About 800 people move to Florida daily and we rarely pay much attention to it – except when those new residents bring dreams and passion for a new business that will make our community and our city a more exciting place to live.
That is the case with Tom and Christine, who moved to Bradenton from Chicago with their three children about a year and a half ago. The couple has roots in the area and they landed back here because of family ties that provided them with the opportunity to further explore the nearby cities. They settled in Bradenton because, according to Tom, the city “offers business momentum for the craft brewing scene”.
Tom has been a home brewer for about 13 years and now is ready to put all that experience to test by opening Flamingo Bay Brewing Co. Before making this move, he worked in the corporate world in the emergency housing and insurance fields. It’s a big challenge but one that they’re ready to tackle with this new enterprise.
They found a large building near downtown Bradenton in the 14th Street business corridor that offers them an expansive interior space and an outside area that will be transformed into a beer garden. Renovations have already started and they have secured the initial permits from the City of Bradenton. They anticipate that construction will take approximately six months.
What first interested me about this brewery is the range of flavors they’re testing. They will feature Fruit Sour Beers, Pastry Sours, Hazy IPA’s, and Bourbon Barrel Aged Beer. I’m not a huge fan of malt and hops beers but I sure love a fruity or sweet sour beer. A sour beer refers mostly to any beer that has a more lively and acidic strand. Although most beers get their origin in malt and hops, adding fruits like raspberry, peach, strawberry, or cherry can balance the flavors and create a delicious beer confection. Tom made it clear that their flavors will be more tart than sweet but maybe he’ll indulge us sweet freaks with a dessert beer. I will definitely ask.
They will also offer Hazy IPA’s, which are made with a secondary fermentation process that takes place after the original IPA brewing. This secondary process is typically induced with fruits like oranges, passion fruit, and mango.
In order to brew a hazy IPA, you must start with the standard IPA, or India Pale Ale as the category is known. This first step results in a highly hopped beer that usually contains more than 40 IBU’s and sometimes even over 60 IBU’s. IBU’s stands for International Bittering Units or the measure of bitterness in beer.
When you turn a standard IPA into a Hazy IPA, the addition of fruits, which causes the secondary fermentation process, produces a beer that is cloudy in appearance, has a stronger and more intense fruit flavor and aroma, offers low to moderate bitterness and finally has a creamy feel in your mouth. That’s quite a technique and one that Tom has mastered.
Another beer category that Flamingo Bay Brewing Co. is very excited about is the Bourbon Barrel Aged Beer. A barrel aged beer is one that is aged in oak barrels, in this case bourbon barrels, for six or seven months after the initial brewing process.
Aging beer in a barrel allows for slow oxygenation. Oxygen slowly permeates from the oak barrel and rounds out the bitterness in the beer so other flavors can shine through. It can offer a balanced woodiness and earth feel with notes of caramel, vanilla, and spice. It is pleasantly smooth and makes for a unique sipping beer that’s easy to drink with a clean finish. We look forward to tasting all of FBBC’s creations in the near future. Stay tuned for updates.
Flamingo Bay Brewing Co. will be located at 1910 14th Street West. You can follow their progress on their Facebook page.
Do you know of a new business in the food and beverage industry coming to the Bradenton area? Is there a restaurant, bar, brewery, or food truck that you’re curious about and would like us to visit? Let us know by sending an email to Jean@DiscoverBradenton.com.