It was not that long ago when true beer aficionados had to travel to places like Ybor City in Tampa or even Miami or Fort Lauderdale to sample locally brewed craft beers. Now, Southwest Florida residents can visit about 20 craft brew pubs throughout Lee, Collier, Charlotte, and Hendry Counties to wet their whistle.

Craft beer breweries are smaller producers who create their custom beers in small production batches, and brew pubs are bars or restaurants that produce their brews on the premises.

These innovative businessmen and women create their brands and flavors using traditional ingredients like malted barley and hops, among others, but craft brewers add their own individual, unique flavor twists to create exciting new offerings.

Some of their beers might resemble a certain style you may be familiar with, and some are completely new takes on creative beer flavor combinations and styles.

There are about 20 craft brew pubs in operation throughout Southwest Florida, and while we don’t have the space here to cover them all, we’ll highlight some of the most popular and let you know what you can expect when you visit to taste for yourself.

Point Ybel Brewery Company

has been tantalizing the tastebuds of lager lovers since 2013, and offers several lines of IPA, (India Pale Ale), German beer and Sour Ale styles, all expertly crafted at their facility and tasting room.

The Head Brewer, also known as the “Chief of Yeast”, Jordan Weisberg, is driven by his passion for brewing and his mantra of never serving a beer he would not drink himself.

Weisberg and his crew know that the slightest little deviation in a recipe can change the beer’s flavor profile and appeal, so strict standards are used to ensure the ultimate in a top quality, palate-pleasing final product.

Point Ybel’s website lists about 28 different beer styles and flavors, like their Sanibel Snow Stout, an

Imperial Stout with flaked coconut, espresso beans, and vanilla beans, and the Tangerine Session Sour, an easy-drinking sour ale loaded with fresh tangerine. The brewery holds many fun events all week for beer lovers, and you can also buy their canned beer to take home.

Point Ybel Brewing Company
16120 San Carlos Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33908

Fort Myers Brewing Company

Another long-established local craft brewer is Fort Myers Brewing Company, voted Best Large Brewery in Florida.

Founders Rob Whyte and Jen Gratz-Whyte were longtime beer brewing connoisseurs who relocated to Southwest Florida in 2011 and discovered there were no local beer brewers, and the rest is hops history.

After investing 2 years in research and planning, Fort Myers Brewing company opened their doors with a small operation producing a few draft beers from their modest tasting room.

Today, the company operates in a 40,000-square foot building with a four-vessel, 10-barrel brew system with 90, 60 and 20- barrel fermentation tanks that produce high quality beers which are also distributed throughout a growing network of retailers.

One of their most popular beers is the O.Y.A., an aromatic double IPA with a bold, citrus hop character. Too much of this beer may just leave you “On Your Ass,” (OYA), so be cautious. Strong and delicious, OYA received a bronze medal in the Best Florida Beer competition’s largest category in 2014 for IPAs.

One of the company’s keys to success and continued growth is their commitment to the Fort Myers area and their focus on being the go-to spot for beer lovers to socialize while enjoying their favorite ale.

The brewery is constantly out and about in the community hosting special events and tastings, and their calendar is full of live music events and fun, beer-themed gatherings.

Fort Myers Brewing Company
12811 Commerce Lakes Dr. Suite 28
Fort Myers, FL 33913

Riptide Brewing Company

If you’re in Bonita Springs or Naples, you can satisfy your thirst at Riptide Brewing Company at 1 of their 2 locations.

Brewers Danielle and Oscar have built a strong, loyal following by concentrating on premium quality ingredients and authentic recipes for their offerings. Some of their more popular favorites are the Porpoise Party IPA and the Anything You Can Do, which is a double NEIPA, (New England India Pale Ale), that features an intense, tropical fruit centric, hop aroma and flavor.

Riptide produces small batches and many special releases available on draft and in cans, all carefully crafted onsite. The brewery has trivia and drag bingo nights and hosts live musicians on the weekends at both locations.

Riptide Brewing Company
987 3rd Avenue North
Naples, Florida
28120 Hunters Ridge Blvd, Unit 1
Bonita Springs, FL 34135

Scotty’s Bierwerks

Cape Coral is also an emerging beer hotspot, with 1 of the most popular being Scotty’s Bierwerks. Scotty’s is known for their German-style brews, using original recipes and strict quality protocols to adhere to the beer’s traditional origins.

All of their 15 or more beers are brewed onsite, and the brewery holds many parties and events like trivia nights and food truck rallies, live music and outdoor festivals to celebrate the locally brewed beer lifestyle.

A few of their most notable offerings include their Hazy Pale Ale, a pilsner made with German malt and Czech Saaz hops creating a crisp, refreshing taste.

The Hefeweizen beer is a light and refreshing house favorite, a German wheat bier with outstanding notes of banana and clove. Scotty’s Bierwerks also sells their beers in cans and kegs.

Scotty’s Bierwerks
901 East Industrial Circle
Cape Coral, FL 33909

Hopsized Brewing Company

One of the newer brewers on the beer block is Hopsized Brewing Company in Bonita Springs. Launched in 2021 by entrepreneurs Ana and Darlyn, (who goes by Vic), a couple who relocated from Miami and began winning several awards and accolades in the home brewing world before opening their doors.

Vic took full advantage of his background in science to continue learning and researching beer brewing, including details like water chemistry, blending, creating recipes, healthy yeast management and much more.

The couple is backed by a complete team of brewers and beer-loving staff and feature many popular styles plus a very chill atmosphere that is drawing people from throughout the region.

Their building in Bonita Springs was specifically designed and built as a brewery, so every last detail creates an efficient and inviting space, and the results are outstanding. The brewery has an eclectic list of light and dark brews, Oktoberfest flavors and even their own line of hard seltzers.

A fan favorite is Slainte, a robust Irish Ale with hints of caramel, toffee, chocolate, and a satisfying nutty finish. Their Snowbird Pilgrim is a New England Pale Ale that features orange and lemon undertones for a truly refreshing brew.

The brewery offers tours of the facility and holds many notable special events that benefit several local charitable organizations, and they also have the perfect private space available for your own special event.

Hopsized Brewing Company
9201 Cockleshell Court, Unit 13
Bonita Springs, FL 34135

Brian Dazer is a true craft brew aficionado who has been known to plan his vacation time around experiencing the newest local beer brewing spots in and around Southwest Florida. To date, he has logged over 140 breweries in his travels and has his favorites in our area.

“There are a lot of differences in local brewing places, like size, styles of beer and other factors that make each place unique,” he says. “Crazy Dingo Brewery in south Fort Myers is completely outdoors and has small animals on their property that you can interact with, and Ceremony Brewing in Bonita is one of the newest, coolest breweries I’ve ever been to, and just for the record has the nicest, cleanest restrooms in the business.”

The craft beer industry is a rapidly growing segment of the beverage business, with a global market size of $92 billion dollars and increasing every year. In Southwest Florida, beer lovers have dozens of choices from which to choose to check out the latest offerings and get together with other craft brew fans, with more on the horizon.

You’ll need to click a button claiming you are over 21-years old to visit their websites, but don’t let that stop you from checking out the newest brews in the region.