A new brewery hoping to connect people over beer is opening this week in Seminole Heights.
Common Dialect Beerworks will open Friday on Florida Avenue, complete with a taproom and brewery that makes India pale ales, lagers, stouts, sours and seltzers. The owners hope the brewery can help introduce people to the art of craft beer. They’ll also serve non-alcoholic beverages and wines.
“We want to make IPAs for people who typically aren’t big IPA fans,” said co-owner Kendra Conze, 35. “We want to make a lot of beers more approachable.”
The idea to start a brewery came to Kendra and her husband Mike Conze, 37, during their honeymoon. Mike said he loved to brew beers from home but lacked the experience needed for mass production. So he worked at a sanitation company which cleaned breweries and learned about the process from behind the scenes. He eventually was hired at a brewery and worked his way up to be head brewer at the Lakeland-based Brew Hub for five years.
The couple bought the warehouse that was converted into a brewery in December 2020 for $1.45 million, according to county property records. Attached to the building on 5023 N Florida Avenue is Kendra’s pet store Health Mutt, which is already open.
Seminole Heights has grown with both new residents and small businesses since the Conzes moved into the neighborhood over a decade ago. While property there is now more expensive and harder to come by, they said they wanted to continue investing in the community and create a meeting space that’s both dog- and kid-friendly. They also hope to host food trucks and events on site.
“It just wouldn’t feel the same putting money into Wesley Chapel or Lutz, or something like that, just because the real estate is cheaper,” Mike said. “It wasn’t necessarily the most financially sound position to take but we were willing to make the sacrifices to purchase a property that has just been vacant for so many years.”
Inside the brewery is a vibrant mural of Florida symbols, like the pelican and the sun, painted by local artist Conrad Garner. The tables are custom-made using wood from vintage bowling lanes and the beer taps are surrounded by a teal geometric frame. On the outdoor porch, guests can sit at one of the biergarten-style benches.
Follow trends affecting the local economy
Subscribe to our free Business by the Bay newsletter
You’re all signed up!
Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.Explore all your options
Mike said he will brew transition beers, which are lighter in taste, that can help people get out of their comfort zone and try new kinds of beers that they might typically avoid. The brewery can make about 1,200 barrels a year — or more than a quarter of a million cans.
“Maybe they aren’t as stylistically or accurate as it could be but it’s a good introduction to something that maybe somebody hasn’t tried before,” Mike said. “I like to make beers that anybody would like.”
Though originally the Conzes were considering Mockingbird Brewery for a name, but ran into trademark complications, they said they ended up choosing Common Dialect Beerworks because they wanted the brewery to be a communal space for the neighborhood. Their hours will be from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Wednesday, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. from Thursday to Saturday and 12 p.m. to 8 p.m on Sundays.
“We planned all this during COVID times,” Kendra said. “We were really missing that sense of belonging and we wanted to just have a place where people could sit at the table, find something in common with one another and have a shared experience of enjoying a drink.”