable help in tracking down some of these, and I am extremely grateful. I feel it is the most accurate listing of its type out there, but it has become a LOT of work because of the research involved.
I do get a little financial help via sponsorships, but if you feel it is of value to you, I would not object if you were to drop a little change to help using the “Donate” button on the right column of this page.
Speaking of sponsors, huge thanks go out to Florida Fun Shuttle, Ye Olde Brothers Brewery, Marker 48 Brewing, Tampa Bay Brewing Company, JDub’s Brewing Company, Coppertail Brewing Company, Dahlia’s Pour House, and St. Pete Brewing Company.
Any brewery or related businss interested in becoming a sponsor can drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll send the details.
As always, I appreciate any feedback if I missed a brewery, have one listed as open that has closed – or vice versa – or made any other errors. Send me an email or leave a comment below.