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Local Brews

When you’re on a boat, enjoying the sunshine and clear blue waters, just about any beer is good beer – as long as it's cold. But when you have the chance to wet your whistle with a tall glass of handcrafted beer straight from a brewery's tap room, you might find yourself jumping ship and heading straight to the bar stool. Whether you are in the mood for a light-bodied Belgian Blonde, a hoppy IPA or a refreshing cider, Pensacola has a variety of local brewery destinations that vacationers with a refined beer palate will fully appreciate. Cheers!

Pensacola Bay Brewery

The first stop for any Panhandle visitor in search of locally brewed craft beer has got to be the Pensacola Bay Brewery. The charming red-brick building is right across the street from the Pensacola Bay in the Historic Seville District and is a magnet for those seeking a more sophisticated night on the town. One popular brew is the Riptide Amber, which – along with the Sawgrass WheatLi’l Napoleon IPA and Lighthouse Porter – is available in 22-oz. bottles and distributed locally and regionally. If you’re lucky enough to be there on a special cask night, you may get to sample a one-night-only flavor.

Gulf Coast Brewery

Pensacola's newest microbrewery, Gulf Coast Brewery, brings some new tastes to the Pensacola craft beer scene since its grand opening in early 2016. Located inside a large warehouse with high ceilings and polished finishes, GCB has ample space for bigger groups. The tap room is next to the main bar area so you can freely walk through as you sip your beer. Ping pong tables, cornhole and other lively game stations are set up throughout, not to mention a cigar humidor and wine lounge, to make sure everybody’s happy.

McGuire’s Irish Pub

Famous for its authentic Irish atmosphere, McGuire's Irish Pub makes its home in Pensacola's original 1927 firehouse. McGuire’s produces original ales, porters and stouts, all brewed on-site in a traditional oak and copper brewery. Seasonal brews include the Belgian Ale, Scotch Ale, Wild Irish Raspberry Wheat, India Pale Ale, Hefeweizen and Christmas Ale. Tour the brewery, then cruise through the themed restaurant rooms, home to nearly $1 million in one-dollar bills posted on the walls and ceilings.

World of Beer

A successful franchise launched in Tampa, World of Beer has exploded to 75 locations in 20 states – with plans for a new location in China. Yes, it’s a chain, but this place takes beer seriously. And it just so happens that one of the co-owners is originally from Pensacola, too. With dozens of draft beers on tap, and hundreds of bottled beers, you’ll find obscure gems, but no big-brand domestics. Situated in the heart of downtown Pensacola on Palafox Street, the vibe is modern and open, with expansive seating indoors and out, plus a band stage. Ask about the loyalty program, which lets you discover beers and earn points through the World of Beer app.

Hopjacks Pizza Kitchen & Taproom

Also on Palafox Street – and bottle cap’s throw away from World of Beer – is the popular Hopjacks Pizza Kitchen & Taproom. “Peace, Love, Beer and Cheese” is their motto, and with over 150-plus beers, a fully stocked bar, and free live music on the weekends, it’s no surprise that Draft Magazine named this hoppin' joint one of America's "top beer bars." Their brews change weekly, and Hopjacks keeps the selection fresh by consistently bringing in new offerings from all over the world. When a perfect brew is paired with one of their killer pizzas, all is right with the world.

The Tin Cow

Be prepared to pop a top and drink from aluminum at The Tin Cow, another Palafox Street pub. Instead of brewing its own beer, The Tin Cow serves 100-plus craft beers in a can along with a handful of local (and national) beers on tap. Non-beer drinkers in your party can partake in cocktails, wine and spiked milkshakes. To wit: the Pecan Pie Shake, a blend of Crown Royal Maple, nutmeg, caramel syrup, brown sugar, graham cracker crust and a pecan garnish. And the burger array is as impressive as the beverage offerings. Choose from more than 55 toppings, 12 bun styles, 29 sauces and nine proteins (including lamb and venison) and build your dream burger.

Goat Lips Chew & Brewhouse

When you see a large-lipped goat smiling at you, pint of beer in one hoof and a muffuletta in the other, can you do anything other than smile back? Goat Lips Chew & Brewhouse’s intriguing name was born from a saying about everything coming together “like goat lips.” Located in an old cinder-block building near The University of West Florida, this micro pub and restaurant is home to The Redneck Riveria Brewing Project, an in-house operation that brews flavorful concoctions served only at Goat Lips. Local favorites include the Argonaut Amber, #58 Red Ale and Sweet Potato Ale. If you're hungry, Goat Lips' menu features Southern comforts like meatloaf, pot roast and shrimp creole. Regulars always know to check the back deck for weekly live music, trivia nights and cornhole tournaments.

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