Bootleggers 2nd Anniversary Party – Homebrewing in Brandon

In the hinterlands of far-off Brandon, tucked behind the giant auto-malls, and hidden among the strip stores, is a delightful place doing wonderful things.  Friends and co-owners Darcy Hermida and Carol Faessler have combined their passion and love for homebrewing and winemaking with their retail savvy to create Bootleggers Beer & Wine Homebrewing Supply, and they celebrated their second anniversary on January 22nd.  Complete with food, music, and a raffle, Bootleggers celebrated with lost of tasting options from their loyal customers.  Both wine and beer (and even a homemade sake!) were freely – and generously – poured.  At the same time, there were several people brewing up batches outside.

I got to spend a good amount of time talking to Bob Appleyard, a member of the Bootleggers Brandon Homebrew Club, and quite a prolific homebrewer.  He brought a wide range of his creations, from his “Pliny the Toddler” (a 4.9% IPA), to his “Wrong End of the Coyote”.  Both were delicious.  Their club is very active, has around 40 members now, and is growing at an impressive rate (4-5 new members a month).

The store itself is very nice.  Neat and clean with high, well-stocked shelves for both beer and winemaking.  They also offer on-premise winemaking (can’t do beer because of the cooking aspect), and the back of the shop is lined with buckets, bubbling away with fermenting soon-to-be wines made by customers.  The staff is knowledgeable and friendly,  and the whole *feel* of the store is welcoming and comfortable.

It was a great day, and I was very happy to meet more people in the beer community.  A growing enthusiasm for homebrewing is good for the community (not to mention the economy!), and I look forward to more events with the Bootleggers!


Bootleggers is located in Brandon, Florida, on 650 Oakfield Drive.  They are open Tuesday through Sunday, and you can contact them through their website, email, or calling 813-643-9463.


~ by Sean Nordquist on January 26, 2012.

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