Hey, Broward, if you love local beer and you want to find the source, then you don't have to go far, because Holy Mackerel brewer Bobby Gordash opened the Mack House, a brewpub specializing in nothing but Holy Mackerel brews.
Beginning as a home brewer, Gordash won a Samuel Adams-sponsored home brew competition in 1996. The prestige helped him launch his business, Holy Mackerel, in 2006 with Special Golden Ale. Gordash doesn't own the brand or the Mack House; he sold the brand in 2011 to Larry Hatfield, who also owns the Mack House.
The new brewery employs a one-and-a-half-barrel system, with 31.5 gallons (U.S.) equaling one barrel. The system includes only one fermenter, but Gordash is currently working on adding another. He has already brewed at least three batches of Outkast IPA made with the Columbus hop variety, running 6 to 7 percent alcohol. The third one is currently being served on tap at the Mack House.
"The whole idea behind this nanobrewery is so we can do some unique test batches," Gordash says. "It's pretty much a pilot brewery kind of brewery, where we could run some test-kit recipes. It's also a place for people to call home."
In other words, it's a place for Gordash to try out some new stuff, and the customers will be his guinea pigs.
All of Holy Mackerel's flavors, such as Panic Attack and Special Golden Ale, the ones that are bottled and sold throughout South Florida, will also find a place here on tap as well as in bottles.
Because the Mack House is a brewpub, it cannot distribute its product beyond the premises of the venue. And the other Holy Mackerel beers sold in the region are actually contract-brewed at a brewery in South Carolina.
Gordash feels such camaraderie with other Florida brewers that he formed a partnership with them, so don't be surprised to see Cigar City, Due South, or Saint Somewhere on tap at his new brewpub.
"That's what kind of separates us from World of Beers, the Tap 42s, and places like that," Gordash says. "What we are doing is different in the sense that we're doing it more local than what everybody else is doing. We're not just a Holy Mackerel tap house; we're a Florida tap house."
Gordash praises the support from Cigar City for promoting him and Florida breweries. Now it's his turn.
And to reiterate the importance of having locally sourced product: cost benefit; shorter supply chain, which equals less dependency and more predictability; freshness; and it helps the supplier understand local preferences, which, in this case, is all about craft beer.
The Mack House's grand-opening party will be held October 27. Expect lots of samplings (read: free beer), giveaways, and live music. Expect more information in the coming days on Holy Mackerel's Facebook page.
Meanwhile, the transformation from Stage 84 to the Mack House is currently under way, but the brewpub is already open for business. Stop in, have a beer, grab a brewery tour, and meet the owner while you're at it.
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