Which Tampa Bay Craft Breweries Made The Top 50 List?

ST. PETERSBURG, FL – No one’s laughing anymore at those guys who spent all of their free time brewing beer in their basements.

That’s because they’ve emerged from the basement into the mainstream where craft brews are big business.

Today, there are more than 5,300 breweries in operation in the United States, more than at any time in the country’s history. And it’s hardly a surprise that 99 percent of them are craft breweries, according to the Brewers Association,

In 2016, the craft brewing industry contributed $67.8 billion to the U.S. economy and created more than 456,000 jobs.

But, with increased competition in the industry, opening a craft brewery doesn’t guarantee success.

In April, the Brewers Association came out with a list of the 50 fastest-growing small and independent craft breweries in the county, and two Tampa Bay breweries made the list.

Coming in at No. 7 was Mastry’s Brewing Co., 7701 Blind Pass Road, St. Pete Beach.

Mastry’s Brewing Co. was founded in 2014 as a brew-pub operating out of a family-owned restaurant. In 2015, the pub brought on head brewer Micheil McElvey and expanded its beer-brewing operations.

Its offerings include JMC, a chocolate coffee porter, and its popular, gold-medal winning Hefeweizen.

Not at the top but still making a show was Darwin Brewing Co., 803 17th Ave, W., Bradenton.

Since 2012, Cuban-born, German-educated brew master Jorge Rosabal has been producing German- and Belgian-style ales and lagers influenced by the flavors of Florida.

The Brewers Association, which represents more than 4,000 small and independent craft brewers, noted that its "fastest-growing list" only includes small and independent breweries with all production at their own facilitiess. And only breweries that opened on or before Dec. 31, 2015, and reported three years of production data to the Brewers Association were included.

Here is the Brewers Association’s list of the 50 fastest-growing small and independent craft breweries in 2017:

1) CraftRoots Brewing, Milford, Massachusetts

2) GoatHouse Brewing, Lincoln, California

3) Crowded Castle Brewing, Phoenixville, Pennsylvania

4) Idyll Hounds Brewing, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

9) Bruehol Brewing, Benicia, California

10) Lumber House Brewing, Maple Valley, Washington

11) Whalers Brewing, Wakefield, Rhode Island

12) Paddle Hard Brewing, Grayling, Michigan

13) Beech Mountain Brewing, Beech Mountain, North Carolina

14) Dragon’s Gate Brewery, Milton-Freewater, Oregon

16) Florida Keys Brewing, Islamorada, Florida

20) Hopsters, Newton, Massachusetts

22) 56 Brewing, Minneapolis, Minnesota

23) The Brewery at Bacchus, New Paltz, New York

25) Vanish Farmwoods Brewery, Leesburg, Virginia

26) Pacific Plate Brewing, Monrovia, California

29) Lupulin Brewing, Big Lake, Minnesota

30) Donum Dei Brewery, New Albany, Indiana

31) Brazos Valley Brewing, Brenham, Texas

32) Frost Beer Works, Hinesburg, Vermont

34) Darwin Brewing, Bradenton, Florida

27) Device Brewing, Sacramento, California

38) Nano 108 Brewing, Colorado Springs, Colorado

40) Beaver Island Brewing, St. Cloud, Minnesota

42) Steel Bonnet Brewing, Scotts Valley, California

43) Gnarly Barley Brewing, Hammond, Louisiana

49) 38 State Brewing, Littleton, Colorado

50) Hutton & Smith Brewing, Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Images via Mastry’s Brewing and Darwin Brewing

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