Craft beer is beginning to pour into Lakewood Ranch, and its first craft brewery is bubbling to the surface.
The Naughty Monk Brewery is slated to open in the fall after securing a 9,000-square-foot space in a plaza near the intersection of Lakewood Ranch Blvd. and State Road 64. It shares the plaza at 2507 Lakewood Ranch Blvd. with The Granary.
“We see that as the perfect location,” said Eric Keller, CFO.
The business is owned by two couples, Joe and Diana Eibler, CEO of Sarasota and Eric and Judy Keller of Parrish. Joe Eibler is the brewmaster; the four currently homebrew in his garage. By law, they can’t sell any beers that they’ve concocted, but they release samples at local festivals, Keller said. Last year, they attended Sarasota and Bradenton craft beer festivals and Music Compound’s Beer, Boats and BBQ at Nathan Benderson Park.
The brewery’s Facebook page already has over 1,000 likes. They’ve made between 30 and 40 different recipes, some focused on Belgian-style beer and others on unique flavor combinations, such as habanero-agave wheat and coconut chocolate stout. The space will have a tasting room with house and guest taps; the rest will be taken up by a 15-barrel brew house where they will make beer for mass-distribution as well as one pilot system to perfect new recipes and make limited-release flavors.
The concept is Diana and Joe Eibler’s brainchild. In 2013, they began experimenting with home brews. The name originates from an experience the couple had while touring breweries in Belgium and befriending a monk with a passion for making beer.
Keller said the brewery’s location will be perfect for the area growth and for the traffic which will cross the Fort Hamer Bridge once it’s completed.
“Lakewood Ranch is exploding, and we’re excited,” he said.