Local brews, both cold and hot, are what we love and our staff compiled a list of favorite coffee shops, local breweries and beer bars. With locations in both Winter Haven and Lakeland, anyone traveling in the area will have plenty of options. Food trucks and live music are frequent guest stars to the area’s rising craft beer scene, ensuring bites and bands area never in short supply.
Grove Roots Brewing Co.
Brimming with authenticity and local love, this kid- and dog-friendly brewery celebrates place just as much as a good pilsner. With names like “Rind & Shine” and “6am Pickers” scrawled onto the chalkboard tap list, there’s no question Grove Roots is serious about bringing Polk County’s citrus heritage to life. Staff recommends Lip Ripper, Honey on the Double, Slanted Ladders and Sweet Lassie but admit every beer on their menu is fantastic. You’ll find the food truck schedule on Facebook.
Even if you’re in town for just one day, Concord Coffee is a must! Their coffee is grown by direct-trade farmers worldwide and is roasted in-house. The shop is stunningly beautiful, and the staff is as friendly and warm as the cup of coffee they brew just for you. Stop by in the morning to pair your brew with fresh pastries from local artisan, Honeycomb Bread Bakers.
Side note: Concord Coffee and Brew Hub (see below) collaborated to make the Matte Black, a black lager infused with Concord Coffee cold brew. #community
The latest addition to Lakeland’s craft beer scene, Swan Brewing offers lakefront views and microbrews just a few blocks from downtown. Kick back in the taproom or relax on the patio as you sip on a selection of more than 20 core, seasonal and small-batch beers. You’ll find the food truck schedule on Facebook.
If you’re a cyclist or a triathlete, you’ll know where to find this coffee shop – next to the Bike Shop of Winter Haven. Not a cyclist? That’s okay because everyone is welcome. N+1 Coffee proudly brews espresso and coffee from Lakeland based Ethos Roasters. We recommend the MERCKX-IATO, COPPI-CINO and BLOWOUT.
In the cycling world, the N+1 rule refers to the number of bikes a person should own, where N is the number of bikes you currently own. You always need one more.
Mitchell’s Coffee House
This coffee shop has been a part of the downtown Lakeland community for twenty years. The shop features original artwork from local artists and an eclectic mix of downtown residents, business people and college students. In addition to great coffee, Mitchell’s Coffee House services pastries and lunch on weekdays. One person on our staff is obsessed with their Coke Cake!
In addition to creating signature brews like Keybilly Island Ale, Brew Hub is a real-deal commercial operation that collaborates with craft brewers across the country to brew, package and distribute on their behalf. Sample fresh beer from brands across the county as well as brands based right here in Central Florida. Be sure to try the aforementioned Matte Black, a black lager infused with Concord Coffee cold brew.
Richard’s Fine Coffees
Since 1996, Richard’s Fine Coffees has been serving espresso beverages and coffee creations in downtown Winter Haven. Located next to the city’s public library and directly across from Central Park, this coffee shop has indoor and outdoor seating, sandwiches, salads and pastries.
Craft + Kitchen
Founded on the principle of providing guests with the best craft beer experience around, Lakeland’s Craft + Kitchen is an independent bottle shop and eatery with 20 rotating taps and hundreds of packaged beer (including some hard to find brews) for drinking onsite or to-go.
This might be the most welcoming and homey (because it is located in a converted 1925 bungalow) coffee shop you will ever walk into. This is a gathering place – where everyone is welcome and where you will find classic board games, books, local art and live music during the evenings, Thursday – Saturday. Hillcrest Coffee brews coffee from three local roasters: Lakeland’s Ethos Coffee Roasters and Patriot Coffee Roasters, as well as Tampa based Buddy Brew.
Cob & Pen
We admit that Cob & Pen is not a brewery or a beer bar, but we had to include it in this Top 10 list because they serve fantastic craft beer from 16 rotating taps and their bottle list includes over 200 beers. And there’s one more reason – the food is amazing. Snack on Deviled Eggs made with bacon, sriracha and cornichon or house-made Pimento Cheese and Crackers while sipping on a Nitro Stout, Sour Saison, Farmhouse Ale or IPA. If you are looking for dinner, we suggest the Portobello Reuben, Grilled Cheese, Jalapeno Burger and/or an order of Poutine fries.