Until recently, Naples, Florida, was famous mainly for its sugar-sand beaches, ritzy stores, and world-class golf courses. But with the opening of several microbreweries, it's becoming a destination for its craft beer scene, too.
In just the past five years, the southwest Florida town has seen the arrival of Naples Beach Brewery, Riptide Brewing Company, and Bone Hook Brewing Company. Though they're great spots for tourists seeking a unique experience, the breweries have also become gathering places for locals, signaling the dawn of a youth movement in Naples.
Below, more on the area's best breweries and what to drink at each one.
Naples Beach Brewery
Opened in 2012, Naples Beach Brewery was the first of its kind in southwest Florida. After moving to Naples to work as a golf course superintendent, founder Will Lawson realized the town was missing the culture and connectivity that a local brewery provides. Eventually, he went back to school to become a professional brewer, and opened Naples Beach Brewery in a county industrial park. Today, he takes pride in making the freshest beers from the highest-quality ingredients, handcrafting each one in a 15-barrel, three-vessel steam-heated brewhouse. Of the more than 25 beers typically on tap at Naples Beach, guests should be sure to sample the Keewaydin Crusher light ale and the Backcountry American brown porter.
Riptide Brewing Company
Riptide owners Scott Alexander, Bob Menzies, and Norm Scherner got their start brewing 10- to 20-gallon batches of beer in their garages. When their wives forced them out, they set up shop in an old office warehouse in North Naples, a spot that became a secret hangout for friends. After they outgrew even that space, they decided to go public, opening Riptide in 2015.
At the downtown brewery, custom brewhouse and fermentation tanks sit in the middle of the taproom, offering guests a window into the process. There's also a couch area with Parcheesi and cribbage, as well as several big TV screens, perfect for watching the game while enjoying an Undertow IPA. In addition to the 10 to 12 house beers on tap, Riptide features guest taps from other local breweries, like Momentum and Swamped, plus a rotating roster of food trucks that set up shop in the backyard beer garden at night.
Bone Hook Brewing Company
The newest addition to Naples's brewery scene, Bone Hook opened in 2016, bringing with it a highly scientific brewing process. Founded by three engineers, the brewery employs sophisticated analytical methods that are atypical for an operation of its size. In fact, Bone Hook is the only brewery in southwest Florida with an in-house spectrophotometer to measure beer bitterness. An on-site lab further enables the staff to perfect each style, resulting in expertly crafted beers like the Double Point double IPA, Radar Love golden ale, and Sandbar Surfer lager. To pair with their brews, guests can bring in food from next-door restaurants like BurgerFi, McAlister's Deli, and Public House.