Longtime friends start a microbrewery in East County.
For years on family vacations, Stu and Chris Drymon and friends Darrell and Susie Jackson would talk about their vision for retirement.
Perhaps one day they could find a slice of paradise by the beach, open a craft brewery and socialize over beer.
The couples are now living part of their dream. On Nov. 1, they officially opened 3 Car Garage Brewing at 8405 Heritage Green Way, Bradenton, near the Crunch Fitness.
“As you get older … you realize life is going by really fast,” Stu Drymon said. “Now was as good a time as any.”
Drymon and Darrell Jackson having been home-brewing buddies for several years, and now they are working together to craft unique beers for their microbrewery. On tap currently are All Cs IPA, Mango Untamed IPA, I Don’t Work Wheat and Helles Lager, among others.
Drymon said there will be plenty of lagers and lighter beers with lower alcohol content, so people can spend more time together without worrying about over-drinking.
“You make a session of it: You sit down, you have beer with your friends,” Stu Drymon said. “Our place is more about coming in, hanging out and enjoying friends and family together. We’re going to have a taste for everyone.”
Drymon and Jackson are brewing fanatics who love researching beer history, new techniques, beer trends and ways to make their beers unique.
Their love of brewing was piqued when a mutual friend, Mark Lafebre, brewed his own beer about four years ago.
“I was into craft beer anyway, going to breweries, enjoying all the things that weren’t the yellow fizzy beer you grew up on,” Drymon said. “Being able to take water and extract and making beer out of it — it was like: ‘Wow, you can do this. You don’t have to be Budweiser to make your [beer].’ Then you want to try your own stuff.”
For the holidays, Drymon said he hopes to create some holiday-inspired beer, such as a pastry pie beer.
The brewery also might one day make hard waters and seltzers, Jackson said.
Local Realtor Julie Franklin met Drymon at an exercise class and decided to hold a private event at the brewery after hearing it would open around the same time as her 100th closing. She wanted to support others starting a business as she did six years ago.
“He’s new,” she said. “I thought it was important to support local.”
Franklin hosted about 80 friends, colleagues and customers there Nov. 5 and said the event was a success.
“Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves,” she said. “The beer has great flavor.”