Tampa Bay beer bars: The Brew Garden

(Last Updated On: 08/21/2011)

In just a few short years the Tampa Bay area has gone from just a couple of beers bars to well over a dozen. Each one is distinctive and has it’s own “vibe” along with its unique cast of characters. Exploring new brew haunts first-hand is part of the fun for aspiring beer geeks but it is nice to get a feel for these suds-centric cantinas before trekking out. Myself and my merry band of sud-swilling cohorts will selflessly scout out Tampa Bay area beer bars, big and small, over the coming months and promptly report our findings.

Beer Bar: The Brew Garden (website)

Location: 904 North McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater FL (map)

Atmosphere: Comfortable, clean, and European, featuring wall murals and a cool, large, covered patio.

Beers on Tap: 32

Bottle Selection: A fantastic selection of beers are available by the bottle, including an expansive array of Belgians. (bottle selection)

Food: Limited overall but sandwiches served by day and small appetizer plates by night. House-made hummus is a local favorite. (menu)

Verdict: Not your typical beer bar but definitely one to check out, especially for Belgian brew enthusiasts.

The first thing we noticed about the Brew Garden was how open and warm it is — earth tones and hardwood flooring catch the eye initially. Many beer bars feel crammed, some even claustrophobic, but this one is pleasantly spacious. A wall mural of a French waterfront village is to the right as you walk in and underneath is an attractive banquette. The ambiance is almost wine bar, perhaps hybrid beer-wine bar, but either way it works well.

We sat at an interesting wooden, vintage game table complete with a checker board top and pieces below. The patio outside looked inviting with retro inspired tables and rope lighting. The expansive bar housed 32 taps and numerous bottles, many were Belgians. The friendly, knowledgeable bartender offered samples of beers we inquired about. The best beer we ordered was Blue Point Brewery’s Toxic Sludge, a delicious black IPA with juniper-tasting hop notes on the finish. The proceeds also go to a great cause.

The Brew Garden feels like a tavern that would appeal to a wider audience than the standard beer bar. A place where beer geeks and average Joe’s or Joe-ette’s can commingle over online trivia or bad karaoke (on Wednesday evenings) while sipping savory suds. We’ll be back soon.

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1 comment to Tampa Bay beer bars: The Brew Garden

  • Lisa C

    Love the Brew Garden! Good beer, trivia, & an old-timey jukebox – what more could you want?!

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