By SUZETTE PORTER, Tampa Bay Newspapers

Microbreweries making a difference in areas throughout county

As the popularity of beer produced by smaller breweries continues to grow, local communities are benefiting in a number of ways. Pinellas County is no exception.

Florida had 195 craft breweries and was ranked 10th in the nation at the end of 2016, according to the Brewer’s Association. As of 2015, about one-third of the state’s microbreweries were in Tampa Bay and about 20 percent of those were in Pinellas County, according to statistics compiled by Forward Pinellas.

In 2017, 86 of these small-production breweries were open in the Tampa Bay region with more than 30 doing business in Pinellas, according to Dan Bjerk, senior international trade specialist for the U.S. Department of Commerce, who is working on a new project to help breweries expand their market.

Read More