Craft beer has become a staple of American culture in the last five years, but not of the American diet.
These American specialty beers are often known for their harsh, bitter taste and require an educated beer palate for consumption, but in the case of Cold Storage Brewery on Florida Avenue, the goal of owners Andy Delaparte, Brent Berthy and Bruce Talcott has been to create an original, flavorful and drinkable beer.
"Our whole plan was to introduce the public to a craft beer that isn't heavy and hoppy (bitter)," Talcott said. "When people think craft beer, they think of a heavy beer, but we wanted to make something you can drink all the time. It's like cooking, you can make the flavors you want."
After approval from the city just last week to create a full time tasting bar on the brewery grounds, Cold Storage will open seven days a week to customers beginning August 17 and 18 when they hold their grand opening.
Cold Storage Brewery
4101 North Florida Avenue
Getting into Beer: Delaparte, Berthy and Talcott all had other careers when they came into the business of making beer. These days, only Talcott, a retired Verizon executive, is able top devote all of his time to it as Delaparte still operates an electrical construction firm and Berthy a business based in Gainesville.
The Beer: The trio has created a number of flavorful beers, most notably their Florida Avenue Ale and its blueberry version which are not uncommon at bars around the city. They've responded to requests by adding an IPA and brown ale to their repotoire.
The Trifecta: "It's worked out perfect because there is three of us and Bruce is the managing partner," Delparte said. "The tasting room is my ongoing project, Bruce does the brewing and production side and Brent does more the contracts and legal side of it."
Opening up to the public: "In states like Colorado and Massachussetts you have more than 2,000 breweries," Delaparte said. "In Florida you have maybe ten, but I think the state is up and coming in the beer world. We built this space so that we could welcome servers, bartenders and people who can sell our beer to learn about it, but now we want to open it up to the public more than the third Saturday of every month."
30 years of brewing: "I brewed for 30 years but I couldn't get consistency in home brewing. When we set out on this venture, we hired a professional brewer so that we get the same thing every time. I made good beers before, but with my level of expertise, I couldn't make the same beer each time," Talcott said.
Monthly Tour: To this point, the only way for the public to see the inside of Cold Storage Brewery was to come on third Saturday of the month for a tour. Those days have provided the owners a chance to meet the public and get feedback on the beer. "I love seeing the people come out and enjoy the beer," Delaparte said. "When you see people come out and enjoy the brewery as a destination, I like that. We got into the beer business to make a good product so it's a lot of fun to see the public come in and react the way they have."
New career: "After working for Verizon for 36 years, I can honestly say I've never worked harder than I do now," Talcott said. "This has been good for me personally because I feel like the brewery has been quite a success. I still have new things I want to achieve with this all the time."