Clermont, Florida is a city most notable for its perfectly pruned golf courses and its uncharacteristic-of-Florida rolling hills—with Sugarloaf Mountain (the highest altitude in the peninsular section of the state at a whopping 312 ft.) residing less than 10 miles from the city center, just northwest of Montverde. But in recent years, this residential city of just over 32,000 townsfolk has made some solid efforts to provide craft beer enthusiasts (and novices just joining the movement) a few great places to quench that ever-insatiable thirst.
While Clermont’s own Lakeridge Winery is handly proving to be the destination to patronize on the wine front, here are the top 5 places to go to untap the full, creative potential of Clermont’s craft beer industry.
Suncreek Brewery is Clermont’s first microbrewery and a huge part of a new revitalization initiative sweeping across town in the past few years. Owned and operated by husband and wife Bill and Sheila Downs, Suncreek has gotten the ball rolling on bringing the city in to the 21st century, a present abundant with craft beer.
Currently, the brewers at Suncreek are churning out a variety of quality products using as many local Florida ingredients as they can. Some of their feature brews include Sun Squishy (a dry-hopped citra IPA with a hint of strawberry) and Red Hawking (brewed in tribute to genius theoretical physicist Steven Hawking). And if it’s Florida beer you’re looking for, you’ll find that the majority of their guest taps are brewed right here in The Sunshine State.
But the experience at Suncreek is not entirely dependent on your love of beer. Sharing a front wall with the spearheading brew company are sandwich shop Savoree and pizzeria Michael Ali’s Coal Fired Pizza—all three culminating in the catchy title “790 West”. Combine that with live music every weekend and Suncreek is more or less a beacon in the promising future of downtown Clermont. And look out mud runners, because Bill Downs has always asserted that his dream is to sponsor a mud run in which the prize at the end is a refreshing pint of Suncreek beer. Who knows when he might make this a reality?
Growler USA is a premium craft beer learning experience in Clermont, FL that just happens to host over 100 taps from around the world. And Growler USA can be granted this title because they have really done their research and are providing communities throughout the country—there is a second Florida location in Miami—with one of the most efficient, ingenuitive, thoroughly-researched craft beer experiences on the market. Using their own trademarked process, they protect the integrity of every beer that they serve all the way from product selection, keg handling, storage, and temperature to their innovative tap system and use of proper glassware. They have really thought of everything to maintain a level of quality that has proven to leave brewers satisfied with the final product served at taprooms around the country.
Located just off state highway 27, south of the Clermont Landing shopping mall, Growler USA is quickly becoming a staple in the community. With a menu built in conjunction with their extensive beer list and their limousine-length bar, it’s easy to stay a while and learn a little bit from their many craft beer experts. Join them for bar bingo every Wednesday!
World of Beer is another spot that sort of helps identify the feel of a community. If having a Whole Foods in your community is a metric to let you know when your community has “made it," as it is commonly jested, then—with the highest concentration of their franchise locations here in Florida—you might say that having a World of Beer is a similar metric to measure a communities thirst for craft beer.
Offering one of the most sizeable draft and bottle selections you’ll find on the market, World of Beer is a great place to figure out what you like in a beer. And true to its name, it offers quite a few international selections. Clermont’s WOB hosts trivia night every Monday and has a full food menu. If you like what you see at this location, WOB’s website is one of the best when it comes to finding a beer you've enjoyed and also updates regularly on the newest tapped beers, special events, and daily promotions. You can also join their rewards club for additional savings.
The Crooked Spoon may or may not have derived its name from the mind-numbing, spoon-bending journey you might take when exploring their rather inventive menu, but it is definitely a fitting name. With options that transcend conventionality and break down the categorical barriers of traditional cuisine, Crooked Spoon is comfort food and culinary genius in one. Look no further than their starters to find suggestions such as Duck Confit Tostadas, Coconut Breaded Chicken and Waffles, or Calamari and Artichokes in a balsamic reduction.
But if it is beer you are looking for, The Crooked Spoon does more than just earn its place on this list. With twenty-four always rotating draft selections—usually around 50-percent of them brewed here in Florida—and an even larger selection of bottles and cans, you’ll be sure to compliment any of their delicious food options with a perfectly-paired brew.
With its doors opening for the first time on June 5, 2019, Clermont Brewing Company is putting the Clermont name on the map, as well as on its beers. Only the second microbrewery to open in Clermont, they will be a part of the flagship class of brewing companies that is sure to pave the way for a rich future in Clermont’s progress-driven community.
Offering more than just beer—they are set to have sangria on tap and a full liquor bar promoting some of their own craft cocktail creations—Clermont Brewing is sure to hit the market with a welcome new flare. As far as their beers go, they’ll be opening their doors with 10 beers from the full array of the color spectrum—everything from IPAs to sours to stouts—with a rather inventive Mexican IPA to debut sometime in the near future.
With two microbreweries open as of 2019 and a thirst for beer that only Growler USA and House of Beer could possibly satisfy, Clermont is quickly becoming a destination of rebirth and re-branding. You’ll still be able to find sanctuary on the aptly-named golf course but perhaps someday the only sanctuary you’ll need is a cold, foamy Clermont brew on the 19th green.