One of South Florida's homebrewing landmarks is under new ownership. Bx Beer Depot in Lake Worth, for years the only homebrew shop in South Florida, has changed hands, with previous owner Sally Parsons moving on to "the next phase of [her] life."
"It has been a great ride, and I am so blessed to have been part of the craft-beer movement in South Florida," Parsons says. "To be able to part of so many people's brewing adventures and their growth, I can't express any more gratitude. I now see people who learned to brew open up and work for breweries, and I feel like a proud mama."
The company sent out an email in March sharing the news and officially passed the torch on March 25.
Bx Beer Depot is now fronted by Ben and Kem Smith-Meyers.
"We were blessed," Kem says, standing inside their new business. "We had to fight for it... We came at the right time."
Kem brings years of experience in business administration while Ben — a recent transplant from Grand Rapids, Michigan, moving to South Florida four years ago — is an avid homebrewer, having brewed up north with his father for more than a decade. It's this hobby turned passion that moved him to buy Bx Beer Depot.
But don't expect it to stay where it is for much longer.
"We want to move our location in two to three months," Ben said. "Somewhere that is more open to what we're doing."
"For this location," Kem added, "we are restricted to one event a month."
They've hinted at another location in Lake Worth or somewhere in Boynton Beach.
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Before that move, there are some initial changes going down. First, an online store, where hobbyists can put in an order for supplies. Then, more classes, more homebrew competitions, and more meet-ups.
"Our goal is to make it a happening place," Ben said.
Bx Beer Depot is (for now) located at 2964 Second Ave. N., Lake Worth. Call 561-965-9494, or visit bxbeerdepot.com.
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.