If you crave the pungent aroma of fruity wine, if you know laughter is imminent with a cold glass in your hand and if you can’t resist the taste of a crisp craft beer hitting your palate, Greater Gainesville is the place for you. With four local breweries and two wineries, you are sure to find your next favorite drink.
At Swamp Head Brewery, the team members pride themselves on incorporating natural Florida flavors into their beers. Combining local ingredients with skillful brewing processes, Swamp Head has been serving up an array of seasonal and year-round favorites since 2008. You can enjoy the craft beers at the brewery’s newly opened tasting room, The Wetlands. Natural light seeps into the establishment through a window-lined wall. Guests can enjoy their beer of choice outdoors in the patio area or inside while resting their elbows on a table made of fine Florida wood. On select days, you can join a Swamp Head tour to get a glimpse of the brewing room and learn about beer making.
Taking inspiration from Greater Gainesville’s many freshwater springs, First Magnitude Brewing Company was named after the largest and most powerful type of spring. Working with only four ingredients — water, malt, hops and yeast — is more of a privilege than a challenge for the First Magnitude Brewing team. The company’s innovative beers are available at The Source, the on-premise tasting room. With 18 taps and a friendly atmosphere, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a refreshing pint with friends and family.
In the midst of downtown Gainesville lies a nanobrewery producing award-winning craft beers. Alligator Brewing may be small, but the beers take on big flavor. By blending new and old-world methods of brewing, the Alligator Brewing team creates bold, unique tasting beers and is often able to be more adventurous and risky with beer styles because of its small operation. The company is currently housed in Tall Paul’s Brewpub, which was a horse stable for the Gainesville Fire Department in the 1880s. While the building has since been significantly renovated, the structure’s character is still reminiscent of its early days.
Located in downtown Gainesville, Fish Hawk Spirits is a distillery tasting room which offers patrons a unique experience. Owned by David Molyneaux, Fish Hawk Spirits sells a variety of spirits and allows customers to sample bottles before purchasing them.
Blackadder Brewing Company is owned by a Gainesville couple and brews Belgian-inspired beers. The microbrewery and bar location at 618 NW 60th St. opened at the end of 2016.
If you prefer a glass of wine, head over to the Island Grove Wine Company, which specializes in fine blueberry wines and also produces a variety of fruit wines like Southern Strawberry, Bold Blackberry and Crisp Green Apple. Sourcing Grade-A quality blueberries from Island Grove Ag Products, the company makes its blueberry wines from 100 percent blueberries.
At Bluefield Estate Winery, you will find muscadine grape wines in addition to blueberry and other fruit wines. The tasting room is a great place to relax, gaze out at the vineyard and sip the latest sweet products.
There is always something brewing, fermenting or aging in Greater Gainesville; come check it out!