The first few days of our vacation on Anna Maria Island were sun filled and hot. Temperatures peaked out in the mid 80s. I can only get so much sun before I need to retreat into the shade. On another sunny Monday afternoon I was looking for one place in particular that might help with the heat. The perfect shade would come in the form of the large air conditioned taproom of the Good Liquid Brewing Co.
Upon entry, we were instantly greeted by both a wash of blue as well as their friendly bartender. He beckoned us to approach and handed us a pair of paper menus claiming that they were more up to date with their special releases than the chalkboard next to the front door. I inquired whether they offered flights and he quickly answered that you could order as many tasters as you’d like and they would be delivered in a matching flight board. My eyes, always bigger than my stomach, determined that the correct number would be six. My brother in-law went with four, and my mother in-law five.
With a flight board in hand I nestled into a corner table and took my usual selection of photos. The taproom itself was much bigger than I had expected, purely based on the exterior. Later I would remark that it was hard to believe we were that we were in a strip mall. They have a long bar on one wall and a sea of tables make up the bulk of their seating. Sea is a particularly apt word because each seat was painted in a bright ocean blue and a washed out blue bench seat wrapped around the perimeter of the taproom. Even the ducts were wrapped in blue! There are also rustic wood paneled walls offsetting the industrial concrete floor and dark black exposed ceiling. Behind the bar were row after row of growlers and glassware. Their logo continues the water theme and cleverly mixes it with a craft beer staple, the hop cone. The cone is at the crest of a wave that is in the shape of a large ‘G.’ I liked it so much I grabbed their last shirt in my size to take home.
Another shocking thing of note was the quantity of the beer they had available on tap. With 21 beers this is one of the largest offerings I’ve experienced. Between their Florida Ale, Oat Brown Ale, Blonde Milk Stout, Starfruit Passionfruit Berliner Weisse, Session IPA, and Lil’ Haze IP’aze I flagged three as my favorites. The Oat Brown Ale was intriguingly black for being a brown and was full of toasted oat flavors and aroma. Their Session IPA was as advertised, perfect for sessionable drinking, clean and crisp with a light bitterness and dry finish. The most interesting of the bunch was the Starfruit Passionfruit Berliner Weisse. Maybe they had too much blue in the taproom because this one turned out pink! It smelled absolutely fantastic, with a lovely passionfruit aroma and flavor. It reminded me of a slightly tart juice. If served to someone without any knowledge I don’t think they’d flag it as a beer.
We didn’t have a lot of time to get the full experience of the taproom. For starters, it doesn’t seem the Bradenton locals are rushing in on an early Monday afternoon. We spent a majority of our time with only a couple of people at the bar. However, we arrived right as they were opening and while we were leaving there were some groups streaming in. My brother in-law wanted to ensure I made mention of their sturdy tables. It seems like a funny comment but there are many taprooms that have maddeningly uneven tables! I really loved their attention to detail, each seat was aligned with every table in a distinct pattern. While this could just be a coincidence usually this kind of thing transfers to the back of the house and could reflect on overall quality.
We had a very enjoyable time and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for some solid craft beer. It’s certainly a perfect spot if you’re looking to get out of the heat, and they’ve got a large patio if sun is what you’re looking for!