Cheers to Florida’s Gulf Toast Beer Trail

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The Momentum Brewhouse in Bonita Springs, Florida.
The Momentum Brewhouse in Bonita Springs, Florida.

Along Florida’s glittering Gulf Coast, your clients will find brilliant beaches, waterfront resorts and a treasure trove of local bars, wineries and breweries spanning 140 miles from Parrish, Florida to Marco Island.

Bottoms Up
Inspired by the craft beer movement, the Destination Management Organizations in Charlotte, Collier, Lee, Manatee and Sarasota Counties have partnered together to create a guide to craft breweries and wineries along Florida’s Gulf Coast. The Gulf Toast “treasure map” features information on pubs and taverns throughout five counties on Florida’s east coast, including detailed descriptions of each stop and information on what each brewery or winery has to offer.

Guests can follow the color-coded map to discover unique watering holes, such as the featured first stop, the Bunker Hill Vineyard & Winery in Parrish, Florida. This certified “green” facility in the eastern part of Manatee County produces unfiltered wines using grapes and elderberries that are grown onsite and manually processed without electricity. For more information, visit bunkerhillvineyard.com.

If your clients decide to stay in the area, recommend the 216-guestroom Streamsong Resort, located less than a 30-minute drive east in Streamsong, Florida. The luxury lodge is ideal for golf aficionados who will relish in playing the resort’s two 18-hole golf courses—the Streamsong Red and the Streamsong Blue—designed by golf architects Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw of Coore & Crenshaw, and Tom Doak of Renaissance Golf Design. For more information, visit streamsongresort.com.

Open for Beers-ness
Less than 50 miles down the road, Calusa Brewing opened its doors today as Sarasota County’s newest craft brewery. The locally owned and operated facility offers 16 taps filled with core beers, creative experiments and artisanal barrel aged brews, plus a 2,200-sq.-ft. foot tasting room. For more information, visit calusabrewing.com. A short distance away, the 294-guestroom Hyatt Regency Sarasota offers modern accommodations, a lagoon-style pool, a StayFit gym and restaurants with harbor views in a four-diamond complex situated on Sarasota Bay. For more information, call (941) 953-1234 or visit sarasota.regency.hyatt.com.

The Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina in Fort Meyers.
The Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina in Fort Meyers.

A Family Affair
Bonita Springs’ first brewery, Momentum Brewhouse, was patterned by owner Brian Hahn after a family-friendly coffee shop rather than a sports bar. The brewery offers brewhouse tours and a tasting room, as well as live music, board games, vintage arcade games, corn hole, and a giant Jenga stack the whole family can enjoy. For more information, visit momentumbrewhouse.com.

After visiting the brewery, we suggest your clients stay at the nearby Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina in Fort Meyers. The 213-guestroom beachfront hotel is nestled on 12 lush acres of land and features access to a white sand beach, three resort-style pools complete with waterfalls and zero-level entry, five restaurants, a kids’ camp and a variety of watersports activities, including sailing and paddle boarding. Guests are also able to participate in a a dolphin-sightseeing tour on a WaveRunner without leaving the resort’s grounds. Rates start at $259 per night. The Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina is currently offering a Buy 3 Nights Get the 4th Night Free promotion in honor of National Sea Shell Day. On Monday, June 20, the resort will celebrate with several activities focused around shelling. For more information, call (888) 222-7465 or visit pinkshell.com.

You can request a Florida Gulf Toast map for your clients from the Visit Sarasota County Visitor Center, visitsarasota.org; the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce Visitor Information Center, paradisecoast.com; the Charlotte Harbor Visitor & Convention Bureau Office, charlotteharbortravel.com; or the Bradenton Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, bradentongulfislands.com.

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