Monday, June 18, 2018
Business

Big Storm Brewing boasts new Odessa taproom — and a trophy for best beer

ODESSA — Their friendship wasn't formed over a pint of beer, but on the football field many years ago.

Mike Bishop, founder of Big Storm Brewing Co., played football while attending Clearwater Central Catholic High School, and during his senior year in 2002 he had a new football coach, Leo Govoni. The two remained close over the years, and now Govoni and Bishop are business partners at Pasco County's first microbrewery.

Big Storm was established in 2012, after Bishop decided to turn his hobby and passion into a business. After graduating from the University of South Florida in 2006, he worked in finance, but found himself wanting to learn more about brewing beer.

"I was cleaning kegs over at Dunedin Brewery, while also working as a financial adviser," Bishop said. "I was fascinated with the process."

He said that as an unpaid volunteer, he gained a tremendous amount of knowledge about brewing beer.

When Bishop decided to start his own brewery, Big Storm seemed like a fitting name.

"It was a symbolic thing with Big Storm," he said. "At the time, I had left the corporate world and was getting into this."

Bishop also wanted to pay homage to Florida, and the name reminded him of watching lightning storms and how beautiful the sky looked after storms had passed.

"It's a great name, and it's so fun to market," Govoni said. "It translates to everything."

About a year after Bishop started Big Storm, he teamed with his old coach and longtime friend, Govoni.

"Leo really believed in the vision of the brewery and the concept and myself," Bishop said. "We partnered up and brought it to where it is now.

"It's very much a family business."

Big Storm produces a large variety of craft beers, but began with Wavemaker Amber Ale.

"You don't see many breweries producing a solid, quality amber ale," Bishop said. "When we first started out, we looked at the market, and we wanted to find what our niche was, and amber ale is what we like to drink."

In 2013, Colorado-based New Belgium Brewery entered the Florida market, and its amber ale, Fat Tire, provided competition for Wavemaker.

"Fat Tire came at us hard, but we prevailed," Bishop said. "Consumers preferred having that local touch."

Big Storm has won numerous awards for its beers, and this year won the Best Beer in Florida trophy at the 2016 Best Florida Beer Championship for its Oktoberfest Marzen Lager.

"We're pretty excited about it," Bishop said.

Since Big Storm began, its growth and success have led to the opening of two new taprooms. In January, a taproom opened in Clearwater, and a new Pasco taproom opened April 16.

"The response has been overwhelmingly positive, and we're getting new customers every day," CEO Jonathan Golden said.

The Pasco taproom is at 2330 Success Drive in Odessa and is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. For more information, visit bigstormbrewery.com.

Comments
Private Florida firm buys Rent-A-Center in $1 billion deal

Private Florida firm buys Rent-A-Center in $1 billion deal

An Orlando private equity firm has purchased lease-to-own business Rent-A-Center in a deal valued at more than $1 billion.Vintage Capital Management put a bid in for the company on Friday: $15 per share, $1 per share above its previous offer. Rent-A-...
Updated: 18 minutes ago

Hernando Business Digest for June 22

Business digestBrieflyHOSPITAL RECEIVES AWARD: Oak Hill Hospital in Spring Hill was the recipient of Healthgrades 2018 Patient Safety Excellence Award, a designation that recognizes superior performance of hospitals that have prevented the occurrence...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Pasco Business Digest for June 22

Pasco Business Digest for June 22

Business digestBrieflyHOSPITALS RECEIVE AWARD: Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point and Medical Center of Trinity were recipients of Healthgrades 2018 Patient Safety Excellence Award, a designation that recognizes superior performance of hospitals t...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Report: 40 percent of Florida property will be ‘highly exposed’ to flooding

Report: 40 percent of Florida property will be ‘highly exposed’ to flooding

One of Florida’s biggest draws is also one if its biggest liabilities — its coastline. A new report projects that Florida is at the greatest risk of any state for tidal flooding caused by rising sea levels. And Tampa Bay faces some of the greatest ri...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Tampa Bay gas prices keep falling

Tampa Bay gas prices keep falling

The summer reprieve in gas prices is continuing.After flirting near the $3 mark, Tampa Bay gas prices fell another six cents a gallon over the past week to an average of $2.65 for unleaded, a wide gap with the national average of $2.91 a gallon, acco...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Developer Grady Pridgen buys St. Pete’s shuttered Edward White Hospital

Developer Grady Pridgen buys St. Pete’s shuttered Edward White Hospital

ST. PETERSBURG — Edward White Hospital, closed four years ago because of declining revenues, has been sold to developer Grady Pridgen for $2.7 million.Pridgen is the second developer to see potential in the hospital site at the 2300 block of 9th Aven...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Your barista is a robot. Should it be friendly?

Your barista is a robot. Should it be friendly?

SAN FRANCISCO - The cold, steely arm of Fernando the Barista swirled the foam of my matcha latte, set it down gently, and waved goodbye from inside a glass case. San Francisco, 2018. Where you can get robot pizza and robot salad, and now, a robot mat...
Published: 06/16/18
Riverview’s commercial real estate prices rise as community booms

Riverview’s commercial real estate prices rise as community booms

RIVERVIEW — The basic economic principle of supply and demand defines Riverview’s current struggle with commercial real estate.With a lack of available affordable commercial properties and a booming population, demand currently exceeds supply in Rive...
Updated: 5 hours ago
St. Petersburg home becomes finalist in HGTV contest

St. Petersburg home becomes finalist in HGTV contest

ST. PETERSBURG — A house in St. Petersburg’s Old Northeast is a finalist in HGTV’s Ultimate House Hunt contest. Built in 2007 in the Mission Revival style, the 4,000-square-foot home a block from Coffee Pot Bayou is among 12 nationwide in the "curb a...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Extending Albert Whitted’s runway could help Innovation District take off

Extending Albert Whitted’s runway could help Innovation District take off

ST. PETERSBURG — Albert Whitted Airport wants to extend its main runway. But what would benefit the airport could also benefit the St. Pete Innovation District.Moving the runway would ease building restrictions around the airport, allowing the Univer...
Published: 06/15/18
Updated: 06/16/18