TOWN 'N COUNTRY — Leslie and Chris Johnson were in corporate information technology for 25 years. They worked long hours but still had time for home brewing and a certain amount of "beer tourism." At the beginning of March, in time for Tampa Bay Beer Week, the couple will debut Six Ten Brewing in the Town 'N Country neighborhood north of the airport.
Chris, who has been brewing for more than 20 years, was a founding member of Tampa's first home brewing club, the Tampa Bay BEERS, back in 1990. He started brewing competitively about three years ago, and his beers have won numerous medals in local, regional and national brewing competitions.
Six Ten, named for the couple's commitment to getting beyond the "9 to 5 grind," will be a full-production, three-vessel, 10-barrel brewhouse with a 60-seat tasting room and 20 seats outside. Although there will not be food on site, food trucks will provide beer drinkers with dining options.
They chose Town 'N Country for its central location and mix of small businesses and residential. According to Leslie, the launch of Six Ten reflects their own readiness to change careers as well as the groundwork laid by other area brewers.
"Tampa hadn't been known for its craft beer community," said Leslie Johnson. "Joey Redner's Cigar City, David Doble from Tampa Bay Brewing Company and Bob Sylvester from Saint Somewhere have enlightened the community as to what craft beer is all about."
Six Ten will settle at 7052 Benjamin Road in Tampa. For information, visit sixtenbrewing.com.
Laura Reiley can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 892-2293. Follow @lreiley on Twitter.