Gainesville is a wonderful place to sit back and relax with a cold one, and with breweries all over town you can easily find one near you. In fact, I would bet that there is a brewery within walking distance of your Gainesville apartment and you didn't even know it.
If you live on campus or near the downtown area, odds are you are close to Cypress & Grove Brewing Company. This brewery is located in what was an old ice house facility from the 1900's, and the owners strived to restore the building and preserve its historical significance. As an added bonus, the brewery is also environmentally conscious and donates their used grain to local farms. Another favorite spot to visit, especially if your Gainesville apartment is near Shands Hospital, is First Magnitude Brewing Company. Not only is this place owned by locals, it is also named after two natural phenomena, one being freshwater springs. These springs are some of Florida's most beautiful wonders, and if you've ever explored one you understand why the owners wanted to highlight this local treasure. If you're lucky, there will also be a food truck on location to satisfy your hunger.
If you're really interested in learning more about craft beer, then you should definitely head down to Swamp Head Brewery near Butler Plaza. Swamp Head is probably the largest brewery in the area, and you can even get a tour of their facilities. They also hold very high sustainability standards for themselves, such as a 100% carbon neutral tasting room and the use of solar power. You can even read the company's sustainability reports they publish through their own website on a yearly basis. One spot that should not get bumped off your list is Blackadder Brewing Company. If your apartment in Gainesville is near Oaks Mall, it's the perfect place for you. While Blackadder Brewing is one of the newer establishments in town, the owners are very knowledgeable and their beer speaks for itself.
As with all pub crawls, it is always imperative to have a designated driver to ensure everyone gets home safe. Alternatively, you could take a relaxing bus ride home with Gainesville's very own bus system, RTS. The bus, free to UF students, runs throughout Gainesville and the UF campus. Every brewery listed here is on a bus line, and you can find all route information on the RTS website.
There is a lot of hometown pride here in Gainesville, and the local beer scene is a great way to enjoy it. Small scale breweries showcase the talent and artistic creativity of the brewers who live there in ways large scale operations never could. If you get tired of drinking craft beers (good luck) or if someone in your party isn't a beer drinker, some breweries even offer other selections, including ciders, sparkling water and local sodas. No matter what your taste, you're sure to have a great time sampling different flights and discovering your new favorite beer with friends.