Florida Keys Micro-Breweries
Micro-breweries have been growing in popularity and the industry continues to expand across the country. The Florida Keys are no exception. Here are four Keys breweries we have come across that we have enjoyed. We think those with a taste for a cold frosty brew will appreciate these fine unique establishments.
First Flight Island Restaurant and Brewery
The original owner of First Flight was actress Kelly McGillis, who opened Kelly’s Caribbean Bar Grill and Brewery. The restaurant has since changed hands and was renamed. Located in Key West, it is the southernmost brewery in the continental U.S. (although only by a few city blocks). This impressive historic location was once the birthplace of Pan American World Airways. Pan-Am’s first tickets were sold out of this building in 1927. Try and visit for their Sunday brunch, where a server will be dressed in a throwback Pan Am uniform and offers Bloody Marys and Mimosas from an old-fashioned airline-style drink cart. Unlike some other micro-breweries First Flight only brews three beers onsite: an Amber Ale called Havana Red, a Pale Ale titled Maverik IPA, and a Citrus Wheat named Main Squeeze. The bar is named the Crash Bar, for the Sikorsky seaplane ‘crashing’ through the ceiling.
Florida Keys Brewing Company
The Florida Keys Brewing Company (FKBC) is located in Islamorada in the heart of the Islamorada Arts District. It has the distinction of being the Upper Keys first microbrewery. The best place in Islamorada to enjoy a cold FKBC brew is in their beer garden, which is attached to the tasting room. The beer garden is a lush space with a friendly family atmosphere where you can try a wide variety of games. FKBC brews over 35 different beers, and though not all are available year-round, there are still plenty of Hoppy, Weisse Sours, lighter and seasonal beers to choose from. The brewery has developed a close relationship with the locals in the area, providing a true island feel. Live music is performed two or three days a week.
Islamorada Brewery and Distillery
If you enjoy visiting a good brewery and enjoy a distillery as well, then the Islamorada is the place for you. Islamorada is the only brewery AND distillery in the Florida Keys. It was in their laid-back, famous neon yellow taproom that Islamorada Beer was founded. The brewery opened in October of 2014 and the distillery followed in December for 2017. Islamorada offers a plethora of beers brewed here that are offered on a rotating basis. The selections run from hoppy IPAs to, Saisons, stouts, ales, and lagers. Add to that their unique, island spirits distilled on-site, including rums, gin, and vodka that are served up in handcrafted cocktails. Inside at the taproom or outside at the Beer Garden, Islamorada has something for everyone. Especially if you like Neon Yellow!
They say the three most important things in real estate are, location, location, location. The Waterfront Brewery in Key West offers a perfect location for a brewery. Located in a large building overlooking the Key West Historic Seaport, this brewery presents terrific views of a variety of sea-worthy crafts, beautiful turquoise water, and the signature blue sky. Offering 10 beers with more varieties on the way, there are plenty of options from which to select. (Note: Their IPAs have received especially good ratings). But although ‘brewery’ is in the name, Waterfront also has a great selection of cocktails and wines, and an extensive menu. So come for the beer, and stay for the view, or come for the view and stay for the beer, either way, Waterfront provides both.