Florida’s Tampa Bay area is having their own microbrewery explosion. It’s Portland, circa 2011.
I made my first visit to Tampa in 2011. With a free Sunday afternoon, I suggested we go visit a local brewery. We found two options within Tampa city limits – Cigar City Brewing and Tampa Bay Brewing (looking back now, Cold Storage Brewing had quietly opened a year earlier as well). Three year later, the Tampa Bay area has 28 breweries. 28!
Now, before the Floridians get on their geography high horses, I want to clarify that I’m including as far south as Sarasota and as far north as Odessa. That’s 65 miles from north to south and about 40 miles east west. Compare that to the Portland area, where the bulk of breweries are in a 10 x 10 mile radius. For those about to do the math, most of the Portland area’s breweries can be found in 100 square miles vs Tampa Bay’s 2,600 square miles. (More population data below if you want to read rambly style).
I was curious to take a look at how the breweries opened over time. After not finding any data all in one spot, I created a spreadsheet and then designed the following chart:
Over the last two years, Tampa’s brewery count has grown by over 50%. And since 2014 has just started, I’m guessing the brewery opening rate won’t peak until 2014 or 2015 (Comparatively, it looks like Portland peaked in 2012, but 2014 might be another record year). Getting back to the beer numbers: Tampa Bay has roughly one brewery for every 100,000 people vs the Portland metro area’s one brewery for every 30,000. If you’re talking purely city limits, Portland has one brewery for every 11,000 people.
So when you look at it from that perspective, the Tampa Bay area, as a whole, has room for 66 more breweries before it would be pegged evenly with the Portland metro area for brewery to population density. St Petersburg, Florida is probably the best candidate for matching Portland some day. Talking purely city limits breweries to population numbers, their five current breweries puts them at a 1:49,000 ratio). That’s only 17 more breweries to go, which is pretty likely since the current ones all opened since 2013!
I had the privilege of visiting eight of the new breweries on my last visit, but here’s the full list.
St Petersburg Area:
including Gulfport, Treasure Island, and Seminole
including Odessa, Plant City, and TPA
including Largo, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, and Tarpon Springs
And instead of including a bunch of info on each which will likely be out of date next week, here’s my epic Foursquare list of all 28 Tampa Bay area breweries. And a map below:
Just to compare the Portland area and Tampa area a bit more… the Tampa Bay metro area has more people than the Portland metro area (on the US list of metro areas, Tampa metro is #18 and Portland metro is #24). However, when it gets down to within city limits, Portland has a higher population than Tampa (584,000 vs 348,000). While part of this can be attributed to Portland’s urban growth boundary that limits sprawl, I’d say the fact that Tampa is 30% water and Portland is only 8% water has a pretty big impact on population density stats as well. If you exclude the water from population density, Portland has about 4,400 people per square mile of land, while Tampa has 3,100. The main difference is probably that while the Portland metro area includes places like Vancouver, WA, Gresham, and all the way to Beaverton, we’re mainly just a bunch of land when you look at it at such a zoomed out level. Compared to Tampa, who’s neighbors are all pretty big cities on their own.
Portland city limits: 133 square miles (145), 583,776 pop (4,389 people per sq mi on land) Portland is 8% water
Tampa city limits: 112 square miles (170 sq), 347,645 pop (3,103 people per sq mi) Tampa is 30% water
Compared to San Francisco which is 47 square miles of land and 80% water.
Tampa city limits is a larger area than Portland city limits, but it’s 30% water (vs Portland’s 8% water).
Portland metro area (#24 in US) has 2.29 million people in 6,684 sq mi (that’s 333 people / square mile)
Tampa metro area: (#18 in US) has 2.84 million people in 2,554 sq mi (that’s 1112 people / square mile)
And if I listed anything incorrectly, let me know!