Tampa Bay History Center exhibit toasts Bay Area beer scene

Almost as soon as the cigar smoke started rising from the factories of Tampa’s Ybor City, the beer started flowing. In 1897, the aroma of Cuban tobacco emanating from the city’s cigar factories mingled with the scent of imported hops fermenting at the Florida Brewery -- the state’s first.

Raise a glass with the Tampa Bay History Center for “History by the Pint: Beer and Brewing in Tampa Bay,” a new exhibition highlighting the evolution of the local beer and brewing community, opening Saturday, March 2, at 10 a.m.

The exhibit traces the heady history of beer in the bay area, exploring its Ybor origins and how west central Florida became the state's craft beer capital.

Learn about early breweries and brewing methods, Prohibition’s effects on Florida, the rise of national breweries in Tampa, and how the home brewing movement of the 1970s triggered a cultural shift in the way Americans consume beer.

The exhibit features Florida Brewing Company artifacts, which was the first commercial brewery in Florida, as well as items from larger national breweries that called Tampa home in the 1960s through the 1990s. Also included are photos and items related to the bay area’s craft beer boom from breweries across the bay area.

All paid guests will receive a free History Center pint glass on opening weekend (March 2-3 only) while supplies last. You can also raise a glass with the History Center at several events and programs taking place during the exhibition's run. 

“History by the Pint” is on view at the History Center, 801 Old Water St. in Tampa, Saturday, March 2, through Sunday, August 11. Admission ranges from $10.95 - $14.95. Children 6 and under are free. For more information, visit the History Center's website or call 813-228-0097.

Raise a glass with the History Center at one of these upcoming events:

March 1 – History Center Member Preview
5:30-7:30 p.m. Limited tickets available to the public.

March 2 – Exhibition opens to the public
10 a.m.–5 p.m. All ticketed guests will receive a free History Center pint glass, while supplies last, Saturday, March 2, and Sunday, March 3.

March 14 – Tap Talks at 81Bay Brewing
6:30 p.m. Pre-registration required.

March 28 – Brewseum After Dark
5-8 p.m. at the History Center; pre-registration required.

April 11 – Florida Conversations: Florida’s Craft Beer History
6 p.m. at the History Center 

April 28 – Tap Talks at Coppertail Brewing
6:30 p.m. Pre-registration required.

Located on Tampa's Riverwalk, the Tampa Bay History Center includes three floors of permanent and temporary exhibition space focusing on 12,000 years of Florida's history and culture. A Smithsonian Affiliate museum and accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the History Center includes the Touchton Map Library and Florida Center for Cartographic Education and the Witt Research Center, and is home to the Columbia Cafe. One of Tampa’s premier cultural venues, the History Center’s hands-on, interactive exhibits and theaters provide an entertaining and educational experience for visitors of all ages. Manny Leto is Director of Marketing and Communications at the Tampa Bay History Center.
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