National Beer Day was April 7, but locally, Thursday was more exciting.
St. Pete Brewing Co., which has already made a name for itself with its St. Pete Orange Wheat and others, opened at 544 First Ave. N in St. Petersburg. The brewery was originally set to open in November, but the federal government shutdown in October gummed up the works for owners Tom and Michele Williams, holding up their Brewer's Notice application.
Since that time, permitting, construction issues in the 100-year-old building and other problems further slowed the opening of St. Petersburg's newest brewery. But the tasting room opened to friends and family on Wednesday, and the doors opened to the public on Thursday. Baseball fans may recognize the name: The Trop started serving Orange Wheat on tap this year.
And in Clearwater, Sea Dog Brewing Co., at 26200 U.S. 19 N, debuted its 20-barrel brewing system Thursday. The system hails from the Shipyard Brewport, which used to operate at Orlando International Airport as the world's first airport microbrewery.