By Lauren Tjaden

Thomas Jefferson said, “Beer, if drunk in moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirit and promotes health.” Shakespeare quoted, “A quart of Ale is a meal for a King.” And Benjamin Franklin mused, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

You'd be hard-pressed to find a beverage more heralded than beer, and Florida brings brews to a new level with its craft beers. It offers wheat ales infused with local honey, beer flavored with sweet potato casserole and blueberry cobbler, and hundreds of other concoctions.

But you can do more than pair craft beer with the perfect meal – you can also pair it with authentic Florida experiences.

In Jacksonville, you can visit the Duval County Veterans Memorial Wall, with black granite walls inscribed with the names of those who’ve given the ultimate sacrifice for their county. Afterward, raise a glass to the brothers and sisters who served at Veterans United Craft Brewery – or if you’re a veteran, remember times that you can talk about only over a cold beer.

Weeki Wachee Springs is famed for its show featuring real mermaids performing aquatic stunts in crystal-clear spring water. It’s only suitable that you watch the sea sirens, and then enjoy a beer made with the same water the mermaids swim in at Marker 48 Brewing. It’s a given that you should try Mermaid’s Milk, a smooth, sweet milk stout, or its variant, Strawmaid, Mermaid’s Milk on a nitrogen line and treated with strawberries.

But that’s only a taste of what Florida's booming craft beer culture has to offer.

Check out these articles that invite you to join the fun and explore the state through the flavors of Florida’s craft beer culture.

Florida Beer Pairings: Idyll Hounds Brewing Company and South Walton

Florida Beer Pairings: Grayton Beer Company and South Walton

Florida Beer Pairings: Props Brewery and Fort Walton Beach

Florida Beer Pairings: Proof Brewing Company and Tallahassee

Florida Beer Pairings: Big Storm Brewing Company and Odessa, Fla.

Florida Beer Pairings: Coppertail Brewing Company and Tampa

Florida Beer Pairings: Two Henrys Brewing Company and Plant City

Florida Beer Pairings: Crooked Can Brewing Company and Winter Garden

Florida Beer Pairings: Marker 48 Brewing and Weeki Wachee

Florida Beer Pairings: Orlando Brewing and Orlando

Florida Beer Pairings: Engine 15 Brewing Company and Jacksonville

Florida Beer Pairings: Veterans United Craft Brewery and Jacksonville

Florida Beer Pairings: Green Bench Brewing Company and St. Petersburg

Florida Beer Pairings: The Funky Buddha and Fort Lauderdale

Florida Beer Pairings: Swamp Head Brewery and Gainesville

Florida Beer Pairings: Oyster City Brewing Company and Apalachicola

Florida Beer Pairings: Orange Blossom Brewing Company and Lakeland