In celebration of Mother’s Day, J.’s family wanted to head down to Tampa Bay Brewing Company in Ybor City, and we were happy to tag along! They recently opened a new location in Westchase, but you can’t beat the original. This place is unique because many menu items are beer-infused, featuring the signature Tampa Bay Brewing Company beers to create award-winning food, and create great pairings.
The interior of the restaurant is kind of dark and moody, with a large dark wood bar across one side. Very casual and comfortable. Their brewing area is right there in the back (ask for a tour!) They also have an open patio out front.
J. and I both ordered the Red Eye Amber Ale. It was a dark amber color with a nice white head. The smell is malty with a hint of sweetness (like a caramel). It tastes bready, but not overly strong and finishes bitter and hoppy. The aftertaste is a bit like drinking black coffee, which is perhaps where the name comes from. I’m unsure if I could drink more than one at a time, but it is a good beer.
For lunch, I got their buffalo chicken sandwich (asked for it grilled) and beer cheese soup. The chicken was char-grilled that complimented the buffalo sauce nicely. Their sauce is made with cider and not overly spicy (which I appreciate!) but still flavorful. Their beer cheese soup is my absolute favorite. Made with the True Blonde Ale, it is smooth and creamy, with a bit of kick from the pickled jalapeno it’s topped with. I don’t come to TBBC without getting this soup.
J. got the lunch portion of their Sheperd’s Pie. Chopped sirloin, peas, carrots, and onions and cooked down together in a stout gravy and topped with white cheddar mashed potatoes. The stout gravy added an element to meal unlike anything we’d ever had before and enhanced the profile of the meat. The sweetness of the vegetables paired with the tenderness of the meat, creaminess of the potatoes and savoriness of the gravy – every bite was heaven.
Whether for the beer, or food, or both, I highly recommend checking out Tampa Bay Brewing Company!
Until next time!