Odessa Brewery Adds Flavor to Local Beer Scene
Big Storm Brewing Co. will host its official kickoff party Friday, July 13, at The Brass Tap.
The two friends met at University of South Florida and they'd been brewing beer in their homes for years. But when Clay Yarn, 31, and Mike Bishop, 27, both lost their jobs within a month of each other last year, they decided it was time to take their penchant for beer out of the garage and into the bars.
"We said, 'Are we really going to do this?'" Yarn said about their ultimate decision to become beer brewers. "We had a serious sit down, and it was now or never."
Enter Big Storm Brewing Co.
Yarn and Bishop say Big Storm sets itself apart because its brews are complex enough for the true "beer geek," yet something the regular beer consumer can enjoy.
Bishop, the head brewer, had plenty of time to figure out exactly what type of beer the company would make. He spent nine months in an apprenticeship at Dunedin Brewery learning the ins and outs of the beer making business.
"They taught me the ropes," he said about his stint at the popular brew house.
Being a beer brewer is a lot like being a chef, Bishop said. If so, Big Storm Brewing Co.'s menu reads like this:
- Wave Maker Amber Ale - The brewery's signature brew is clean, crisp and richly amber.
- Palmbender Pale Ale - a beer that speaks to its Floridian roots with a full-bodied twist.
- Firestorm Black IPA - An "angrier" version of the traditional Indian Pale Ale.
All this beer magic happens at an unassuming medium-sized warehouse in an Odessa office park. For now they are just looking to distribute their brew at local bars and tap houses. Next will come canned beers, they say.
They're also hoping to add a tasting room to their Odessa location. But first they'll need the green light from Pasco County's Board of County Commissioners. Their case goes before the board later this month.
What's for sure are the business lessons they've learned along the way.
"You need to be decisive," said Yarn, who is married with two children. "We had all these accounts lined up, we're trying to raise capital and we have everything except beer. We had to pull the trigger and just do it."
As for the brewing process, Murphy's Rule is constant.
"Most brew days something wrong happens," Bishop says. "But it's about making sure you nail the consistency."
Want to try Big Storm Brewing Co. beers?
Their official kickoff is on Friday, July 13, at 8 p.m., Brass Tap, 10700 SR 54, Trinity, Florida. For more information call: 727- 376-2467.