When it opens in 2017, Gulf Stream Brewing Company will join the seven breweries currently operating in Broward County, and will be among the six new craft brewing facilities — including Odd Breed Wild Ales, Holy Mackerel Brewing, and Broski Ciderworks & Winery — currently slated to open in the coming years.
Gulf Stream Brewing Company cofounders McKay Ferrell and Ty Eriks — longtime friends and experienced home brewers hailing from the West Coast — originally planned to open their brewery in Vancouver, Washington. Plans changed when Eriks relocated to Fort Myers in 2012 and realized the potential for launching their business in South Florida's emerging craft-beer market.
"The emerging craft beer community in South Florida is really something to be excited about." - McKay Ferrell.
"It's a great scene here," said McKay. "There's clearly a passion for craft brewing, but it's nothing like what we were used to [in Washington]. We thought, 'Let's not get lost in the weeds out here. Let's help grow the scene in Florida.'"
In June 2015, McKay moved his family to Boca Raton. Over the past year-and-a-half, the duo has been working to find the perfect location, a search that brought them from Boca Raton to Lighthouse Point.
Today, Gulf Stream Brewing has found a permanent home in a 5,300-square-foot standalone building located at 1105 NE 13th St. in Fort Lauderdale. The plan is to open a ten-barrel brewhouse and tasting room slated to launch with a March grand opening, says McKay.
"Our focus is on drinkable, sessionable beers," said Eriks. "But our biggest goal is education — to help transition people from drinking the big-name domestic beers to craft."
Gulf Stream Brewing will launch with a number of core beers, including a kolsch, citrus hefeweizen, West Coast-style IPA, brown ale, and porter.
Broward County is currently home to a number of microbreweries, including LauderAle Brewery, Flagler Village Brewery, and Khoffner Brewery in Fort Lauderdale; Bangin' Banjo Brewing Company and 26 Degrees Brewing Company in Pompano Beach; Hollywood Brewing Co. in Hollywood; and Big Bear Brewing Co. in Coral Springs.
"The emerging craft-beer community in South Florida is really something to be excited about," said McKay. "And we are excited to be a part of it. At the end of the day, we brew beers that are superclean and true to style, and that's what we want to bring to the scene."
Gulfstream Brewing Company. 1105 NE 13th St., Fort Lauderdale; facebook.com/gulfstreambrewing.
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