The Craft Beer Industry Is Really Taking Off—and Finding a Fast-Growing Following—Right Here in Southwest Florida
Many people probably assume you need to go to Oregon or Colorado or Vermont if you want to try some great craft brews, but it’s becoming more common to find amazing beer options right here in Cape Coral.
Scott Melick was a home brewer for more than 30 years, but his dream was to open his own brewery. In April 2017 that dream came true when Scotty’s Bierwerks opened to the public.
“I always wanted to start my own brewery,” Scott says. “I’ve been an entrepreneur all my life, running several different types of businesses, but this was always my real dream.”
Scott’s lifelong passion has turned into a career and he’s getting attention—as in awards.
“Our Irish Red Ale won a silver medal in the state competition this year,” Scott says. “I personally think the hefeweizen is my best beer.”
Scotty’s currently offers 13 craft beers on tap.
Not only does Scotty’s offer innovative craft beer, it also offers a lot of fun. The backroom of the brewery is basically an indoor playground, with cornhole, darts, giant Jenga and more. Scotty’s also offers daily specials and several weekly events—including a yoga class!
When you stop by Scotty’s Bierwerks, be sure to say hello to Brewmaster, the feline staff member.
901 E. Industrial Circle
Cape Coral, Florida, 239.888.5482, Facebook.com/ScottysBierwerks
No. 3 Craft Brews and Beer Bar
Craft beer and brewing are definitely Nick Monteleone’s life passion.
“I’ve been around craft beer for as long as I can remember,” Nick says. “My dad was also really into the beer scene when I was growing up in Ohio.”
When the opportunity to purchase No. 3 Craft Brews presented itself, Nick and his family jumped at the chance.
“We took it over—my dad and my brother and I—and it has been fun to get to work together,” he says. “It’s something we’ve always wanted to do.”
No. 3 Craft Brews offers a vast array of craft beer options from all over the world. They currently offer more than 170 different beers—and they are running out of space.
“I like to find original things that other places don’t have around here. We have a lot of rare finds and one-offs here,” Nick says. “We also go by a lot of customer preference and recommendations. Lots of people who have moved here request things from back home in their home state.”
1319 Cape Coral Parkway E, Cape Coral, Florida, 239.205.6394, No3Brew.com
Big Storm Brewing Co.
Big Storm Brewing Company is one of the fastest growing independent craft breweries in Florida. Based in Clearwater, they now own and operate three locations: Clearwater, Odessa and Cape Coral.
The Cape location opened in March—in the building that once was home to Cape Coral Brewing Company—and they started brewing small batches of beer a few months later.
The brewing team is led by head brewmaster Joel Moore, who has been in the beer industry for more than 14 years.
“It started as a college job at a brewery in Omaha, Nebraska,” Joel says. “I was a bartender and bussed tables, but I bugged the head brewer at that brewpub and let him know I wanted to learn about the process. I jumped into it and learned everything I could.”
Joel’s training has certainly paid off. Big Storm’s roster of craft beers has received critical acclaim, including 2016’s Best Florida Beer Championship with their Oktoberfest Marzen Lager.
The Cape location might be their smallest location, but Big Storm has big plans.
“Down here we are making exclusive, unique batches just for the local taproom,” Joel says. “Eventually we want to make a series of beers with unique yeast strains that are just served here in Cape Coral. It’s really nice that we can do small batches like that here.”
839 Miramar St., Cape Coral, Florida, 239.257.1401, BigStormBrewery.com