Father, son team look to open new brewery in Seminole County

Pair plan to open Little Wekiva Brewery in Springs Plaza

Little Wekiva Brewery logo (Connor Brewing LLC)

SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – A father, son duo who have spent about 10 years brewing beer at home are now looking to go pro in Seminole County.

“We’ve made a beer or two in our time,” Chris Connor said.

Chris Connor said he and his father, Richard Connor, had always wanted to work on a business together.

“He (Richard Connor) is a retired IT professional. I’m still slugging it out in the (IT) world but we always talk about collaborating on something IT-related and we never did,” Chris Connor said. “Then we just got into brewing together and one day he just kind of said ‘Hey, what do you think about starting a brewery?’ and I said ‘Yeah!” — it literally took that much thought.”

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The pair started working on getting their brewing house in order last year at the start of the pandemic.

“Back then we said, ‘Well, all this is gonna end one day — why don’t we just start doing our due diligence now and see what’s what,’” Chris Connor said.

That was the start of Little Wekiva Brewery, though they had other ideas about the name before they settled on that moniker.

“We’re not young pups. He’s 74 and I just turned 50. So, we’re entering a young person’s game as old people,” Chris Connor said. “We bounced around the idea of Old Guys Brewing and all that kind of stuff — so that had definitely a chance in the naming but my wife thought that was dumb, so we went with Little Wekiva.”

So, the pair had a name and now they have a location. The Connors signed a lease at Springs Plaza, 2401 W. State Road 434. The location is 1,200 square feet, according to Chris Connor, which will serve as both brewery and taproom.

“We’re estimating our occupancy at any given moment can be 20 to 30 people. So, it’s going to be very intimate,” Chris Connor said.

The Connors will be churning out their beer in very small batches.

“It’s a two-barrel brewery which is, in gallons terms, 60 gallons. So when we brew, we’re going to be brewing 60-gallon batches. That’s not to say we will only have 60 gallons of beer — because we’re gonna have many varietals — but when we brew it’s gonna be very small.”

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The pair hope to have eight to 12 taps ready for thirsty customers.

While everything is lining up, the Connors still have some red tape to cut through.

“We have to apply for a special exemption (to open the brewery), and not with the city, with the county because the area we’re going is in unincorporated Seminole,” Chris Connor said.

He added that he is optimistic that everything will come together and they hope to be open by the second quarter of 2022.

“I would like it to be sooner — and it may very well be — but probably, likely second quarter of 2022,” Chris Connor said.

In the meantime, Little Wekiva Brewery is building up its social media presence. You can find it on Facebook and Instagram.

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About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.