1. Arts & Entertainment
  2. /
  3. Food
  4. /
  5. Bars & Breweries

Tampa Bay Brewing Company’s Zongo IPA is clear on flavor

The hazy New England-style IPA is on tap at the brewery’s tasting rooms in Ybor City and Westchase. | Craft beer of the week
Zongo IPA [Tampa Bay Brewing Company]
Published Sep. 19

You’ve seen quite a few Tampa Bay Brewing Company beers on local shelves over the past couple of years, from perennial favorites like Reef Donkey American pale ale and Old Elephant Foot IPA, to seasonal and one-off releases, like Last Days of Summer sour ale and the Hop Silo collaboration series.

You won’t find one of the brewery’s best recent creations, however — Zongo IPA is a tasting-room exclusive, part of a small-batch series of brews that are sold exclusively on-site at the Ybor City and Westchase tasting rooms.

Zongo has proven to be a standout entry in the series, with its 30-case can run selling out on the first day of sales. The rest is available on tap until it’s gone. In other words, make haste. Zongo is an impenetrably hazy New England-style IPA, of the sort popularized by breweries like Treehouse and Trillium. Two separate dry-hopping stints with Sabro and Cashmere hops give the brew its trademark cloudiness, while also providing intense aromas of pineapple and coconut: a suitably tropical characteristic achieved without the use of any additional flavorings beyond malt, water, hops and yeast.

The Kviek yeast strain — a centuries-old Norwegian variety — has gained popularity in recent years, partly because of its hardiness in a variety of fermentation temperatures and partly due to the interesting fruit-like esters that it produces, often lending a hint of tropical fruits to the fermentation profile.

Zongo, then, is loaded with dense fruit notes despite containing no actual fruit. It’s not sweet, however — the beer is loaded with the juicy hop flavors you’ve come to expect from the New England style, but it finishes crisp and dry.

Many local breweries have had success experimenting with this style, but Zongo is one of the best, rivaling the output of breweries that have made their name on New England IPAs. The cans are gone, and the draft is next, so head to your closest Tampa Bay Brewing Company tasting room to try it while you can.

— Justin Grant is a tbt* correspondent.

Have a suggestion for the Local Craft Beer of the Week? Brewers, have a limited release coming that we should know about? Email


  1. The Jonas Brothers show off bottles of their collaboration with Coors Light in this undated photo. MillerCoors
    The beer isn’t exactly small-batch, but it is a limited edition, and Tampa is one of the few cities to get it.
  2. Two of the creative drinks are the Loaded Bear Claw and the Blame it on the Juice. Photo courtesy of Geneva Johnson
    The venue near USF features the creative cocktails and drink specials needed for a go-to college bar. | Bar review
  3. Nov. 7• Arts & Entertainment
    Lullaby Rye Courtesy of Geneva Johnson
    The unique tasting-room selection should help raise a brewery’s profile. | Local craft beer of the week
  4. Oct. 31• Arts & Entertainment
    Bike Trail Pale Ale Courtesy of Eric Richardson
    St. Pete brewery taps into the lighter side of ale. | Local craft beer of the week
  5. Oct. 31• Arts & Entertainment
    Cowboy Corral Bar & Grill is a good spot for enjoying truly cheap drinks, playing pool or watching the race on Sundays. The Clearwater bar has a cozy dining area and offers a full menu filled with Tex-Mex fare. Photo courtesy of Geneva Johnson
    Cowboy Corral Bar & Grill brings a little faux Texas to town. | Bar review
  6. Hard Pumpkin Cider, Two Henrys Brewing Company Justin Grant  |  tbt*
    The Plant City product drinks like a spiced cider with a side of pumpkin pie. | Local craft beer of the week
  7. SpookEasy Lounge is in a room above The Stone Soup Company. Photos courtesy of Geneva Johnson
    Tampa’s booze-free bar spills the tea on kava and kratom. | Bar review
  8. At The Tiki Cove, you don’t need too much imagination to place your mind and mood at an actual beach. JUSTIN GRANT  |  Justin Grant
    The Tiki Cove is a Florida-only novelty that anyone passing through will be sure to enjoy. | Bar review
  9. Try I Am The Walrus Berliner Weisse ib draft at Hidden Springs Ale Works, or look for it in cans at your local quality beer shop. JUSTIN GRANT  |  Justin Grant
    This is Florida, so some of our autumn brews fall outside the paradigm. | Local beer of the week
  10. Oct. 10• Arts & Entertainment
    Wedge Cut American Wheat Ale, Cigar City Brewing Justin Grant  | tbt*
    The Tampa brewery scores again with the limited-release Wedge Cut. | Craft beer of the week