A Guide to Local Breweries in Sarasota, Florida

Mad Crow Brewery and Grill

Away from the hustle of Sarasota’s Main Street, The Mad Crow offers a beer drinkers’ haven, along with a menu to curb anyone’s foodie requirements.

Calling his brewery his “church”, Darren Fehring, bought the dilapidated building just over a year ago and has created his vision into a must try part of Sarasota’s nightlife.

Now with its exposed brick walls and copper-covered tables and bars, he delights in offering the county a selection of beers, including, Frankenstein Oktoberfest, E.S.B. Banshee, Torpedo Ale, and the suitably potent Redemption.

The New England native, who moved to Florida as he readily admits because he, ‘never wants to see a snowflake again,” is a brewer whose talents know no bounds.

“The three things that make a good brew pub is the food, the service, the staff. The beer comes last, and yet first. I want to deliver the best service and the best beer,” he said.

“However, Florida is the last bastion of bad beer. I accepted the personal challenge to come here and in a small or big way change that domestic American beer attitude. It was a personal challenge.

“I’m a brewer and I’ve been doing this job for 20 years. A chill goes down my cheek when I taste a perfectly brewed beer.”

And the reason Fehring decided to brew beer? “I was a molecular cellular developmental biology major in the late Eighties. What else was I going to do? Look down a microscope or brew beers. Pretty simple choice, right?”

1525 Fourth Street, Sarasota, Florida 34236


Sarasota Brewing Company

With a tavern atmosphere, the Sarasota Brewing Company offers a selection of beers that provides a distraction to the ubiquitous sports channels that can hamper brew man Vince Pelosi’s efforts.

“I’ve been at the pub for 12 years,” he said. “I have a job that really doesn’t get boring.”

He’s okay with that, though. He knows his many admirers can tune out the NFL or MLB behemoths, and simply luxuriate with a fine pint from the 200 gallons of a selection of beer that can include Sarasota Gold (a light golden beer using English pale barely malt and Czech Saaz hops), Summer Weisse (for all you wheat beers lovers out there) an entrancing, chocolate encrusted Midnight Pass Porter, not to mention the Skyway Fog Hefeweizen (just think of a hefty German punch with a 5.5% wunderkind knockout).

“People want to drink and experiment with different tastes. But I’ve only got five tanks to brew beer,” he said. “I like to keep everyone happy, but I don’t have the space. It’s difficult.”

Originally from upstate New York, the biology major is simply excited by what he feels is a simple talent that makes many people happy.

“What’s exciting,” he says, “is seeing people come to the pub and wanting to taste a new beer.

“People want to be exposed to my line of beers. I don’t want to be a teacher, but I like to talk to the people who come into the pub.

Is there a secret to brewing beers?

“Of course not,” he continued. “Many people brew beers at home. But brewing is an art. When the taste is right, then that’s the way it’s supposed to be.”

Having brewed for over two decades, Pelosi admits to his own particular favorite taste.

My favorite is a hoppy, light ale. It has to have a pungent, citrus body. When you’ve had two pints, the night is done. It’s time to get into a taxi and go home satisfied.

6607 Gateway Avenue, Sarasota, Florida, 34231.

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