Never mind that the quote may be apocryphal, or that the founding father, writer, publisher, polymath, inventor, and all-around legend was a teetotaler (and a deist) for most of his life. His brand was industry and discipline. However, as he aged into a venerable statesman and Ambassador to France, he solidified himself in the hearts and minds of the French people with his love of good food and wine (We could go on all day about Franklin, but you can read more about him in his Autobiography; it’s free on Kindle).
The good Doctor Franklin certainly saw his share of pubs and taverns in his lifetime, but he would probably have been rendered uncharacteristically speechless at the sheer volume of the American commitment to beer three hundred years on. There is nothing more bespoke of our country than that and football – preferably together at the same time. Throw St. Patrick’s Day into the mix, and it’s pretty much the perfect weekend.
This holds true particularly In Gainesville, a fiercely proud Gator town, where breweries, microbreweries, pubs, taverns, bars, beer gardens, beer caves, and home brews abound. The city has anything and everything a lover of hops and barley could ask for. If you’re one of them, here are a few of the various establishments where you can indulge your inner Irish.
First Magnitude Brewing Co.
For food, the cool thing about First Magnitude is that you can either bring your own, or you can partake from the featured on-site food truck of the day, the schedule for which is posted on the website. FM has won national and international awards for their natural spring-brewed beers, and they also have wine and cider options for the beer-ambivalent. With plenty of live and community events and entertainment, this place is great for an impromptu get-together with friends, a day of sport watching, or a group party.
Cypress and Grove Brewing Co.
If that wasn’t enough, there’s also live music every Friday evening from 7-9 pm, and the Grove Street Farmers Market every Monday from 4-7 pm, where you can shop the wares of over 30 vendors and then hang out for a pint.
Blackadder Brewing Company
If you’re a fan of British comedy, you’ll get the reference. This Belgian-inspired, European-infused microbrewery is a step into the Old World, with a stunning 40 taps and a whole lot of pub personality. Owners Chris and Sissy Hart have been brewing beer for nearly 20 years and have won innumerable awards in competitions nationwide.
The beer menu alone lets you know this is the kind of place Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melechett’s writers would have felt right at home. With ticklers like “Why Not?”, “Rumpy Pumpy Pepper’d Porter”, “Giggling Imbecile”, and “Riders of the Lost Oat”, you know there’s a true spirit of the absurd – mixed with fermented hops and barley – giving homage to the wit and whimsy of British humor. With a cavalcade of various food trucks, a Tudor-style barroom, and gregarious staff, this is a great place to enjoy a convivial gathering and laugh the stress away.
Big Top Brewing Company
The Gainesville location opened up in 2018, just four years after the flagship location did, and with 23 in-house brews on tap, plus local cider and a scratch kitchen where all the food is homemade, they’re one of the busiest places in town. Energetic and lively, Big Top has sponsored the rugby team of the Gainesville Hogs and is invested in finding ways of entertaining the community and offering events that encourage people to team up for friendly competition. Beer pong, beer bingo, pub quizzes (the Harry Potter one is really popular), and live music every weekend draws an enthusiastic crowd. If you’re looking for a place to get you on the lighter side of the week, this might be the one for you.
Swamp Head Brewery
With their commitment to reclamation, reuse, and conscious service to the planet, Swamp Head also teams up with several local charities and organizations, including the March of Dimes, the Humane Society, Ronald McDonald House, Taste of Gainesville, and Pace, promoting and supporting accountability and action. A drink here is a drink for the Earth.
If you would like to read about pubs and restaurants in the Ocala area please be sure to check out some of our previous blogs: Showcase Properties – Brick City Brews and Beyond, Showcase Properties – Restaurants & Dining in Gainesville, Showcase Properties – Ocala Eats: A Delicious List of Horse Country Restaurants.