Just the way its Paddlepuss Blonde Ale is its entry-level brew, Naples’ new RipTide Brewing Company (239-228-6533, riptidebrewingcompany.com) is an entry-level brewery. While places that craft suds on-premises often have an overgrown frat-house feel (plastic chairs and cups to match), RipTide passes with flying colors in the design department. The brewing equipment has been worked into the overall design, and with a thick slab of raintree wood capping the sleek bar, the space feels manly enough for someone who wants to spend an afternoon drinking beer. The cleverest touch for the modern gentleman (and woman)? Every other seat has a power outlet, USB charging station and coat hooks.
Also smart is the partnership forged with Bill Salley of Bill’s Café (239-263-2600) on the same block. He’s a chef who excels in the art of making truly tasty pub grub—like grouper meuniere, fried crispy with almonds in the batter. At RipTide’s request, Salley is now open for dinner when RipTide is, and a menu created specifically for the taproom is at the bar for guests to order the best BLT in town (a full half-pound of bacon meets its match with Salley’s seasoned mayo)—and have it delivered to them.