Holy Mackerel to Finally Open Full-Scale Production Brewery in Pompano Beach

Bobby Gordash, soon to be opening the Holy Mackerel Project.
Bobby Gordash, soon to be opening the Holy Mackerel Project.
Photo by Doug Fairall

Bobby Gordash is a name that you should be familiar with if you've delved even a tiny bit into the history of craft beer in South Florida. Now the industry veteran is knee-deep into the process of opening up his own brewing facility in Pompano Beach by the end of 2016.

Gordash won the 1996 Sam Adams LongShot Homebrew Contest. Then, in 2006, he opened up Holy Mackerel Brewing with beers contract brewed out of South Carolina. He sold Holy Mackerel Brewing in 2011 to Davie local Larry Hatfield while staying on as a brewer and sales representative. Then in 2013, he moved on to become brewer rep and craft-beer alchemist for the Florida Beer Co. in Cape Canaveral. Most recently, he worked a stint for Hollywood Brewing Co. as a craft brewery consultant and sales rep.

Now he's got Holy Mackerel, with beers such as Panic Attack and Special Golden Ale back in his portfolio, and is building out his brewery and tap room space, just down the road from Bangin' Banjo Brewery

"I get to do what I really want to do," he says.

Holy Mackerel to Finally Open Full-Scale Production Brewery in Pompano Beach
Photo by Doug Fairall

The facility is a 2,800-square-foot warehouse that is under renovation and is scheduled, as well as these things can be, to be open in just over six months. During a quick tour of the premises, I was able to see the brand new 200 gallon Colorado Brewing Systems setup and the architectural drawings of the planned demolition and remodel.

"I want people to feel comfortable like at the Burial Beer Company in Asheville," he said of his concept. "To feel like they can walk around and check out the brewery equipment."

As part of the opening process, Gordash is looking for an extra bit of funding from the public through a GoFundMe campaign.

"The last thing I want is for people to think I'm begging for money," he says. "Breweries like Saint Somewhere Brewery [in Tarpon Springs] had a great funding campaign. The reward program helps people who want to share a piece, that's more rewarding. People want to have a place to call theirs." 

The rewards range from brewery shirts, to named bar stools, to named tanks and fermenters.

Once the brewery doors are open, he aims to put his beers into local distribution.

"We'll have small slims around Broward, calling it the Holy Mackerel Project, or Small Batch Beers, to differentiate it from the product coming out of South Carolina."

Gordash explained the beers he'll be making, offering ideas on everything from session beers to old favorites of his, to even potentially bringing back that old winning Sam Adams homebrew recipe (a Cascade dry-hopped ESB). There will also be nitro coffee and craft root beer on tap.

Until the new Holy Mackerel Project opens up, we'll all just have to wait with a Panic Attack in hand.

Holy Mackerel Brewery will be located at 3260 NW 23rd Ave., Pompano Beach.

Doug Fairall is a craft beer blogger who focuses on Florida beers. He is a Certified Beer Server and has been a homebrewer since 2009. For beer things in your Twitter feed, follow him @DougFairall and find the latest beer pics on Clean Plate's Instagram.

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