As a brewery, we don’t really exist yet.  We have a dilapidated old warehouse and some equipment on order.  We have months before we can sell beer.  We haven’t done anything to promote ourselves or made any grand announcements or media stunts.  Yet people are finding us.  It’s a testament to the growing enthusiasm for craft beer in Tampa.

We got our first local media hit ever on Monday when John Tesmer of Tampa Bay Brew News came by to interview us and check the place out.  John’s a homebrewer who’s very excited about craft beer and was good fun to talk to.  He got a kick out of being our first “media” interview.

Then Jenn from the Brandon Bootleggers homebrew club invited us to come out to their monthly meeting Wednesday night.  We found the back room of a local restaurant packed with craft beer enthusiasts.  She asked us to say a few words.   What should we say?  We don’t have a carefully crafted marketing message.  So, we did the best thing we could think of.  We decided to just be us, a couple of homebrewers who are passionate about great beer, hoping to turn pro.  Just like many of them.

I offered up one of my homebrews in sacrifice to their beer judging skills and got some valuable feedback.  I also sampled lots of good homebrew.  At the end we stood up and told the group about our project.  It was great to connect with other people who care about good beer and we greatly appreciate the warm welcome they gave us. After that meeting, I’m more convinced than ever that Tampa is on the verge of hitting a critical mass as a craft beer town.

In other news this week, our friends from Roy Farms sent us some new, experimental hops to play with, named only with a weird combination of letters and numbers.  You may glance briefly at this picture of hops, but try not to stare at it.  It’s top secret.  We’re looking forward to brewing up some test batches with it soon.

Also, we’ve been working on providing tons of information to the federal government in hopes that they will one day say we’re allowed to sell beer.  They’ve been asking me to answer weird questions like, “Describe the amount and composition of all liquid wastes produced during your processes along with procedures you have in place to monitor the effluent.”  I started to write about our restrooms before Casey told me I had misunderstood the question.

Iced Beer Anyone?

And, probably my favorite moment of the week, we accidentally froze a beer solid during fermentation.  Anybody know if ale yeast can survive freezing temps?  We’ll find out soon.

And, of course, we’re still working on getting the building renovations going.  We had roofers out here today working on our leaks.  We’re still hoping to finalize site planning this month and get some real progress going.

Happy Friday everybody and thinks for checking in on us.  I’m heading to Datz in Tampa to sip a cold beer.  Cheers!

– Kent