Taking an Uber in a town you’re not familiar with, at a location you’ve never been, can be a troubling experience. It’s how we found ourselves around the block from our hotel room watching our driver blow right by our hotel. We spent the next five minutes discussing how Jill’s Uber rating was going to go down before we finally got his attention! A short time later, we were pulling into the final destination of our trip, the nearby Coppertail Brewing Co.
Once we drove into the parking lot I realized we couldn’t have chosen three different breweries to visit on our last day if we had tried. Calusa was the family friendly brewery, Big Top the old school dive, and Coppertail a hipster haven. We were met with a blast of hip hop music after entering the taproom and, after our eyes adjusted to the dim light, we got in line at the bar to order some beer.
I had plenty of time to look around while we waited. The tap list was presented on a chalkboard behind the bar, with a colorful hand drawn mural above it. You could see their brewing equipment through a tall window behind the bar. The decor was your classic mix between wood and metal, with a concrete floor and cinder block walls. Every where I looked there were murals, framed art, and eccentric decor. There was even a church confessional located around the corner from the bar! It was also immediately clear that there wasn’t any room to sit on the main floor, but we did see a sign stating that the second floor was open. With beers in hand we took to the elevator. That’s a first!
Upstairs was much more open than the floor below. We grabbed a hightop table around the corner from the elevator. I would learn later that this area is usually reserved for private events, but is sometimes open for when they need the space. There is also a second floor porch that is above the patio below. Probably the coolest feature was the indoor balcony overlooking their brewery floor. We left our drinks at the table and closed the door behind us. This shut out the loud music from the taproom and let us take in their impressive operation below! You’ve got a real birds eye view of their operation and I wish there was some real seating in this area that we could’ve enjoyed.
Over the course of our visit I tried four different beers: Slam Piece Florida Weisse, Pistachio Super Void Stout, Tiny Golem Session IPA, and Freitag Altbier. The most unique was easily the Pistachio Super Void. It was barrel aged and came in at 12.0% ABV. It’s called a Tropical Stout and was aged with pistachios and vanilla. Very interesting flavor, but one you’d need all day to sip on! My favorite beer was the Freitag. A very German style beer, with a great maltiness and full body. Nothing particularly special, but it was enough to remind me of Germany, and it was a great way to round out my day that was filled with various crazy tasting beers.
I’m getting old; it’s a fact of life. I mention this because I couldn’t get over how LOUD it was in Coppertail’s taproom. It doesn’t help that it was a Saturday night in one of the trendier areas of Tampa, but it just gets in the way for me. I’d rather enjoy a quiet conversation than leave a building with my ears ringing. It’s a shame too because the beers were pretty good and the taproom had a really cool vibe. If I were to do it all over again, I would probably try to visit during the day when things were probably a bit mellower. They do have a truly unique taproom though, with a very interesting muted illustrative style to their murals and branding that really give the place an almost mysterious feel. It’s worth dropping in, but be sure that your timing aligns with your expectations.