Florida persists on its path to becoming one of the most brewery-rich states in the country, according to the latest update of this site’s Florida Brewery Map and List.
I try to keep the list and map updated in a timely manner, but the last time I wrote one of these posts was in August, when the count was 152 operating breweries in the state, with 33 on their way to opening.
That number has now reached 175 operating breweries as of this date and, again, 33 slated to start brewing in the near future.
(UPDATED on 7/21/16: 184 operating breweries; 33 on the way)
(UPDATED on 6/5/16: 180 operating breweries, 37 on the horizon)
Add those numbers together, and that’s more than 200 – which could be how many breweries are open here by the end of this year.
Will some close? Probably. There’s been a small wave of consolidations and closings over the past few months, but the rate of new brewery openings still far outpaces any losses.
The 33 breweries-yet-to-open cited above includes only those with physical addresses. There are at least that many more – that I know of – still looking for real estate and/or moving through the licensing bureaucracy at local, state and federal levels.
Will we hit the 200-brewery mark by the end of 2016? It’s entirely possible.
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. In such cases, both locations are listed.
- 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.
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.
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.
Anyone 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.