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LauderAle: Fort Lauderdale's First Brewery Is Coming Soon

LauderAle is on the cusp of opening, and when it does, it will be Fort Lauderdale's first microbrewery.

The venture is headed by friends Kyle Jones and Joe Farrell, who are both from Fort Lauderdale and have only recently caught the craft-beer bug.

See Also: Broward's Homebrew Craft Beer Scene: Can Brewers Turn a Hobby Into a Business?

The location of the facility is 3305 SE 14th Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. When fully functional, LauderAle will contain a one-barrel system, at least for now. As production ramps up, Jones and Farrell will most likely either move to a 15- or 30-barrel system.

Construction on the facility is 90 percent done, according to Jones, with plumbing, drainage, cold water chilling, and electrical completed and a fresh coat of paint waiting to be added.

The 3,200-square-foot space will house the mash tun, a brew kettle and two fermenters, storage space for brewing materials, and a tasting room. Jones said they will be adding at least two, possibly five, more fermenters.

According to Jones, an official from Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, a federal agency, contacted him on January 18 saying that their license should be approved in seven to ten days. That deadline has since passed, so the approval should come any day now.

Jones said the brewery should be functional in about a month, and he hopes to be open to the public sometime in the late spring or early summer.

Jones and Farrell have spoken to distributors Gold Coast Beverage Distributors and Brown Distributing but have not struck a deal with either one.

Over the past year, Jones and Farrell have been perfecting their recipes and will have a saison, an American pale ale, an IPA, and a coffee porter -- a favorite among fans -- as their flagship brews. They haven't trademarked the names yet, however.

"Competition for beer names is fierce," Jones says.

See Also: As the Craft-Beer Industry Grows, So Does the Battle for Branding

As mentioned earlier, they are new to the brewing business, having been doing it only for the past year. To pay the bills, Jones does real estate and Farrell is a marine architect who travels the world working with marine salvage projects.

It all started one year ago, when Jones scooped up Farrell from the airport after he came back from a job and they went to Tap42, where they hashed out their plan over "a few" beers.

They will both most likely continue their current professions, but as production increases, they will need help with brewing operations in the coming year.

It's a success story familiar in the South Florida craft brewing scene: a couple of friends who turned their hobby into a profession. They started off brewing using a five-gallon system in their one-bedroom apartment and have graduated to a full-blown facility. "It's just a totally different thing. I enjoy it to the point where I'm pretty deep into it and progressing along that path," Farrell says.

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David Minsky is U.S. Navy veteran and Tulane graduate who has experience reporting on stories from California, South Florida, and the Deep South. He also won some journalism awards. Email or tweet David with story tips and ideas.
Contact: David Minsky