EDGEWOOD, Fla. – Gatlin Hall Brewing is getting ready to open up shop in Edgewood, not far from Orlando’s SoDo neighborhood, in just a few weeks.
The brewery has made overtures about its opening several times previously, only to have the date pushed back, but owner Mike Brady said this time he means it.
“We are much more confident than we have been in the past, but I have thought about beginning our last couple of social media posts with ‘Just kidding on that last one,’” he said.
Brady said most of the delays have come down to design issues as he and his partners are converting retails spaces in a shopping plaza into their brewery.
“We took what used to be five retail spaces and we’re trying to make it into a full functioning brewery, restaurant, taproom and adding an outdoor beer garden. So, to pull that together from what it was to what it is — and do that in conjunction with the city of Edgewood and Orange County — there’s definitely been a couple of hoops that we’ve had to jump through,” he said.
While Brady is confident they are getting close to opening the doors to a thirsty public, he is not quite ready to commit to a date — just in case.
However, he feels Gatlin Hall Brewing will be worth the wait. He said that his team plans to offer a variety of lagers, IPAs, sours and dark beers all made by Gatlin’s in-house brewer, Tyler Rosenberg, who comes with quite the pedigree.
“We hired him from Cigar City (Brewing), which if you’re going to look at hiring someone from a brewery in the state of Florida that certainly is not a bad one to pull somebody from,” Brady said. “Prior to that he was Coppertail (Brewing) and some smaller breweries in the Tampa area — he’s a native-born and raised out there. Even equally exciting, to me, is he’s won a handful of homebrew competitions concurrently, while he was also building up this brewery resume on the commercial scale. So he’s got a wonderful background.”
Gatlin Hall will have more to offer than just beer, according to Brady. It will also feature three food stalls — Da Kine Poke Bowls, Frenchy’s Wood Fired and Willy’s Original.
Brady said Frenchy’s and Willy’s are run by Jim Nuetzi; the former executive chef for Capital Grille and Olive Garden, and Pillippe Villain; the owner of Big Fin Seafood.
“Frency’s will feature wood fire pizzas, oven roasted chicken wings and salads while Willy’s will be serving smash burgers and sandwiches. So between those two new concepts and, of course, Da Kine Poke - we really hope that our food options will offer a little bit of something for everybody.”
Brady said he really saw an opportunity in brewing in Orlando. After living in Michigan and North Carolina, he found the beer scene here to be lacking.
“Those two states are a little bit ahead of Florida on the craft beer boom curve over the years,” Brady said. “It just seemed like there was room for more.”
He is not the only one who finds the Orlando area’s craft beer scene somewhat lacking. The city was recently ranked among the worst in the nation for craft beer. Despite that, more breweries are making their home in greater Orlando and Brady said he is happy to be a part of the scene.
“We’re thrilled to be part of the trend of trying to change that outlook of whether or not Orlando is indeed a craft beer destination,” he said.
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