From humble suds to IPAs, Tallahassee’s craft-brewing scene is hopping. The Capital City is creating brews with heft such as Mango Wit, Red Cloud IPA and Heffy Liftin. And—its crafting ales with local personality such as Miccosukee Honey Orange Wheat, G-Street Blonde, Eightfive-0 Pale Ale and Chamber Goat, which is brewed with coffee from Lucky Goat, a local roastery.
Brewed in Tallahassee, many of these local libations are award-winners, and the concoctions keep coming.
In March 2018, Tallahassee’s Proof Brewing Co. and DEEP Brewing Co. won three medals each for their creations at the Best Florida Beer Competition in Tampa. In the previous year’s competition, Proof Brewing Co. and GrassLands Brewing Co. both won gold medals for their brews. Tallahassee’s Growler Country, the state's first dedicated growler filling station, earned the distinction of “Best Beer Bar in Florida” during CraftBeer.com’s annual Great American Beer Bars competition. The city’s newest brewery, Ology Brewing, has quickly made a name for itself and was the only Florida brewery to make Beer Advocate Magazine's list of the” Top 50 Best New Breweries in the Country.”
By all accounts, Florida’s Capital City is fast becoming a star on the craft-breweries map. The city’s local breweries, craft-beer taprooms and opportunities to indulge keep expanding, born from home-grown interest in brewing and the good times it fosters.
The back stories of Tallahassee’s craft breweries are as compelling as their beers. Hop onto Tallahassee’s ale trail and find out for yourself.
The breweries include:
DEEP Brewing – Former diver Ryan S. LePete pours small-batch ales and lagers that pay homage to historic European and American styles while continuing to explore unchartered waters. His year-round flagships include Spear Pressure Golden Ale (in a British style), Reef Dweller IPA (with a nod to the West Coast), and Sous La Mer Saison (Belgian-inspired farmhouse ale). Seasonal and limited releases include Narcosis Imperial Stout, Scapa Flow Scotch Ale, and Morning Boat Coffee Stout, poured with locally roasted Lucky Goat Coffee.
GrassLands Brewing – Founders Gabe and Saralyn Grass brew small batches including a mint chocolate stout, Groundation Amber Rye, Rising Embers Tropical IPA and LeeRoy the Red. The GrassLands slogan “Craft, Community, Conservation” reflects the couple’s devotion to conserving the environment and protecting animal habitats. Craftbeer.com named Saralyn Grass one of the 8 Women in Craft Beer Who are Making a Mark Right Now.
Lake Tribe Brewing – Father and sons Connor, Jesse and Jason Ross named the company after their YMCA Indian Guides tribe name. Flagship brews include Red Cloud IPA (bold and 7.4% ABV), and Beckster’s Wh’ell Behaved Wheat which “pairs perfectly with lighter foods” such as sushi, fruits and cheese. A recent addition is “Abroad,” a heavy-hitting wheat wine inspired by and brewed with Spanish vino tinto (red wine).
Ology Brewing – The newest addition to Tallahassee’s brew scene. Ology Brewing Company is an experimental brewery focusing on reviving old-world recipes and creating small-batch ales. In January 2018, Ology launched their Sour Beer Program, focused on bringing mixed culture, barrel-aged American sours to Tallahassee and putting the city at the forefront of the country’s sour beer movement. Stop in and taste brews such as Sensory Overload IPA and the dark and roasty Quantum Stimuli.
PROOF Brewing Co. – Proof drives the local craft-brew train. Its star brews include a citrus pale ale named for the region’s area code, Eightfive-0 and the crowd-pleasing Mango Wit – both are distributed throughout the state and available in 6-packs. Their Creatures in the Dark Stout (rated the #1 stout in a blind taste test by Paste Magazine), utilizes raw cocoa nibs and whole vanilla beans, creating a dense and chocolaty flavor profile. Proof has earned 21 different medals from the Best Florida Beer Competition alone, as well as other distinctions at the U.S. Open Beer Championship and the world renowned Hunaphu’s Day. Run by Byron and Angela Burroughs, the brewery plans to expand and relocate to a 34,000 square-foot former Coca-Cola Bottling Company building on South Monroe Street in late 2018/early 2019. In addition to increasing their production, the new location will feature an expanded tasting room, retail store, private event space, kitchen, and beer garden.
Also in the works:
- Tally Brewing, giving its limited-release concoctions names with local roots such as Meridian Road IPA and Port Leon chocolate porter (Tallahassee being in Leon County). Open date TBD.
Popular craft-beer watering holes that feature local brews include:
- Growler Country, Florida’s first dedicated growler filling station and rated the “Best Beer Bar in Florida."
- The Brass Tap, in Midtown and on Gaines Street
- Fermentation Lounge (brewing for itself under the name Fool’s Fire)
- Finnegan’s Wake Irish Pub
- Fire Betty’s Arcade Bar
- Madison Social
- 7th Hill Taproom
Tallahassee Brew Bus transports riders age 21+ to local breweries and tap rooms, plus nearby Apalachicola’s Oyster City Brewing Company. Saturday tours begin at Growler Country (3305 Capital Circle NE) and include behind-the-scenes tours and a pint or flight at each brewery. Book online at www.TallahasseeBrewBus.com.
Tallahassee’s brew-tastic events for craft-beer fans include Brewfest, Proof Florida Tap Invitational, various Oktoberfest events, and Beer Mile, a 1-mile summertime run/walk through Tallahassee’s Beer District with tastings at four sites.
Stay up-to-date on Tallahassee’s brew news and events by following Tallahassee Beer Society on social media. You can find the TLH Beer Society on Twitter and Instagram at @TLHBeerSociety, or on Facebook at Facebook.com/TLHBeerSociety.