Second brew pub planned in historic Downtown Eustis

Teresa Burney
GrowthSpotter contributor

Eustis has a second brew pub coming on tap in downtown, planned for the former Magnolia Café and bike shop on the prominent corner of N. Bay Street and Magnolia Avenue.

Dubbed the Bay Street Brewery & Bistro, the new business is led by Eustis couple Lea and Bill Beckett, who own a craft liquor distillery near Jackson, Idaho in the Grand Tetons.

The new brew pub is planned to open sometime in July and take about 3,000 square feet at the location, said Lea Beckett, who has a chemistry degree. Tapas that go well with the beers are planned, as well as small plate offerings.  

The couple is busy renovating the inside of the space that they are renting with an option to buy, with four 80-gallon fermenters and two 200-gallon fermenters in the building to make beer, and 15 taps to start to serve the restaurant.

The building includes a barber shop on the ground floor and 16 apartments on the second. Daniel and Merrilyn Di Vinanzo own the property. 

Growlers should eventually be offered for customers to take home. There are also plans to offer more heritage alcoholic offerings including ginger beer, root beer and Meade, the medieval brew made from honey.

The Becketts are also fitting the space with booths, replacing the former tables and chairs to create more seating space, potentially totaling 140 indoor seats and 36 outdoor. The former cafe space is large enough for a liquor license, so they plan to sell their Idaho distillery offerings as well at the pub.

Beckett considers the location across the street from another craft brewery an asset, because craft beers are all different and a pair of breweries will make the spot a destination for craft beer lovers to try out both restaurants’ offerings.

“Craft breweries are cooperative,” Beckett said. They often offer competitors’ products, but don’t look for any liquor made outside of the U.S. The couple want to keep American money in the U.S., rather than buy alcohol made outside of the country, Lea Beckett said. 

The Beckett’s Grand Teton Distillery in Idaho has been a success with its B&B Vodka and Colter’s Run bourbon winning prestigious awards, they said. The couple got a boost at their distillery when they drew a famous investor, actor Channing Tatum, who was looking to invest in a distillery and discovered their brand.

The other new Eustis brewery, Wolf Branch Brewing, is set to open in October in the Flat Iron Building across Bay Street. 

Eustis economic development officials told the Becketts that they are excited to have a second craft brewery in town. The city is friendly to alcohol being carried in a clear container Thursdays through Sunday nights.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at teresaburney4@gmail.com or 352-455-1955. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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