BRANDON — Mike Pitts is the first to acknowledge that he has never brewed an entire batch of beer by himself, but he understands the methodical science behind the three-hour-plus process.
Shaun Goeckner calls himself a beer geek. An expert on steeping, mashing, sparging and brewing hops.
They are Valrico cul-de-sac neighbors who have been home brewing together for more than 12 years. Pitts, an airline pilot, bought Bootleggers Brewworx at 650 Oakfield Drive in Brandon last August and once again teamed up with his beer brewing buddy Goeckner to work as co-owners.
Together, the draught duo has expanded the home-brew supply store featuring ingredients and supplies for making beer, wine, cider and mead. They purchased the adjacent unit, where the Brunchery was before moving to Valrico, and have created what Goeckner thinks might be a Florida first: a beer brewing site with a pub.
Bootleggers Brewworx begins a soft opening for its new craft beer bar today, featuring 30 taps and a custom-made bar top.
"If you like to cook, this is a fantastic hobby," said Goeckner, who grew up in the mountains of California. "I love to brew. I have been brewing for a long time."
Goeckner places a high priority on the flavor of beer, and perhaps an even higher importance on sanitizing all the tools needed to create the end product. He suggests first-time beer brewers purchase a starter kit, and he won't let them go it alone. He teaches how-to classes on-site and has been known to visit customers' homes.
Goeckner, who owns a tech firm, used his background to build a working beer version of a flux capacitor to control brewing temperatures that would make Back to the Future's Dr. Emmett Brown proud. Experienced brewers can choose from approximately 60 types of malts and find all the tools they need to mix, brew, ferment, rack, bottle or keg a custom libation.
For more information, call (813) 643-9463.
Nail specialist opens mobile spa for girls
A Riverview mother of two has combined her experience as a licensed specialist for nails and skin with her disdain for traditional children's birthday party establishments.
Kisha Garcia has launched Pretty Lil Divas Girls Mobile Spa where girls ages 5 to 12 can enjoy a taste of spa services including mini manicures, pedicures, facials and makeovers.
Pretty Lil Divas promises to make girls feel wonderful about themselves inside and out, in a safe, luxurious and hassle-free environment. Each of the four packages is designed to teach girls about their skin, good hygiene and positive self-esteem.
Find more information and book a party at prettylildivas.com.
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