34 Beers from 7 Florida Breweries

Artisan beer making has become a real craft in the state of Florida, with breweries springing up in every major city. Although Florida is not really known as a beer connoisseur state, craft brewed beers seem to suddenly be making a name for themselves in this state – and beer brewing in Florida is like wine crafting in Sonoma. In fact, the craft beer industry is growing by as much as 22% in Florida while only remaining at an 11% increase in other states. The following is a list of the best Florida craft breweries and the most popular beers they make:

Cigar City Brewing Company

The leading artisanal brewery that started it all, founded in 2009, has had great success with more than a few beers. In fact, one of these is a national Great American Beer Festival winner, and the CCB Company’s most popular beer.

Maduro Oatmeal Brown Ale

Veggie Table

A beautiful, round and robust brown ale created as one of the company’s flagship beers in 2009. It is known for its deep, nutty aroma, small head and beautiful dark color. This is a well balanced and smooth tasting beer with an interesting caramel, cinnamon and nutmeg aroma. It is considered smooth on the palate with just a hint of fudge and coffee.

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Another great beer made by Cigar City Brewing company and released in May, 2012. This double nut brown ale has various base ingredients. It has a light head and leaves a bit of lacing. You can smell the chocolate followed by the small hint of chocolate. The taste is full and round and tastes a bit like coffee and chocolate.


Jai Alai India Pale Ale

Cigar City Brewing


– Another of the flagship ales named after the popular Basque sport and produced in 2009. It is known as an award-winning ale, as it won awards in the Great American Beer Festival in 2009. It is given a 99% rating among beer lovers and is known for its copper color and citrus aroma, with an offering of citrus bitterness and a hint of caramel taste.


Tocobaga Red Ale

Cigar City Brewing
– Named after the local Florida natives of the 16th century. With such a lofty name, this beer is known as one of the outstanding brews for the company. It pours and golden amber and offers an aroma of citrus and caramel. The taste offers an initial citrus hop bitter taste with afternotes of caramel, and a distinct Amish sweet bread aftertaste, ending with the citrus taste at the end.


Jai Alai Aged on White Oak

Cigar City Brewing
– A brew that is only occasionally released and is made with the Jai Alai India Pale ale base, and then the final aging is performed over a white oak fire; a process that adds a smooth hint of vanilla and dill. The brew offers a finished dry elegant finish.


Guava Grove Farmhouse Ale

Cigar City Brewing

Although only available in summer, and brewed in tribute to Tampa’s nickname and the Guava summer festival, it is favored for its French Saison yeast, and its secondary fermentation using guava puree. The final strain offers a slightly tart, dry finish, ideally paired with cheeses, seafood and fruit salads.


Cubano Style Espresso Brown Ale

Cigar City Brewing

A rich brown ale comparable to the Cuban-style roasted espresso beans. An ale that offers a sweet caramel and toffee hint. It is a very popular brew in the city of Tampa. The coffee beans roasted for the making of this special ale are specially roasted in a local St. Petersburg deli market.


JosE MartI American Porter

Cigar City Brewing

Released in the Winter of 2010 and an award winner at the 2010 Best Florida Beer championship, this ale, named after a pivotal political figure in Cuban history, is a heavily hopped porter, using similar hopping levels of the India Pale Ale. It offers all the roasty malt taste of an excellent porter. While this heavy a hop rate is uncommon in current porters, it was not unknown in those produced during the 1800s in Britain.


Improv Oatmeal Rye India

Cigar City Brewing

– Released in the Spring of 2011 and a bronze metal winner in the Florida Beer Championship, it pours a deep brown and offers an aroma of toasted grain and resinous hops. It offers an initial taste of pine bitterness followed by a slight nutty and rye spice flavor.


Sugar Plum Brown Ale


Cigar City Brewing

This is the ale the Cigar City Brewing Company rings in the new year with. This seasonal ale produced solely during the holiday season offers a rich bodied brown liquid highlighted with the flavors of Cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, rose hips and chamomile, complimented with a subtle chocolate and light coffee flavor, all roasted over carob and chicory, giving it that unique holiday aroma.


Big Sound Scotch Ale

Cigar City Brewing

Released in September of 2010 and listed as a gold medal winner in the 2011 United States Open Beer Championship. This ale is known for its notes of sweet dark toffee, and mild coffee flavoring and aroma. It starts with a slight cherry taste and finishes with that toffee- coffee and a bread finish. This is the perfect ale for the great concert or that fabulous bagpipe music. This is a really distinctively flavored ale.


Marshal Zhukov’s Imperial Stout

Cigar City Brewing

– A beer that offers a dark black color like the notes of espresso, chocolate, molasses and toffee it is known for. The taste starts with a herbal dryness and finishes with that sharp roasted espresso flavor. Named as a bronze medal winner in the 2010 Best Florida Beer Championship.


Good Gourd

Cigar City Brewing

A fall released beer reminiscent of the season with its orange color and aroma of buttered pie crust and roasted pumpkin. It offers a medium-bodied flavor of roasted pumpkin and caramel with an underflavor of floral hop bitterness.


The Florida Brewing Company

This is another of the great beer crafters in the state, and first opened its doors in 1996 under the name of Indian River Brewery, but was renamed in 2003. Today, the Florida Brewing Company makes several well known beers it sells in the area, and is constantly coming up with new varieties. The following are the best of these:

Key West Sunset Ale


An amber colored brew with a real tropical feel to it. Brewed with caramel and pale malts, it offers a medium bodied but crisp taste.


Key west Pilsner Light


Ales from the crypt

A low calorie and light bodied beer, offering just the right balance between sweetness, crispness and malted barley.


Key west Southernmost Wheat


An award winning Belgian style beer, uniquely spiced with coriander, orange in a particularly Floridian way. This is the one brew to remind you of all that Florida has to offer.


Hurricane Caribbean Pilsner

Ales from the crypt

– This golden yellow brew offers a thin head that quickly dissipates against the glass. It’s of low carbonation with a malty nose and a slight citrusy taste. At first you will taste a crisp, clean flavor. This is that great light beer, ideal for a hot day or a great day at the beach. http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/161/1559

Hurricane Raspberry Wheat Ale


– This is an amber brew with a prevalent smell of raspberry and wheat. It is a slightly sweet beer, but can be somewhat overpowering for some. http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/161/1562

Swamp Ape IPA


This pours clear and amber with a light carbonation and offers a fruity hoppy smell. This lively, hoppy beer gets it distinct character from the 5 varieties of hops used in its making; tettnang, Centennial, Chinook, Cascade and Amarillo


The Inlet Brewing Company in Jupiter Florida

A company that is also making its mark in the artisanal beer market with its organic beers. Inlet is unique in its beer making enterprise as it uses Belgian Abbey yeast, and uses barley, malt and hops that are certified as organic.

Monk in the Trunk


The Inlet Brewing Company is best known for this rich copper beer with a berry scent. It offers a taste of fruit mixed with malty sweetness, and hops.


The Pensacola Bay Brewery

This brewery opened for business in October of 2010 with the intention of sharing their love of beer and of Florida History.


Jax Brew Bitch

brown ale with flavors that develop slowly and envelope your taste buds. The first thing you’ll note is the slight taste of chocolate and nutty hoppiness but with a sharp crisp final taste. This is the perfect Florida winter beer, because it has a mild body and a rich, sweet aroma.


Black Treasure

Pensacola Bay Brewery


– made with seven grains, this brew offers a smooth taste with an initial note of chocolate and a finishing taste of fine whiskey.


Intuition Ale Works

Although, it has only been around for two years, it has made a name for itself in the Craft brewing industry and especially in Jacksonville.

People’s Pale Ale


– This is the flagship brew, a real American-style pale yellow brew that is best known for its hoppy flavor. Made with barley and caramel malts as well as Magnum hops for that sharp bittersweet end.


Jon Boat


Packaging of the world

– Inspired by the English golden traditional ales. This is cool-fermented to enhance the cool, crisp taste – a perfect beer for the hot summer days of Jacksonville, Florida.


El Jefe Hefeweizen

Intuition Ale Works

– Made with German Malted Wheat and German Pilsner malt. Unique in its banana and clove aroma. A brew that offers smoothness with that slight sweet German style wheat flavor.


Shotgun Shack Black Rye Ale


– A wonderful black American brew with hints of pine, roasty malt and green peppercorn.

Bold City Brewery

This family owned business started the old-fashioned way – as real craft hobby brewers. Today, this brewery is well known in the Jacksonville, Florida area.

Killer Whale Cream Ale

Beer Loves Sport

– This is a smooth, medium blend ale; one that is not too malty or too hoppy. It’s has a very light and refreshing taste.


Fritz Hefeweizen

Bold City Brewery

– This is a south German Style wheat beer made with 50:50 wheat, and is a yeast beer, hence you’ll see the unfiltered cloudy appearance.


E-St. Ale

Bold City Brewery

– Amber in color and offers a reminisce of the old European St. CafE restaurant “Lamp Post Ales.”

Bold English

Bold City Brewery

– an old stock ale, offering a reminiscence of a time when ales were strong and dark. This brew offers a bold taste that can only come for an aged beer.


Duke’s Cold Nose Brown Ale

Thaddeus C.

– known as a mild brown brew that goes down smoothly. It offers a slight nutty and sweet flavor.


Swamphead Brewery in Gainsville Florida

Another up and coming craft beer maker that is making its name known among beer lovers. Although, a newcomer to the beer industry, this company is making a name for itself with quite a number of great ales.

Wild Night

Swamphead brewery

– This is a light, smooth ale unusually brewed with Tupelo honey. This is a great light ale with just a taste of that great tupelo honey produced form the tupelo gum tree growing along the Chipola and Apalachicola rivers of Florida.




– A beer with a fruity and fresh Belgian flavor. It offers a huge white head and a subtle sweet finish that lingers on.


Stump Knocker

Swamphead Brewery

– a traditional American pale ale named after the Stumpknocker fish. This is the beer that will keep you in that fishing mode with its smooth taste and slight hoppy taste.


Midnight Oil


– a brew that offers a bold flavor with that aroma of organic French roast coffee. It is a truly sensual beer, reminding you of the mild summer evenings spent on a Florida porch. Made with a complex blend of oats, barley, chocolate, wheat malt and dark roast organic coffee. It offers an intense aroma and beautiful rounded flavor.


Big Nose

Swamphead Brewery

– This is a full, aromatic and beautiful India Pale Ale (IPA). Made with clear spring water originating in the Okefenokee Swamp, this beer is a master IPA for real beer lovers and flows with flavor and aroma of hops and a malt backbone.


Florida is Now Among the Best in the Beer Making Industry

Floridian artisanal beers are fast becoming a national phenomenon, loved by Floridians and by the nation’s growing craft beer connoisseurs from around the world. The art of beer making is growing rapidly in the state and beer breweries are making their craft into an art form. When in Florida, it may well be in your best interest to taste of some of these fabulous brews.

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