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