Booth's Brewing outfits customers with quality beer- and wine-making supplies, from Briess dry malts to brew kettles by Blichmann Engineering. Hops-savvy staffers also guide students through the basics of crafting custom beers at home with beer-brewing classes. The sessions familiarize students with standard brewing equipment and ingredients, arming them with the theoretical and practical knowledge to successfully make beer at home without fitting their bathtub with a blowoff hose.
A towering wine rack spans an entire wall and glimmers with more than 1,000 bottles. Across the room, a lineup of nitrogen-regulated Enomatic machines dispenses samples from 80 wines to be sipped, swirled, and theatrically spit while reclining on a leather sofa, or while sitting at the long wooden bar. Small, shareable plates populate Sarasota Vineyard's menu in the forms of cheeses, roasted olives, and prosciutto-wrapped figs, ideal for pairing with wines or barley pops from a list of 20 beers.
Music fills the air at The Green Parrot Bar & Grill, where hits wail from a jukebox whenever live bands aren't bringing down the house. Behind the bar, taps release endless pints of domestic beers and ice cubes clink within specialty cocktails, which complement wings with housemade sauces and Angus burgers topped with bacon and cheddar cheese. The Green Parrot also hosts special events, such as karaoke nights and dart tournaments, and keeps diners entertained with pool tables and a play area geared toward children and poker-playing children.
Cigar City Brewing sates desires for sophisticated imbibitions with an array of seasonal and year-round beers. Available by the taste, bottle, or keg at wholesale prices, these frothy treats are great for tickling your tonsils or intoxicating your imaginary friends. Tipple a bottle of the premium Jai Alai India Pale Ale, in which six different hop varietals fuse with a hint of caramel malt to create a complex, hearty interpretation of the classic IPA sprinkled with notes of citrus fruits and toasted sweet bread. Those tired of the cold weather can sip on a Warmer Winter, an old ale traditionally brewed to help natives through the chill of the brief Florida holiday season—customarily known to foreigners as summer. After visiting the tasting room, guests can visit the merchandise store to scoop up a CCB T-shirt ($20–$22), hat ($15), or 128-ounce growler jug ($7) to fill with fresh beer, glassware, and more.
The seasoned brewers at Southern Brewing & Winemaking impart the secrets of crafting artisan ales at home during friendly, intimate beer-making classes. Up to 15 students savor sample brews and light snacks as hops-loving experts explain basic equipment and recipes and discuss the bottling and tasting of home-brewed beverages, demystify the brewing process. Instructors fill the lesson plan with their passion for brewing and encourage students to ask questions or stage modern-dance interpretations of “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.” The class covers enlightening topics open to students of all ages, but only participants 21 or older can drink alcohol.
Exposed brick walls, hanging chandeliers, and black-and-white curlicue wall art create an intimate atmosphere at The Ybor City Wine Bar, where staff members pop the stoppers off more than 120 wines and 50 types of craft beers and ciders from around the globe. In addition to pairing their libations with artisan cheese, small plates, and desserts, they host weekly educational wine tastings and private events, from bridal showers to fundraisers.
In creating a recipe for a romantic and pleasurable night out, few ingredients create the same synergy as wine, cheese, and jazz. The founders of Crumb&Cork put their spin on this formula by offering a menu with more than 28 artisanal cheeses and 40 wines from around the globe, which their patrons sip and sample amid an atmosphere permeated by live jazz music on Fridays and Saturdays. In an effort to encourage tastings, the owners sell their wines by the glass and decorate the space with comfortable furnishings so their clientele feel free to linger and chat.