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What's New in The Southwest Florida Craft Beer Scene

Down the hatch!



Tarra Wood

 

In this neck of the palm-tree-swathed woods, there has always been a portion of the population that knows it’s five o’clock somewhere. But there’s been an incredible explosion of lounges, breweries, wine shops and restobars in the past year—so much so that it’s almost a quaint notion remembering when Naples Beach Brewery, Fort Myers Brewing Co. and Momentum Brewhouse were pioneers in their respective cities. Here’s what’s new and what’s to come.

CRAFT BREWERIES (RECENTLY OPENED):

Big Blue Brewing (Cape Coral): Founded by the same owners as Wicked Dolphin Artisan Rum, it’s way more than just beer, with cocktails, a vibrant bar scene and a full menu.

Bone Hook Brewing Co. (North Naples): Off to an ambitious start with 20 brews and top-of-the-line equipment, the taproom also allows guests to order food from neighboring restaurants like Public House.

Millennial Brewing Company (Downtown Fort Myers): Aside from being a convenient place to gather, it is one of the first to offer a membership service for regulars.

Scotty’s Bierwerks (Cape Coral): One of the newest is also one of the biggest. Scotty's has the largest barrel brewing system in Southwest Florida.

They don’t have taprooms yet, but Crazy Dingo Brewing Co. and Fort Misery Cider Co. started selling their small batches at Southwest Florida events and festivals this year.

Check out our interactive map of craft breweries in SWFL.

CRAFT BREWERIES (COMING SOON):

Ankrolab Brewing Co. (East Naples): Taking over a former industrial space on Bayshore Drive, this place’s pints can one day be had at either the indoor bar or the beer garden.

Palm City Brewing (Fort Myers): On the festival circuit for years, the taproom has taken a while to open. But it’s definitely on the docket, with a projected spring launch.

WINE SHOPS AND STORAGE:

Natural Wines (Naples): This shop is a passion project of owner Peter Rizzo; all bottles contain no chemical additives, and the majority of his hand-selected producers focus on organic and biodynamic growing techniques.

The Wine Store and Naples Wine Storage (Naples): These two separate businesses are being launched by Bruce Nichols, a concierge wine retailer and honorary trustee of the Naples Winter Wine Festival. Expect haute cult labels for sale and the option of Nichols storing, organizing and insuring your personal collection.

RESTAURANTS AND LOUNGES WITH PREMIUM BEVERAGE PROGRAMS:

Slate’s Sidedoor, a jazz lounge built into a New Orleans-themed restaurant in Cape Coral, kicked off the excitement last fall. 10 Twenty Five, also in Cape Coral, bills itself as a gastropub. Along the same lines, about to debut in Naples is Timeless – an MHK Eatery, which is aiming to provide thoughtful wine and beer selections and fill the void left by the closure of Avenue Wine Café. Speaking of wine, the owners of Naples Wine Collection are opening The Cave, a bistro resembling a vineyard’s cellar, in North Naples. Last but not least, The Bevy, off of Third Street South in Naples, and Mix Rocktails and Tapas Bar, in Cape Coral, both tout full bar programs centered on craft libations.

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