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craft beer

Robin Sussingham and Laura Reiley
Dalia Colón

Food writer Laura Reiley spent years closely observing Tampa Bay’s food and dining scene. 

She says there’s a reason that the area is exploding onto the national consciousness—affordable real estate.

Brewing has a long history in Tampa: cigar maker Vicente Ybor made Tampa the site of Florida's first commercial beer brewery, the Florida Brewing Company, founded in 1897 at the site of an ancient spring.

And the Tampa Bay area wasn’t the least bit interested in Prohibition.

Tampa Bay History Center

A new exhibit opening this weekend highlights the colorful history of beer in Tampa Bay.

Cigar maker Vicente Martinez Ybor founded Florida's first commercial beer brewery, The Florida Brewing Company, in Tampa in 1897 at the site of an ancient springs. Artifacts from that brewery will be among the items on display at the Tampa Bay History Center at an exhibition called "History By the Pint," which explores the story of beer and brewing in Tampa Bay.

New Bottled Brews Delayed By Government Shutdown

Jan 11, 2019

Craft beer drinkers in the U.S. may see fewer new bottled beers coming out in the next few months.

That's because the federal agency that approves brewery labels is closed, a result of the government shutdown.

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is part of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. One of the TTB's jobs is to review beverage alcohol labels for things like alcohol content or fluid ounces in a bottle.

Dinorah Prevost / WUSF Public Media

Chris Price stands in the backroom of Dissent Brewing in St. Petersburg. He’s among steel tanks full of beer lining the walls.

But instead of drinking beer, he’s dissecting it, trying to reduce the carbonation – the foamy bubbles you get when you pour one. To do that, he transfers a sample back and forth between a pitcher and a measuring cup over a sink.

Mastry's Brewing Co.

The Tampa Bay area is becoming a hub for craft beer both statewide and nationally, with the highest density of breweries in Florida. This week on Florida Matters, host Robin Sussingham speaks with people who work in the industry about the craft beer phenomenon.


Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

On a research farm in southern Hillsborough County, Simon Bollin pulls a hops flower down off of a vine, crushes it, and takes a whiff.

“This one isn’t quite ripe yet, and it’s a little wet, so it smells more like green grass than it does beer,” he said. “Ideally, it could be spicy, it could be citrusy, it could be earthy, any number of things.”

Roberto Roldan / WUSF Public Media

Tampa Bay Beer Week kicked off over the weekend, bringing in brewers and aficionados from across the country.

Photos by Susanna Hancock/Collage by Stephanie Colombini

As part of our ongoing Art Populi series on live, local music in the Tampa Bay Area, we're taking a look at a new group that's trying to expand the way people think of classical music. Called Terroir New Music, the group pairs live performances with craft beer. Their first concert is Thursday, May 4 at the bar c. 1949 in Tampa.

A Senate panel has approved a measure allowing craft distillers to sell more spirits directly.  The idea is garnering support from unlikely sources.

USF Sarasota-Manatee

Florida, especially the Tampa Bay area, has turned into very fertile ground for aspiring beer brewers and up-and-coming microbreweries.

That spirit will be on display Saturday in Sarasota as an all-Florida craft beer festival takes over Nathan Benderson Park.

Sip the Sunshine will benefit the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee Food & Beverage Science Program.

Orlando wants to make it easier to open brew pubs.

Chef Greg Baker
Roberto Roldan/WUSF Public Media

 The Seminole Heights neighborhood, once dotted with car repair shops, has become a key player in the growth of Tampa's culinary and craft beer scene.

Greg Baker has been at the forefront of the transformation in the now-trendy historic neighborhood. And he recently brought an additional boost of national attention to the area by receiving his fifth nomination for a James Beard Award, the Grammys of the food business.

USF St. Petersburg

Like many colleges around the country, the University of South Florida St. Petersburg community appreciates its beer.

But the passion for hops and barley doesn’t fall into the tailgate party category. An academic tie to science students and a growing internship program with local craft brewers led the school to create a commemorative libation for its golden anniversary.

'Growlers' Going to the Governor

Apr 26, 2015
Wikimedia Commons

Half-gallon "growlers" are closer to going under brewery taps across Florida.

The House on Friday joined the Senate in supporting the end of the state's prohibition on brewers being able to fill 64-ounce containers known as "growlers" for off-site consumption. Currently, brewers can only fill containers of other sizes.

"Let's all just push the button and free the growler here in the state of Florida," Majority Leader Rep. Dana Young, R-Tampa, said before the House voted unanimously to approve the bill.

A bill allowing 64 ounce growlers is headed to the floor of the Florida Senate.

After beer retailers and distributors challenged a legal exception that helps craft brewers open up tap rooms, two Florida senators put forward a measure doing away with the exception completely—in effect ensuring breweries can sell beer on-site.  But that original challenge hasn’t disappeared.

Sampling Science

Whether you're a craft brew aficionado or a chemical engineering buff - or both - "Sampling Science: The Engineering Behind Craft Beer" might be for you.

"A lot of engineers like craft beer," event co-creator, USF Chemical Engineering junior Anna Hayes, said. "We wanted to combine the science of the beer with the (craft beer) industry, and so we thought it best to bring local craft breweries together for a fund-raising event."

The event, which takes place Friday, February 20th at 6:30 p.m. at the USF Sam and Martha Gibbons Alumni Center, will raise money for the university's chapters of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and the Society of Women Engineers (SWE).

Florida House and Senate subcommittees heard testimony Wednesday from stakeholders in the state’s beer industry.  After failing twice, a bill to legalize a popular refillable bottle is up for a third try.

It seems there’s new trouble brewing for Florida’s small but growing craft beer industry.  The Florida Retail Federation is challenging a long-standing exception to the state’s licensing rules that allows a brewery to sell beer in on-site ‘tasting’ or ‘tap’ rooms.  But this isn’t the only attack the state’s rules have drawn.

Beer is bipartisan.  Really, it’s hard to imagine something more people can agree on.  But, unfortunately in Florida, beer is a political issue.

Beer distribution interests in Florida have launched a legal attack against a well-established exception to the state’s three-tier system.  The ‘Tourism Exception’ allows brewers licensed for manufacturing beer to sell it directly to the public. 

 A craft brewery on the Treasure Coast is fighting Florida's growler ban in federal court. The owners, along with a national legal group, filed a civil rights lawsuit Tuesday with the U.S. District Court in Fort Pierce.

Whether you are a craft beer enthusiast or a pro with the paddle board, Pasco County may be the place for you to be this weekend.

Pasco Paddlepalooza is a way to promote awareness for the waterways in west Pasco County, as well as raise money for some community causes.

Walter Loos is the Director of Business for Gill Dawg, the restaurant that organized the event.

He says there will be no drinking and paddling.

Katie O'Connor

 

We're taking another listen to some of our most memorable stories of 2013.