Make us your home page
Instagram

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

Big Storm Brewing founder Mike Bishop, left, and business partner Leo Govoni in the brewery’s newest tap room.

Danielle Hauser | Special to the Times

Big Storm Brewing founder Mike Bishop, left, and business partner Leo Govoni in the brewery’s newest tap room.

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.

Big Storm Brewing boasts new Odessa taproom — and a trophy for best beer 05/11/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 11, 2016 6:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Nearly 1 in 4 Tampa Bay homeowners considered equity rich

    Real Estate

    If your home is worth at least 50 percent more than you owe, you're rich — equity rich that is.

    About one in four Tampa Bay homeowners are considered "equity rich." [Associated Press file photo]
  2. The FHP trooper behind quota on speeding tickets will retire Sept. 5

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — A Florida Highway Patrol official's call for troopers to meet ticket quotas has cost him his job.

    Major Mark D. Welch, Troop Commander of Troop H, wrote an email asking his employees that he wants them to write two citations each hour. "This is not a quota," he wrote. His resignation is effective Sept. 5. [Florida Highway Patrol]
  3. Trump shuts down CEO advisory councils as main group acts to disband

    Business

    President Donald Trump's main council of top corporate leaders disbanded on Wednesday following the president's controversial remarks in which he equated white nationalist hate groups with the protesters opposing them. Soon after, the president announced on Twitter that he would end his executive councils, "rather than …

    President Donald Trump meets with Merck's chief executive, Kenneth Frazier, second from left, and other leaders of the pharmaceutical industry in the Roosevelt Room of the White House last January. On Wednesday, Trump's main council of top corporate leaders disbanded following the president's controversial remarks in which he equated white nationalist hate groups with the protesters opposing them.
[New York Times file photo]
  4. A long-awaited vision for Tampa's Westshore Marina District

    Real Estate

    TAMPA —Eleven years after plans to develop a waterfront tract on the Tampa side of the Gandy Bridge were first announced, a new rendering gives a hint of what Westshore Marina District ultimately will look like.

    Rendering of Marina Pointe, a condo project overlooking Tampa Bay as part of the Westshore Marina District. [Courtesy of Masterfile Corp.}
  5. Buddy Brew Coffee to open downtown Tampa location

    Business

    TAMPA — Buddy Brew Coffee plans to open a new location in downtown Tampa at Park Tower in early 2018. The specialty coffee craft roaster, which was founded in 2010, has five other locations throughout Tampa including the Oxford Exchange, Sarasota, Hyde Park Village and Terminal F inside the Tampa International …

    A cappuccino is displayed at Buddy Brew in Tampa in January 2017. [CHARLIE KAIJO | Times]