One of our favorite things to do when traveling is to check out the local brewery scene. When we went to Naples last month, this meant that of course we had to find some breweries there! Compared to other Florida cities, there were not as many in Naples, but Ankrolab Brewing Company is the one that stands out the most.
This brewery has barely been open for six months, but it’s already making strides in the community in a big way. Not only is their shiny new tap room appealing, but the massive beer list is pretty impressive too. As with every new brewery, there are few things Ankrolab Brewing could improve, but we expect to see a lot from them in the coming years with the track they are on.
Location and Atmosphere
Ankrolab Brewing Company is located on Bayshore Drive just a few miles from the main beach area of Naples. This was very close to our hotel, the Hyatt House Naples and the Celebration Food Truck Park. We decided to Uber there one night after dinner.
I was immediately surprised at the large venue here for such a new brewery. It seems like they are setting the stage to be the hang out spot in town. The inside has a big bar and tables. You can also find plenty of seating outside under an overhang.
The highlight of the decor is the tap fountain, which we ended up taking a million pictures of. I really haven’t seen anything like it before! I definitely found the outside to be more comfortable, but it was nice to see plenty of room inside and outside.
There were a lot of people here on this Friday night, which made for a lively atmosphere. Sometimes Ankrolab has live music, but we were satisfied with the playlist they had on during this visit. This is definitely a great spot to hang out with friends or family.
The Beer at Ankrolab Brewing Company
The fountain I mentioned before is not just a cool centerpiece, but it also is representative of the brewery’s methods. Ankrolab Brewing is dedicated to treating all the water they use with reverse osmosis to make it as pure as possible. Then they recreate the water profile with minerals that you would see from what is typical of the beer style or region
Andrew does a lot of home brewing and has noticed a difference between using Florida tap water and filtered water. This brewery definitely seems dedicated to perfecting the flavor profile of beer and you could taste the difference from other Florida breweries.
I was also impressed to see they offer over twenty different kinds of in-house brewed beer. Most of these appear to have bewn on tap since it opened. I don’t think the beer menu changes as much as breweries with a smaller amount of taps.
The menu is broken up into sections of hoppy, sour, malty, European classics and light beer. We ended up trying a few from each category with a flight. I will get into our thoughts on the beer more below, but our main takeaway was that the European beers are their best offering. This probably has to do with the reverse osmosis process. Ankrolab seems to cater more towards beer purists than trendy beer lovers.
After arriving at the brewery, Andrew and I both ordered a flight. Since we love IPA’s and sours, we ordered a few of those and then a selection of the rest. The flights were $13.50 for four 6 ounce beers. Considering a pint can cost up to $8, this is a decent deal. I like how they give a slightly bigger flight size so you really get to experience the beer. Here’s what we ended up trying:
- Humidity – Grapefruit Sour Gose – 4.6% ABV
- THBTHB… – Raspberry Brown Sour – 6.2% ABV
- IMWALKINOVAHEEAH – New England IPA – 6.5% ABV
- Tucked in Tank Top – IPA – 6% ABV
- Vest Pocket – English Brown Porter – 5.4% ABV
- Kolscheral and Elegant – German Kolsch – 5.3% ABV
- Farmer’s Hand – French Saison – 6.2% ABV
- Whose Cat Is This? SMASH Pale – 5.8% ABV
My favorite was definitely the Farmer’s Hand Saison. Andrew liked the Kolsch so much that he went back for seconds. I’m not a huge fan of European style beer, but I could really taste the flavors coming through with these. They were also very crisp and refreshing.
The IPA’s were my least favorite that we tried, as they were not as hoppy or hazy as I am used to. They were also more malty than your typical IPA. I thought the sours were decent, but they did not compare to breweries like Dirty Oar Brewing or Sailfish Brewing. Regardless though, all the beer was tasty and we had a lovely time hanging out outside.
Events at Ankrolab Brewing
I have heard this brewery is always pretty busy on weekend nights, just like when we went. Because of this, there are usually food trucks ad sometimes live music. They have had all sorts of food trucks from ones serving cheeseteaks to curry to pizza.
There are also seasonal events at Ankrolab Brewing. Coming up is a Halloween party that even includes a costume contest and some surprise treats. They also just had an Oktoberfest day with games, live music and authentic German food.
Make sure to follow them on social media for more upcoming events. They have even had some unique ones like a donut and beer pairing, which sounded delicious!
Know Before You Go: Ankrolab Brewing Company
Of the all the breweries we tried in the Naples area, this was definitely our favorite. The atmosphere and the beer are both top-notch and there really is something on the menu for everyone. Here are a few other things to know about Ankrolab Brewing.
- Ankrolab Brewing opens at 4 PM Tuesday through Friday and at noon on Saturday and Sunday. It closes at midnight on Friday and Saturday and 10 PM the rest of the week. It is closed on Mondays.
- Seating is available inside and outside under a covered patio. Dogs are allowed.
- They have about twenty of their own beers on tap costing between $5 and $9 for a pint.
- Growlers and crowlers are available for varying prices. Four 6 ounce flight beers cost $13.50.
- You can also purchase soda and cold brew here, in addition to beer.
- Food trucks can often be found here, especially on the weekends.
- There is ample free parking on site.
Let me know which beer was your favorite here if you have been before! For more brewery tips, check out my guide to the best breweries in Tampa.