Billy's Beer Blog

What's on Tap in Tampa Bay


The craft beer scene in the Tampa Bay area evolved further over the last week, as Darwin’s on 4th in downtown SRQ debuted their craft beers. If the first brewings are any indication, then the restaurant and brewery will entice patrons with fine craft beers to pair with the outstanding Peruvian inspired cuisine. We stopped [...]

A classic West Coast DIPA comes East

I remember the first time that I had a beer from Green Flash Brewing Company. It was six years ago when I was consulting in the Baltimore-DC area, and Frisco Grill in Columbia, MD had just scored a keg of Green Flash Imperial IPA (Green Flash Brewing Co.; San Diego, CA; Imperial India Pale Ale; [...]

Decato Verdi

While Italy is widely known for its wine culture, the country has a lot to offer in the beer world as well besides Peroni and Moretti. The Italians have had a thriving craft beer industry over the last few years, and we got “A Taste of Italy” when stopping by Mr. Beery’s on Sunday. Stew [...]

This shall be our finest happy hour

Two of Florida’s premier breweries, Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing and Gainesville’s Swamp Head Brewery, collaborated recently on two barley wines. One of them, brewed on a limited run at the former, is available on tap and in bottles at their Tasting Room. Cigar City Church On A Hill (Cigar City Brewing; Tampa, FL; Barley Wine; [...]

Brutal is a zesty, well balanced IPA

We went to dinner at Darwin’s on 4th in downtown SRQ earlier this week, and I had the chance to try an interesting IPA that was one of the guest taps. Rogue Brutal IPA (Rogue Ales, Newport, OR; India Pale Ale; ABV: 5.8) is an award winning IPA from the Oregon brewery. It pours a [...]

You'll enjoy going back to Normal

We stopped by BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse in Pinellas Park on Sunday for dinner, and noticed that they had an abbey ale as the special on draft. Beer Advocate had it listed as retired, but BJ’s is brewing it again. I can definitely attest, after a couple of pints, that everything’s back to Normal! BJ’s [...]

Featured Posts


A ShamRocking St. Paddy’s Day

We all had a blast this Saturday at the Shamrock Pub’s 4th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Block Party. It was a sea of green revelers enjoying everything from Irish inspired cuisine to an amazing variety of music that featured everything from ska and hip hop to alternative rock and Irish folk. It was a great [...]


From Rush Hour To Happy Hour

It was another typical rush hour in the Tampa Bay area, when I decided to escape the “parking lot” on I-275 south and seek sanctuary five miles west of Exit 28 at Cajun Cafe on the Bayou in Pinellas Park. And in addition to enjoying a delicious oyster po’ boy and talking beer with owner [...]

Hoplanta may indeed be hoppier than a bullfrog with a stubbed toe

One Red Brick At A Time

Atlanta’s Red Brick Brewing Company is becoming one of my favorite breweries in the Southeast, and I’m pleased to see that two more of their ales are now available in the Tampa Bay area. Red Brick Hoplanta (Red Brick Brewing Co.; Atlanta, GA; India Pale Ale; ABV: 6.7), named as a word play on the [...]

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