Native Brewing Co. founder plans brewery in South Florida

Native Brewing logo 150x150 Native Brewing Co. founder plans brewery in South FloridaThe founder of a Florida-based beer company, which has contract-brewed its offerings for years, announced today that he will bring it home to South Florida and open a brewery.

Adam Fine started Native Brewing Company in 1999, eventually putting four year-round brands on store shelves or taps – Native Lager, The Eleven Brown Ale, Glades Pale Ale, and Thunderhead Red (draft only). The beers, however, were brewed at Florida Beer Company, now in Port Canaveral; Shipyard Brewing Company in Portland, Maine; or Thomas Creek Brewing in Greenville, South Carolina.

Fine also started beer distributor Fresh Beer Inc., he wrote in a newsletter today, “as a method to be able to sell my own craft beer and not rely on the established distribution network that existed and really didn’t understand craft beer at all.”

It proved such a success that the big distributors, finally getting wise to the growth of craft beer, came knocking. So five years ago, Fine reached an agreement with Brown Distributing that allowed him and his team to say onboard to guide the craft beer market growth.

Brown now carries a wide variety of craft beer throughout the state. Fine announced his departure from Brown today in the company’s Fresh Beer Times newsletter:

“While I have enjoyed this distribution ride for the past 15 years, I am going to take the next step in my own personal evolution and put my stamp on the local beer community right here in South Florida with the Native Brewing Company. Native has been along for the ride since the beginning and it is now time for me to devote my full attention and take the brand to the next level. Hopefully, I will get to see all of you out there at my brewery in the future. I think you all will know where to find me.”

Fine, a Florida native, told me that he is seeking a location in the Fort Lauderdale area and plans to start nano-sized. He hopes to make the jump to larger equipment soon after that. He’s currently dealing with the city and transitioning from his Brown duties, but he said he’ll post an update on the Native Brewing Facebook page as soon as he can.

13390135a499ec8b155ab701392850ccc2e8546d TV%20 %20BELGIUM%20Full%20Banner%20468.60 Native Brewing Co. founder plans brewery in South Florida


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Cigar City Brewing featured in new Travel Channel web series

“Microbrew Madness,” a short-form web series, launched today on the Travel Channel website.

microbrew madness logo 300x168 Cigar City Brewing featured in new Travel Channel web series

Image courtesy of Travel Channel. produced 16 webisodes featuring four hosts. One of the six-minute videos chronicles a visit to the tasting room of Tampa’s own Cigar City Brewing. Host Lori Griffis talks to owner Joey Redner and brewmaster Wayne Wambles, and samples some of the brews and food-truck offerings, finishing off with a cigar hand-rolled right in the tasting room.

In addition, has gone live with a poll to choose the nation’s favorite brewery of the 16 featured. This is a chance to show some support for the Florida craft beer scene and help spread the word about our great brew to the rest of the world. Click here for the poll.

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Florida hits 100-brewery mark

 Florida hits 100 brewery mark Florida hits 100 brewery markI just finished updating the Florida Brewery Map and List on this site, and according to my counting, the Sunshine State now has 103 operating breweries, and another 31 on the way. Those are remarkable numbers considering that not all that long ago, there weren’t even 31 breweries in the entire state!

A few things that struck me while updating.

Central Florida will soon be booming with beer. Three breweries – Southern Moon, Broken Strings and Ten10 – will be opening in Orlando proper, joining Orlando Brewing and the nano-sized Redlight Redlight. Another, Dead Lizard, was announced last year, but no address has been released. In the bedroom communities just east of O-town, Persimmon Hollow in Deland, WopHops in Sanford, Bowigens in Casselberry, and Crooked Can in Winter Park will be coming online in the months ahead.

Only two breweries have closed since the last update. Brewzzi CityPlace in West Palm Beach has shut its doors as a result of a dispute with its landlord, and Mile Marker Brewing in St. Augustine closed for still-unknown reasons in June.

The Panhandle still is awaiting its turn to “fill in” on the map. Grasslands Brewing is opening in Tallahassee, and Proof Brewing Company’s second location there has started producing, but other than Oyster Bay Brewing opening in Apalachicola, new and planned breweries remain scarce in that part of our state.

If you don’t zoom in too close, the east coast seems to have a solid line of breweries from north of Jacksonville to the Keys. The first person to hit all of them while traveling via watercraft definitely will get a shoutout!

These are the criteria used for the map, copied from a previous post:

  • The brewery or brewpub must produce beer on its premises. This means you will not find companies such as Native Brewing Company in Fort Lauderdale or Fantasy Brewmasters in Fort Myers that contract their beer at other breweries.
  • It does include breweries such as Grayton Beer Company in Santa Rosa Beach, which recently opened a new brewery and no longer contract brews, and Holy Mackerel Beers, which still contracts the bulk of its production, but opened The Mack House – Holy Mackerel Nano Brewery in Fort Lauderdale last year.
  • It includes two brewpubs – Karibrew in Fernandina Beach and Marco Island Brewery – whose brewing process is completed on site but started elsewhere.
  • It does not include BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse locations. Their beer is brewed out of state, but the chain is one of the brewing partners at BrewHub, the recently opened operation in Lakeland that offers brewing and marketing services for other breweries. (BrewHub is on the map.)
  • To be included, a brewery or brewpub must have a physical address – it would be hard to map it otherwise – and if not yet open, it needs to have made solid steps such as ordering or installing equipment, and starting the regulatory process.
  • Other maps and lists out there are based on different criteria.  The Florida Brewers Guild map only lists those breweries and brewpubs that are members. Others list breweries that haven’t made any steps toward opening other than filing as a business entity, sometimes years ago, with no progress since.

As far as which brewery was the 100th? I just don’t have the time to try to figure that out, but any of you are welcome to try.

It’s a good problem to have, but updating this becomes more laborious and time-consuming every time, and I’m sure I’ve made an error or two. As always, I welcome feedback and corrections. You can leave a comment below or on the Facebook page, or shoot an email to

View Florida Breweries in a larger map

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Brew Hub partner brewery opens in Lakeland

Brew Hub taps 200x300 Brew Hub partner brewery opens in Lakeland

image courtesy of Brew Hub.

The experiment called Brew Hub officially becomes reality today as the 51,000-square-foot “partner brewery” holds the grand opening of its tasting room in Lakeland.

Briefly, the concept is to have a place for existing craft breweries and brewpubs to expand their production while maintaining full control over the brewing process. This differs from the contract brewing model, in which a brewer often just hands over the recipe to another brewery for production.

This is not necessarily a bad thing – sometimes it is the only financially feasible way for a brewery to get off the ground – but it does give some brewers pause.

In the case of one Florida-based brewing company, it will allow it to bring full production from a South Carolina brewery.

Tom Moench, president and founder of Orange Blossom Brewing Company (formerly Orange Blossom Pilsner) has wanted to make his beers in the Sunshine State since entering into an agreement nine years ago with Thomas Creek Brewing in Greenville, South Carolina. After a few other attempts that did not come to fruition, his dream will become reality at Brew Hub, as he moves full production there.

“Having limited production quantities for so long, we are excited for the growth opportunity,” Moench said in a statement.

The move will allow OBBC to expand its production beyond its current three brands. The first of several new brews – an American Style IPA named “Back in the Day IPA” – is expected to be released in the next few months, Moench said.

Besides OBBC, other partner breweries announced are: Tampa’s Cigar City Brewing; BJ’s Brewhouse, a California-based casual-dining chain whose house brews are made off-site – previously its closest contract brewery to Florida was Saint Arnold Brewing in Houston; and Green Man Brewing Company, one of Asheville, North Carolina’s original craft breweries.


  • What: Brew Hub Tasting Room Grand Opening

  • Where: 3900 S Frontage Rd, Lakeland, FL

  • When: Friday and Saturday (Sept. 5-6), 4 to 10 p.m.

  • For more information: (863) 698-7600 or

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