Naples Beach Brewery tours
Location: 4110 Enterprise Ave., Suite 217
Tour hours: Fridays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., except on the second Saturday of the month when the brewery is at Saturday Nights Alive at Mercato.
Contact: 239-304-8795 or naplesbeachbrewery.com
Local restaurants and bars are slowly rolling out Naples' first locally brewed beer, the next stage in a nearly 5-year-old plan to make Naples Beach Brewery a reality.
The East Naples brewery was licensed about six weeks ago. Owner Will Lawson is now giving twice-weekly brewery tours and working on getting his beers on tap at even more venues. Lawson and a team of volunteers also will be serving the beers at the Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival on Jan. 26.
"It took me almost five or six years to get this place open — thinking about it, critiquing my business plan, searching the Internet for equipment I wanted," Lawson said. "It's fun for me just to see it because I imagined it for so long."
All 60 of the brewery's kegs have been spoken for and are waiting to be tapped at a handful of area restaurants, which Lawson said were eager to serve the local brew. For now, the beers are available at South Street, the Old Naples Pub and The Dock at Crayton Cove.
Lawson also has been offering brewery tours since Black Friday, allowing beer enthusiasts to stop by for a quick lesson on how the beer's made, followed by a sampling of all six of his brews. For $15, tour-goers get 2-ounce samples of each beer, plus two 12-ounce pours of their favorites.
"It's fun for people to come to the brewery, learn about the brewing process, learn the story about how I got going and taste six different beers on site," Lawson said. "It's basically an open house. It's real chill, real low key."
The tours have been averaging about 15 people, with as many as 30 and as few as four. Since the brewery can't operate like a bar, Lawson said he hopes to get creative and hold special tours for events like Super Bowl Sunday or private tours for groups.
The highlight so far has been having both permanent and seasonal residents stop by and remark on how great it is to finally have a local craft brewery, Lawson said.
"They're not just here to drink the beers; they're here because they want to support local business," he said. "Once they get here, they see how small and grass roots we are, and people want to get behind something like that."
Naples Beach Brewery tours
■ Location: 4110 Enterprise Ave., Suite 217
■ Tour hours: Fridays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., except on the second Saturday of the month when the brewery is at Saturday Nights Alive at Mercato.
■ Contact: 239-304-8795 or naplesbeachbrewery.com