On a rainy day just across the Skyway Bridge from Saint Petersburg, Darwin Brewing Company invited friends and family to share in the fruits of what they have built: a new brewery in Bradenton.
This new home is not just a companion for Chef Darwin Santa Maria’s brewpub, Darwin’s on Fourth in Sarasota, this brewery will be where the magic begins for the core brands of Darwin Brewing Company, a separate (but related) craft brewery. Darwin’s beers will begin launching into Manatee and Sarasota then expanding beyond its two home counties. This brewery space will house the fifteen-barrel production brewing system brewmaster Jorge Rosabal will use to slake the thirst of Bradenton’s beer enthusiasts. The core lineup coming through the production facility will be:
*Charapa (Spiced Porter)
*Ayawasca (Belgian Strong)
*Circa 1926 (Tangerine Wheat)
Since the brewery will focus on making large-scale batches, the Darwin’s on Fourth Brewpub will turn its focus to small batch beers to pair with brewpub food and to express the creative and experimental side of Darwin Brewing’s staff.
Darwin Brewing is not content to merely open a new brewery, they plan to tap the potential of the new space. “Within two months we plan to can our beers,” said Rosabal. There already space set aside for the canning line near the brewery’s loading dock and cold storage. Darwin’s future plans will allow them to be one of the fittest breweries as all warehouse space can be converted to brewery use. Rosabal says leftover space can be used for a second brewhouse, additional fermentation tanks, and a second boiler.
Jorge also plans a little something extra for patrons in the Darwin tasting room, aside from the eleven Darwin beers on tap. While beer going to distribution will be filtered, beer in the tasting room will not. What difference does this make? It depends on beer preference. When beer is filtered, yeast and excess particulates in the beer are removed, but many would argue that filtering beer removes flavor as well. Unfiltered beer is typically hazy and can contain some yeast, barley, or hop sediment. Darwin’s will allow patrons to try both and decide a preference.
Darwin Brewing Company draws influence and joy from both its Peruvian influence and Andean roots. In conversation, Chef Darwin Santa Maria says that Peru is proud of what the brewery is doing. In fact, Peru has sent samples of different Amazonian woods for Rosabal to age his beers in so that a little bit of Peru can truly dwell in some of Darwin’s beers. While Darwin was very proud of this, both he and Rosabal were not sure of a timeline for when Amazonian wood-aged beers would be ready.
While Darwin Brewing has a bright future ahead of them, they are sweating to get beer out to their home market. Currently, Darwin’s beers are served only on draft in their to home counties, but like their namesake says, Darwin’s beers are both strong and survivors.
Darwin Brewing Company will welcome the community to their grand opening on May 24th with an opening to the public at an earlier date to be determined. Darwin Brewing Company is located at 803 17th Avenue West in Bradenton.