TAMPA, FL — Southern Brewing & Winemaking (Southern) is the only brewery in the Tampa Bay area that offers both craft beers and craft ciders and meads made on site.
Southern is unique because it holds licenses for both brewing and winemaking, which allows the company more room for creativity and experimentation.
Although Southern has been making ciders and meads onsite for almost a year, the company recently increased its production in order to include a full-time line-up of ciders and meads on tap. So far, Southern has produced over a dozen different styles of ciders and meads, and has around three ciders or meads on tap at all times.
One important aspect of offering ciders and meads in the taproom alongside beer is that it allows customers with a gluten intolerance to join and enjoy the craft movement. Most of the ciders and meads brewed at Southern are gluten-free, and all meads are made with local honey, sourced from farms in the Tampa area.
“We’ve all seen the explosion in craft beer over the last few years, but I think the next ‘big thing’ for craft drinkers will be meads and ciders,” stated Brian Wing, Cider and Mead Maker for Southern.
The company is already taking steps to expand its cider and mead offerings even further so that the taproom appeals equally to beer drinkers, cider drinkers, and wine drinkers.
“Our goal is to bring the three groups together and demolish the social lines between them,” stated Marketing Manager Cindy Lyons. “The idea is to create a seamless, cohesive atmosphere that encourages drinkers of all backgrounds to venture into new styles and cross genres.”
Wing uses a variety of interesting techniques that set the ciders and meads apart from most that are currently available in the United States.
“There aren’t a lot of meads available commercially here in Florida, and those that are can be high in alcohol and sweetness,” stated Wing. “I really enjoy making refreshing, light examples of the style…perfect for Florida, and a real change from what’s out there already.”
This year, Southern won a gold medal for its cider at the Best Florida Brewer’s Championship. It was the first cider to ever medal in the pro division at BFBC.
About Southern Brewing & Winemaking
Southern Brewing & Winemaking is the largest homebrew and winemaking supply shop in the Tampa Bay area. The company brews in the same building as the retail shop and has 22 ciders, meads, and beers on tap.
Southern Brewing & Winemaking brings in weekly food trucks and musicians, offers monthly classes on home brewing, and hosts several family and pet friendly events throughout the year in its newly redesigned biergarten.