Best Superbowl Beer in Tampa
Whether you’ve been a repping the Buccaneers for years or simply a Tom Brady fan, raise a toast on Sunday with a little help from these Tampa breweries.
Cigar City Brewing
Tampa native, Joey Redner started Cigar City Brewing hoping to bring the culture, history, and cuisine of his hometown to the international stage. What started as a two-man operation with a 465-gallon batch of brown ale blossomed into a 60-person team with multiple beers distributed in 30 states. Using ingredients found in Tampa cuisine like tropical fruits and chili peppers, Cigar City has created incredibly flavorful brews that have captured the attention of novices and beer enthusiasts alike. The Maduro brown ale, full of chocolatey earthy goodness, was its flagship beer but the Jai Alai IPA with notes of clementine rapidly gained popularity. Those are just two of the eight beers available all year round. Current seasonal offerings include Space Pope IPA, a malty brew with hints of passion fruit, and Fair Exchange, a wheat ale with expressive fermentation characteristics.
81Bay Brewing Company was started by three friends who wanted to celebrate good beer and good vibes. The indoor taproom is open for socially-distanced imbibing and the multi-media immersive walls understandably get more fun after a few beers. There are approximately 20 beers on tap at any given time or ice-cold four-packs (Lightning Lager, Sun Viking IPA, Charter 10 NE IPA) and 6-packs (Reel Slo Irish Red, Jo Jo Bean Coffee Porter) ready for takeaway. One of its most popular offerings (on tap or to go) is an homage to a popular Florida dessert. The Clothing Optional Key Lime Pie is a 5.3% sour with notes of key lime, cinnamon, and vanilla. The filling and the crust all represented in one very cool beer.
Coppertail is a sea monster that lives in Tampa Bay. At least that’s what the founder’s five-year-old daughter said. Low and behold, it was the perfect name for the brewing company that opened its doors in 2014. The tap list rotates seasonally, but its menu always features their four core beers. Unholy is a whopping 9.2% take on a Belgian tripel with funky and fruity notes from traditional Belgian yeasts which they’ve sacrilegiously paired with American hops. The outcome? Divine. Free Dive is a citrusy, crushable IPA with a malty spine that hits the spot in any weather. Independent is their German-style pilsner and Night Swim is a silky porter. All of the core beers are available in the taproom or in convenient to-go packs for at-home consumption on game day! Coppertail has an incredible food menu available for takeout as well if you’re not tackling the Super Bowl snacks yourself. If you’re not in the Tampa area, use their handy beer finder to find Coppertail products near you.
Zydeco Beer Werks
Zydeco Brew Werks is a New Orleans-inspired craft brewery and eatery in the historic Ybor City area. They offer all their beers in a variety of sizes to slake any level of thirst. Get your favorite brew in 4 or 16-oz pours for immediate consumption or take home a liter, 64-oz growler, or a crowler (essentially an aluminum growler). The tap list rotates regularly so you’ll never get bored. The Ybor Premium is its take on an American Lager and it’s good for crisp, clean, easy drinking. Those wanting more caramel and malty sweetness in their beer should go for the Easy Rider Red. The rest of the tap list is rounded out by IPA’s and several other styles of ale. If you visit the taproom in person for socially-distanced fun, be sure to check out the food menu as well. The creole flatbread with cajun crawfish tail, spicy andouille sausage, asparagus, creole mustard alfred, and a blend of cheeses is a must-order item.
Tampa Bay Brewing Company
Tampa Bay Brewing has been family-owned and operated since 1995, making it one of the oldest (and also one of the largest) breweries in Florida. The size allows it to do good work throughout Florida. It frequently donates to organizations working to protect Florida’s unique and diverse natural habitats, wildlife, and marine environments. It also helps grassroots organizations aiding Tampa families in need. Like many breweries, it rotates the tap list seasonally, but there are several that stay in the stable all year round. Reef Donkey, a dry-hopped American pale ale that drinks like a session IPA, is one of those 24/7 staples as is the Double Coast Lager with Lime. The most seasonable beer for Super Bowl weekend is Quat, made with local Dade City kumquats. The kumquats are harvested in winter making this one of the freshest, seasonal beers available for January and February.
Brew Bus Brewing
Drinking and driving is absolutely a bad idea unless you’re taking a Brew Bus tour. Brew Bus goes around to the local breweries in the Tampa area, allowing locals to sample an array of beers made in their own backyards. Brew Bus also has its own stand-alone taproom where they make a line of beers onsight (also available on the bus tours). There are nearly 20 house-made beers on the taproom menu and about half of those are available in to-go format. Check out My Boy Blue which is all natural blueberry wheat ale that is named after the company mascot, an adorable little pup named Blue.