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Friday, July 10, 2020

Big Storm Brewing Co. to open new Orlando brewpub at Amway Center

Posted By on Fri, Jul 10, 2020 at 3:41 PM

click to enlarge PHOTO VIA BIG STORM BREWING CO./FACEBOOK
  • Photo via Big Storm Brewing Co./Facebook

Not sure this one makes sense quite yet, but for the optimists out there: Independent Clearwater brewpub Big Storm Brewing Co. is opening their fourth Florida location, in Orlando, at the Amway Center.

Yes, this year, 2020. Or at least they hope to by December.

The Orlando City Council approved their 10-year lease on Monday, and the nearly 5,000-square-foot location plans to operate on-site craft brewing and kitchen service year-round.

The brewpub will offer the company's own signature beers, which include Tropic Pressure, Wavemaker, Bromosa and Palm Bender, but they will likely brew one-off specials for the new spot.

The Amway Center, named after the pyramid scheme that made the DeVos family billions (the company calls itself "the world's largest direct selling company"), is typically filled with concertgoers or hosting home games by the Orlando Magic and Solar Bears.

Those Solar Bears games are canceled for the remainder of the 2019-20 season, and the remaining Magic games will take place in "the bubble" at ESPN's Wide World of Sports complex near Disney World. Tons of concerts have been moved from this year's calendar, too, including the Weeknd, rescheduled to July 2021, and Harry Styles, who rescheduled for October 2021.

So if opening a restaurant in the current environment is already a pretty steep mountain to climb, how will a new eatery survive inside a large, mostly empty arena?

Good thing the brewpub and restaurant will be accessible every day from inside and outside the Amway, and that people will always want Florida-themed beer, even if it's to-go.

"The City has been outstanding to work with and their out-of-the box thinking and approach have helped make this a reality," said Big Storm co-owner L.J. Govoni in a release.

Big Storm will try to stand out amid the stormy sea of brewpubs by embracing its tagline, "Florida's Craft Beer Forecast," and coming up with new Sunshine State favorites to suit changing tastes — as they did with Tropic Pressure Florida Ale, steeped with hibiscus flowers, and Key Lime Shandy, which is brewed with Key lime puree.

Despite the uniqueness of these times, Big Storm has some experience on their side. Founded in Pasco County in 2012, they have three other Florida taprooms, in Clearwater, Odessa and Cape Coral, plus their beers are distributed to stores in Ohio, New Jersey, North Carolina and Texas. They even sell gallons of hand sanitizer made at the Clearwater mothership.

The restaurant plans to hire nearly two dozen full-time and part-time employees, so here's hoping the stars align — even though most have postponed until 2021.
click to enlarge The Clearwater location of Big Storm Brewing Co. - PHOTO VIA BIG STORM BREWING CO./FACEBOOK
  • Photo via Big Storm Brewing Co./Facebook
  • The Clearwater location of Big Storm Brewing Co.
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