Great beer selection, leaning towards the Belgian tradition. Atmosphere similar to a Manhattan Euro style Beer hideout. Knowledgeable staff, willing to give samples, even if the place is packed. Good curated tap selection that changes often. Extensive bottle selection, and they always seem to have something in that I havenít tried. Clientele ranges from business folks to local hipster crowd. This is an ace beer hall, the Independent St.Pete was first on the map as a local biz running with the fine beer revival flag. The downside of this place is that it is just too small. It is usually packed during the weekends to the point where it makes some people frustrated (see below reviews). My advice is that if you donít like to stand up in a packed bar, donít expect to pop in for a quiet pint during First Friday. I try to hit it on an off night if I am with friends, and enjoy your beer outside, or snag communal seat at the long table inside and make some conversation. This is a very popular establishment for a reason, and that is the beer selection and location. No food at the St.Pete Independent, but there are various restaurants all surrounding on Central Avenue.
I get what this place is trying to do...they are trying to be assholes like the guys at Toronado. The problem is, that this placeís beer selection isnít really that good, and being some euro beer snob bartender just doesnít work when you have a pretty pedestrian tap and bottle list. The bartenders basically assumed is was some beer neophyte when I walked in there and was uncertain of their menu. They definitely gave me a condescending attitude and were standoffish even though it was never busy when I was in there. One bartender warmed up to me once he realized I wasnít a complete beer moron, but the rest of the bartenders I experienced at this place were pricks. As for the beers, they really have a bunch of widely available commercial European beers here. There was maybe 2 or 3 beers here that I had never heard of or tried (Polish lagers). No food. Smells like smoke. Small. Crowded. At least there isnít any obnoxiously loud music or blaring TVs. Prices are a little high.
Visited here a couple of years back. I arrived not long after they had opened for the day and the dank cigarette smoke from the night before was everywhere. Not a good first impression. I checked the small tap list, all Euro brews, checked how expensive they were, expensive, and then remember there were far better places to drink beer that day, so I left. I wonít be back.
So this is the beer mecca in St. Pete. Def have all of the usual stuff, nothing too out of the ordinary for a brew pub. Itís been a few weeks since I have beer there, but the selection I feel could have been better. I donít really understand the pick-nick benches for a place to sit these are very uncomfortable. Usually itís warm. Overall a good place with good beer selection and I like it.
Excellent selection or international and American craft beers. Tight quarters, though, and it is a smoking establishment. Not being a smoker, this is a turn-off for me. The prices are pretty steep, too, but they do have a very impressive range of uncommon brews.
Finally visited this place after reading/hearing about it for several years. Cool atmosphere with the bar and bottles of beer taking center stage as we entered. There are no stools directly in front of the bar which gives it a service counter type feel. A small ledge extends around one wall and a few hightop tables are located there as well. A picnic type table reminiscent of German beer gardens is in the center of the room with a ledge and more hightop tables on the other side of the room. Smallish place, as we arrived 10 minutes after opening on a Saturday and 2/3 of the table and chairs were occupied. The beer selection was strong and heavily weighted toward the Belgians, although there were at last 2-3 tap handles with American beers out of the dozen or so they have. Tastefully decorated and trendy in ambiance, the main drawback is that this is a bar -- that is, for people who try to avoid people who smoke while they drink, it is hard to do so here given that the place is so small. Definitely worth a stop when in the area.