Catching up on Florida Craft Beer

I have been behind on posting, so here are a few quick updates on the Florida craft beer scene.

  • The long-awaited opening of Rapp Brewing Company in Pinellas Park will happen this Saturday, Sept. 1, from 3 to 9 p.m. It will be a soft opening, and there will be guest taps from other local Florida breweries flowing, but the Rapp creations won’t be on tap until mid- to late September. Owner and Brewmaster Greg Rapp told me that the tasting room will be open Thursday to Sunday from 3 to 9 p.m. at first, but he plans a grand opening celebration in late October and there may be extended hours after that. Here’s an interview with Greg from earlier this year, and a video tour of the brewery during the construction phase.
  • Cigar City Brewing has announced a HUGE expansion of its tasting room. More details here. Also, the tasting room recently tapped its Tony Jannus Pale Ale, previously available only at its new Tampa International Airport brewery and pub, which I had a chance to visit recently. Here are some photos.
  • World of Beer – Clermont opened this month. We first reported it here when they signed the lease. Unfortunately, I moved from Clermont a few days before it opened, but I did get a chance to visit and talk to General Manager Paul Darnell. It was a casual drop-in, though, so I don’t have an official interview, but he is doing a bang-up job with the social media aspect of it. It’s a much welcome oasis in what was a craft-beer desert part of Florida.
  • I had a chance to pop into Big Storm Brewing Co., the newly opened craft brewery in Odessa. I wasn’t able to stay long, but I highly recommend their flagship Wavemaker Amber Ale.  Big Storm just launched its website as well. You can find it here.
  • Don’t forget to buy your tickets for the World Beer Festival in at St. Petersburg’s Historic Coliseum. I’ll be doing a presentation there, as will Sean Nordquist from Beer for the Daddy and Danny Reid from the Special Hoperations homebrew club.

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