Cooking home brewed beer started as a hobby five years ago, with three friends in Land O’ Lakes meeting up in a garage on Cherbourg Loop.
All anyone had to say was – “See you at the loop.”
And, the next few hours were devoted to brewing beer.
The compliments rolled in.
“We had a lot of people like our beers,” said Peter Abreut. “That made us think we could really start something.”
By spring, a garage hobby will become In the Loop Brewing with an on-site brewery, tap and tasting room, and nearly 7,000 square feet for an outdoor beer garden.
The brewery, tap and tasting room will open first, with the beer garden opening later on.
Abreut and partners, Mark Pizzurro and Joe Traina, are busy renovating a former residence at 3338 Land O’ Lakes Boulevard. The two-story house is next door to a building that houses Interior Elegance and Abreut’s gym, Crossfit En Fuego.
The upstairs can be rented for private parties or special events such as birthdays, weddings and office parties.
“We’re trying to keep the house as is,” Pizzurro said. “It has its own character.”
A shed on the property will be converted into the brewery.
An outdoor patio, decks, an inside/outside serving window and landscaping will complement the beer garden.
Noise will be kept at a minimum, Traina said, with low-level background music for the beer garden.
“It’s very community oriented,” he said. “That’s our goal.
Everything is coming into place.
In the Loop Brewing already has a fan base with nearly 900 likes on Facebook from beer enthusiasts who identify as “loopers.”
A Portland-based company is delivering brewing equipment. The Pasco County Commission, in January, approved the brewery’s beer and wine licenses. A federal license to brew beer is expected soon.
“I’m excited about this. This is a great day for Land O’ Lakes,” said Pasco County Commissioner Mike Moore. “This is great for the area’s development. This is also tourism for the county if you think about it.”
Three years ago Big Storm Brewing, located in Odessa, was Pasco’s only craft brewery.
“For years you’d seen nothing of this kind of thing,” Traina said.
Pasco now is seeing a burst of new breweries.
The vacant ClassB screen-printing business in downtown Zephyrhills will soon open as Zephyrhills Brewing Co. Pasco County commissioners also approved a beer and wine license for Rebel Dog Brewing Co., in New Port Richey.
According to 2014 data from the Brewers Association, Florida ranked ninth nationally in numbers of craft breweries, with 111 locations. The state held the fifth spot in production at 1.1 million barrels of craft beer.
But, Traina said the trend for more breweries isn’t about competition, but camaraderie. “The whole culture of the (brewing) community is to be tight- knit,” he said. “It’s so diverse.”
Pizzurro is head brewer among the partners. In addition to home brewing, he served as an intern at Big Storm for about a year.
In the Loop’s beer selections so far include an IPA, American pale ale, a Vienna lager and farmhouse ale.
It is a true partnership, however.
Everyone can contribute on beer recipes.
Abreut is skilled in marketing; Traina in sales.
“We all bring something to the table,” Traina said.
And, they take pride in bringing a unique experience to Land O’ Lakes.
“It’s helping revitalize this area,” said Abreut. “That’s what we want to do.”
More information about In the Loop Brewing can be found on their Facebook page.
Published February 3, 2016