The Florida Keys have great fishing, quirky bars and a laid-back vibe that’s completely infectious. In recent years, they’re also home to top notch local breweries. Why not map out a beer crawl on your next trip down the Keys? Sample a flight or a pint at each stop along the way—just make sure you have a designated driver. You’ll even find a couple of distilleries once you’re in Key West where you can tipple locally produced rum, whiskey and vodka—all with a key lime twist.
Stop One: Islamorada Beer Company
Open since October 2014, Islamorada Beer Company is the quintessential brewery and tasting room of the Keys and features a number of refreshing brews with quirky names like Channel Marker, No Tan Lines and their most popular brew: Sandbar Sunday. After you’ve sampled a beer flight, check out their game room complete with foosball table and Cards Against Humanity.
82229 Overseas Highway at MM 82.9, Islamorada; 305-440-2162
Stop Two: Florida Keys Brewing Company
Your second stop is just a hop, skip, and jump away to the Florida Keys Brewing Company. Slightly off the beaten path, this microbrewery is a local favorite with lots of charm. You’ll find exactly what you’re looking for here, whether it be in the form of a Honey Bottomed Blonde ale, a Smugglers Moon Oatmeal Stout or their refreshing FlaKeys Belgian-style, with hints of key lime. Stop in for beer and stay for the entertainment: yoga, art classes, ladies nights, and karaoke are just some of the events on the FKBC calendar.
200 Morada Way at MM 81.6, Islamorada; 305-916-5206
Stop Three: The Waterfront Brewery
Once you’ve arrived in Key West, you’ll probably be craving something substantial and The Waterfront Brewery (pictured at top) is just the place to fill up on good grub and great beer. Start off with the pretzel sticks and beer cheese with a flight to figure out the best brew for you. Enjoy the slightly caramelly Pallina, an English dark mild that’ll give you time to slow down at just 3.8% ABV while you scarf down a fresh mahi sandwich. If you’re feeling much more adventurous, order an extra-hoppy Truman Double IPA that, at 9.5% ABV, will definitely leave you floored.
201 William Street, Key West; 305-440-2270
Stop Four: Key West First Legal Rum Distillery
The Key West First Legal Rum Distillery was once the site of both the pre-Prohibition-era Jack’s Saloon and a Coca-Cola bottling factory. These days, it’s home to a distillery that produces more than a dozen varieties of rum, including Duval Street Spiced Rum and Key West Devil’s Rum. They’ve also got a Chef’s Rum Line with tropical-sounding flavors like Mojito Mint, Green Coconut, and Real Key Lime. You can tour the distillery, sample the spirits and then walk a few blocks down to the festivities at Mallory Square for the sunset.
105 Simonton Street, Key West; 305-294-1441
Stop Five: Key West Distilling
Open since 2013, Key West Distilling produces a variety of rums, as well as a rum barrel-aged whiskey and a sugar-distilled vodka. Stop into tour the facility and try samples of Rumbunctious (silver, gold, and spiced rum) or their latest addition, Horseradish Vodka, Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
524 Southard Street, Key West; 305-295-3400
Stop Six: Bone Island Brewing
At Bone Island Brewing, you’ll find handcrafted brews that are malty and sweet, and anything but bitter. This nanobrewery located inside Tallmadge’s Restaurant Store is a bit hard to find, but well worth the visit. Among their selections are the light and refreshing Hefe El Jefe, the chocolaty Black Hole Oatmeal Stout, and the Benediction–a Belgian triple that packs a punch. And if you’re feeling peckish, hearty sandwiches and snacks are available at the adjacent Cole’s Peace Artisan Bakery loved by locals.
1111 Eaton Street, Key West; 305-294-7994