Vacation Extras: Where’s the Brew?

By David Ball December 1, 2012

Top pubs for craft beers.

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The Cock & Bull Pub Open the fire engine-red front door of Sarasota's first craft beer bar and you may hear angels singing as you stare at seven tall glass coolers filled to the brim with beers from around the world. Bartenders will educate your palate while local bands jam in the outdoor beer garden. 40 taps, 900-plus bottles. 975 Cattlemen Road, Sarasota; (941) 363-1262.

Mr. Beery's Mr. Beery's is all about the beer, with the slogan "no crap on tap" and bartenders eager to teach the basics. Clean, relaxed atmosphere—we like the comfy couches in the lounge. If you're lucky, owner Mark Tuchman might offer up one of his 200 rare beers that aren't for sale in Florida. 24 taps, plus three specialty taps, 25 bottles. 2645 Mall Drive, Sarasota; (941) 343-2854.

Shakespeare's English Pub Shakespeare's offers a healthy selection of American craft brews and some European classics. The long bar is the centerpiece of the cozy space, but it can get crowded even in the summertime. A few booths and outside tables allow some space to relax and savor a well-poured pint. 24 taps, about 65 bottles. 3550 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota; (941) 364-5938.

Shamrock Pub Shamrock Pub is one of Sarasota's most intimate pubs. Owner Derek Anderson has done a good job turning the 1970s-era spot into a friendly neighborhood bar, while keeping the dark cypress paneling and original wood floors that give it cozy charm. 18 taps; 60-80 bottles. 2257 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota; (941) 952-1730.

World of Beer World of Beer is a clean and inviting place to sip quality domestic and import brews. Several HDTVs also make it a good place to watch a game, but it can get crowded on busy weekends. The bartenders are very knowledgeable about craft beer. 40 taps, more than 500 bottles. 8217 Tourist Center Drive, Bradenton; (941) 306-5868.

Brew Pub

Sarasota Brewing Company Sarasota's first brewery offers a good-quality selection of traditional, if not wildly unique, American and European-style beers in a comfortable and family-friendly environment. Brewmaster Vince Pelosi rotates seasonal styles throughout the year, and there are also brewery tours available. 14 taps; 15-20 bottles. 6607 Gateway Ave., Sarasota; (941) 925-2337.

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