Former Longboat Key resident plans January opening for Craft Growlers to Go and Tasting Room.
When Jeanne Dooley decided she wanted to open a craft beer store, she was looking for a place with a hometown feel.
The retired golf instructor was a former Longboat Key Club resident who had moved away the past 30 years.
As she visited the area with thoughts of a return, she came upon a place that really didn’t exist when she had moved away ... Lakewood Ranch.
“When I came here, I said this is it,” she said. “The universe likes this idea.”
Only a few months after signing a lease for Suite 103 on Main Street, Dooley will be opening her store, Craft Growlers to Go and Tasting Room, in the first week of January and hold a grand opening Jan. 8.
The craft beer shop will have 45 taps and sell individual drinks, but she wouldn’t characterize it as a bar. Dooley said she wants a relaxing, welcoming and family-friendly environment where people can come in, get a drink or taste a new beer, and ultimately buy a growler (32 or 64 ounces) to go.
She will have high-top tables and comfortable seating.
Why the switch from golf instruction to craft beer?
“I like beer,” she said. “I like being with people, talking and interacting, around something fun. (Beer) is happy, it’s fun.”
While she’s never owned a beer joint before, Dooley’s not naïve about the industry. She’s working on her Cicerone certification, a program similar to being a wine sommelier, which requires her to take a program of study about beer and pass exams on not only beer itself but also the science behind it and how to analyze taste based on brewing methods.