By Kate Quesada

Local beer drinkers are in for a treat. Apollo Beach residents KJ and Jillian Lynch are sharing their love of beer with the community in their new brewery, Leaven Brewing Co., which is opening its doors on Boyette Rd. this month.

The brewery, located in a 4,000 sq. ft. space in the Anytime Fitness-anchored Shoppes of Boyette, will open to the public with a ribbon cutting and grand opening event on March 30.

The Lynchs, who fell in love over beer and got married at a brewery, moved to the area from Ft. Myers for KJ to take a position with BrewHub in Lakeland and are now translating that experience into Leaven.

Currently, the Lynchs plan to open the brewery Fridays and Saturdays from 3-10 p.m. offering 12 beers on tap including five flagships beers, a kolsch, a blonde ale, an IPA, a red ale and an oatmeal stout, that will always be available, five rotational beers that will match the season, for example pumpkin beers or imperial stouts, a cider and a guest tap that will feature beers from other Florida breweries. The couple will work with food trucks and other local restaurants to offer food to their customers.

KJ and Jillian have been working to convert the space from a BBQ restaurant to the brewery by covering the ruby red walls with herringbone wood and have painted a large mural on the existing cinderblock.

“What separates us from other business is who we are,” said Jillian. “I think we’re lucky in the Bay Area to have so many great breweries, each with their own personalities, but a concrete bar top or painted mural isn’t what makes you different, it’s your beer and your people.”

KJ has been brewing professionally for five years and is looking forward to putting his own personality into the beer at Leaven.

“Making beer is like following a baking recipe,” said Jillian. “All cakes call for similar ingredients: flour, sugar, eggs and water, but it is the process that makes your cake different than any others. The same goes for beer – we all use similar ingredients but it is the process that shapes the beer.”

The couple keeps the brewery’s Facebook and Instagram pages updated and welcomes residents to stop by to check them out.

“I am regularly taken aback at how wonderfully positive the Riverview community is, whether it be a comment on Instagram or a message on Facebook or even stopping in to introduce themselves and letting us know they’re excited to have us here,” said Jillian. “We consider ourselves very lucky.”

Leaven Brewing Co. is located at 11238 Boyette Rd. and can be reached at 677-7023. Visit for more information.

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Kate Quesada
Assignment Editor Kate Quesada started working at the Osprey Observer in 2004 after graduating from the University of South Florida with a masters degree in Mass Communications. Since then, she has held various positions at the paper and has been working as the assignment editor since January 2020. She lives in Lithia with her husband Mike and sons Dylan and Max and stays active in the community on school PTA boards and volunteering with local organizations.