When it comes to bars and breweries, the best options aren’t found only in big cities. In the small, Southwest Florida coastal towns of Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte, there are many places (well-known and unheard of) where you can wet your whistle and have a good time. Here are some of our favorite places for beer, wine and cocktails in Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte.
Beer Lovers Unite
Beer connoisseurs will love Punta Gorda’s two craft breweries. Fat Point Brewing brews flavorful signature beers, seasonal beers and interesting limited releases. Visit their laid back taproom for light eats, trivia, music and food trucks. Peace River Beer Company was designed to honor the local vibes from picnic tables to a river-themed bar top. They brew beers for every taste that pair well with food truck grub.
When it comes to European-inspired pubs, Punta Gorda has them. “Proudly not serving premium domestics,” the Celtic Ray Public House serves many high-quality imports in a traditional Irish pub atmosphere. The British-style Icehouse Pub offers beers from around the world, local brews, British and American cuisine and bar games. The Belgian Monk Pub is a quaint pub with a welcoming atmosphere that serves unique craft and import beers and European fare from their “Munchies Menu.”
Craving something outside the box? Said to have the coldest beer in town, the Bar 17 is a no-frills biker bar (and we don’t mean bicycles) on the outskirts of town with pool tables and weekend entertainment.
There’s Always Time For Wine
The Orange House Wine Bar in Downtown Punta Gorda serves a unique selection of wines and tapas in a quaint atmosphere, mellowed out by the sounds of smooth jazz. For a hands-on experience, make and bottle your own wine at the Gilded Grape Winery or enjoy live music, trivia or karaoke in their wine bar with a glass of house-made wine. D’Vines Wine & Gift Emporium in Port Charlotte features a wine and coffee bar, wine-themed gift shop and wine tastings. Head over to Vino Loco Gourmet wine bar/gourmet tapas restaurant/bottle shop for a comfortable, casual atmosphere (Englewood).
Keep Calm, Have a Cocktail
Alligator Bay Distillers is the only craft rum distillery in Charlotte County and uses 100% Florida molasses in their rum, coining the term “Cane to Bottle.” Buy a bottle from their onsite gift shop and bring home a taste of Florida.
Whiskey-lovers belly up at Leroy’s Southern Kitchen and Bar for down-home cooking, handcrafted whiskey cocktails and cold local brews.
If you need inspiration to make your own cocktail or get yourself primed to visit them, check out The Quarantined Bartender video series from Farlow's on the Water in Englewood. They're also one of our local establishments who have recently earned the FRLA Seal of Commitment, the highest designation for hospitality safety and sanitation standards, so you know they're going above and beyond with cleaning and sanitizing.
The local spirits scene has many hidden gems that you may not know about! Check out our Restaurant page for even more bars and restaurants.
Updated 9/4/1209: added Vino Loco Gourmet and links for Orange House, D'Vines, Belgian Monk, Cold River Saloon, and Punta Gorda Brew Tours.
Updated 9/2/2020: removed Punta Gorda Brew Tours (no longer in business) and The Blue Turtle (temporarily closed); changed Cold River Saloon to Bar 17 (new name); added Farlow's on the Water's Quarantined Bartender video series, and mentions of local establishments who have earned the FRLA Seal of Commitment.