December 31, 2023

Craft Beer and Family Traditions Flow at Lake Panasoffkee Backroads Bar

1.5 min read| Published On: December 31st, 2023|

By Gina Horan

Craft Beer and Family Traditions Flow at Lake Panasoffkee Backroads Bar

1.5 min read| Published On: December 31st, 2023|

Craft beer and family traditions flow at this Lake Panasoffkee backroads bar. 

I love a good road trip. Heck, I love a bad road trip!

Luckily the backroads of Lake and Sumter counties offer so many opportunities to indulge in this pastime. Throw in a beer and I’m hooked for life. 

The latest sojourn brought me to County Road 470 through Panasoffkee, where I saw a sign that read: “Pat’s Taps.” I had to meet that dude.

Turns out, the aforementioned “dude” is a lovely lady named Patricia Galvin, matriarch of the clan that has owned and operated Catfish Johnny’s Restaurant since 1990.

They opened the adjacent room in 1995 because Pat’s beloved late hubby, Johnny, wanted to share his love of classic country music with the community. 

When Johnny passed away in 2021 Pat was determined to use the building to share her daughter’s love of craft beer. 

“I was blessed when Sandy signed on,” Pat says. “We wanted to keep our family working with us and use the space for something that was meaningful.”

Sandy Higginbotham, 52, had a career as a federal prison administrator for 21 years and was ready to retire until her obsession with craft brews gave her a second opportunity to keep working. She and husband Eric base their travels around visiting breweries. 

“We love craft beer, and we thought we could use the space to share different varieties with our patrons,” Sandy says. “It was a natural fit.”

Ever since the grand opening on October 20, 2022, Pat’s Taps has been a destination for craft beer lovers who come by motorcycle, car and R.V. Pat’s also hosts trivia nights, beer bingo and cornhole tournaments by Billy Goble. 

Sandy makes sure that the tap room offers hard-to-find brews like Fat Orange Cat Brew Co.’s Baby Kittens from Connecticut and Destin Brewery’s Emerald Coast Ultra Premium Lager, brewed here in Florida. 

“We rotate our kegs and include unique beers,” Sandy says. 

They also have an impressive pub food menu which complements the beer list. 

So when you’re out on your next drive, drop by Pat’s Taps. It’s a family affair, which Pat says Johnny would have loved. 

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About the Author: Gina Horan

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