Bx Beer Depot, Palm Beach County's first home-brew shop, is back in business in downtown Lake Worth. The new store opened at 21 J Street on Saturday, June 11.
New co-owner Kem Smith-Meyers said she originally considering a space in Boynton Beach before deciding to move the 50-year-old business to downtown Lake Worth.
"One of our goals [when we took ownership] was to expand the craft beer bar, and Lake Worth's walking traffic combined with the network of other small, local businesses nearby seemed like the best fit for us," says Ben. "We love this community."
Kem, who left her longtime job in business administration to go into business for herself, purchased Bx Beer Depot from previous proprietor Sally Parsons the day after she resigned. Today, she runs the business with the support of Ben, a recent transplant from Grand Rapids, Michigan and an avid home brewer.
Bx Beer Depot has a long history in Palm Beach County, a business that's spanned several generations and originally opened at 2964 Second Ave. North in Lake Worth as a keg and package store. Over the years, the shop evolved into a
Today, the new Bx Beer Depot space is a decidedly brighter, less-cramped version of the original where customers can shop for various home-brewing supplies, equipment, and ingredients. A cooler continues to offer a rotating selection of seasonal, rare, and hard-to-find specialty craft beer and cider you'd be hard-pressed to find at your local liquor store.
There's also a spacious, 10-seat bar — parts of which the couple salvaged from the original outdoor tiki bar at the old location. Right now, six taps pour local and national craft brews, but the hope is to have 15 taps by the end of the year.
Aside from the expanded beer bar and extra 500-square-feet of retail space, the new location also allows Bx Beer Depot the ability to offer more community events, says Kem.
"Before, with the old location, we were only able to host one or two events each month," says Ben. "Here, we can do something every day if we want, and that's part of our plans for creating a better Bx Beer Depot."
Moving forward, Kem plans to host a diverse series of events, everything from tap takeovers and meet-and-greets with local brewers to home-brew classes and regular home-brew competitions. Kem, a certified Zumba instructor since 2010, says she's also looking forward to launching a series of fitness-related classes several days a week (think yoga at the brewery, but with more cardio-based activities paired with food supplied by Poutine Dog next door).
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"We've also been talking with the other J Street businesses to organize regular live street events where everyone can get in on the action," say Kem. "Maybe even block parties for continuing our home-brew competitions."
The first Bx Beer Depot home-brew competition at the new location took place Sunday, June 12, where 20 local brewers from Broward and Palm Beach counties competed for the honor of best brew. As with upcoming home-brew competitions, the event is open to the public with a $15 entry fee for those 21 and older that includes a tasting cup and samples of each competitors' brew. To participate in upcoming events, follow Bx Beer Depot on Facebook.
Bx Beer Depot is located at 21 J St., Lake Worth. Hours are Tuesday and Wednesday from noon to 7 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday from noon to 9 p.m.; and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Call 561-513-9907, or visit bxbeerdepot.com.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.