By Debra Massaro
Joel Bigham, owner and operator of Craft Beer Cellar, located at 1937 Brandon Blvd. in Brandon, has a reason to say, “Cheers!” His franchise location, which has been open since 2014, is constantly evolving to best serve the Brandon area.
Known for craft beer education and excellence, the store keeps customers supplied with package to go brews and one of the most diversified tap lists in town in a relaxed environment. Customers can enjoy samples and peruse over 600 beers before filling their growlers to take with them or to enjoy a 12oz pour at the bar.
Bigham, who purchased the approximately 1,800 sq. ft. Brandon bottle shop from its original owner in September 2016, is excited to be renovating the store and expects to have a new bar, and additional seating by the end of June 2017.
“The store was mostly promoted in the past as just a bottle shop. I have enhanced the environment, adding to the bottle selection and making the layout more open, and we really encourage customers to drink on site,” Bigham said.
While the store does not serve food, patrons are welcome to bring their own and enjoy music and conversation while drinking a fine craft beer.
The store boasts a tasting bar with 12 taps on a rotating basis, and eight cooler doors with bottled beers to appeal to any palate. Customers can drink anything from the cooler on-site for a small open fee, or they can stop in to grab some packaged beer on their way to the beach.
The store’s success is partially a result of the plethora of Local Florida beers available since Bigham tries to keep at least eight Florida beers on tap at all times. “I do my best to support local Florida breweries. There are over 70 of them between Sarasota and Brooksville, and the number is growing,” Bigham said.
In addition to the physical changes taking place, Bigham has also ramped up the store’s social media presence since taking ownership. Customers looking to discover the latest beer releases or take part in upcoming tastings can be the first to know on facebook.com/cbcbrandon, visit craftbeercellar.com/stores/fl/brandon/ or call 413-9451.
Store hours are Monday through Wednesday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday through Saturday 11am to 10 pm, and Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Customer can enjoy $1 off 32 oz. growler fills on Sundays and Mondays.