Old Soul Brewing brews with the clan
Michael Schmidt and his sons, Nicholas and Jacob, started brewing their own craft beers many years back as a home-brewing hobby.
They all brewed separately but swapped tips and tricks.
As time passed, the trio realized that it made sense to gather forces and start a craft beer business together, and so, collectively, they opened up Old Soul Brewing in Fort Myers a little more than a year ago.
They have grown quite a bit since as Old Soul Brewing beers are also on tap at about 40 other establishments.
“We put a lot of thought into the name,” said Michael, who said that he and his sons wanted to have a name that represented how they define themselves.
“We are old souls,” explained Michael, who says that the definition refers to “persons of spirit.”
“Our spirit says be yourself, have fun, enjoy life and know the world you live in,” added Michael, who is the founder and president, while his sons are also founders and co-owners.
The brewery is located on Boy-Scout Road/U.S. Highway 41 (Cleveland Avenue) – right across the street from Page Field – in the industrial area. (Turn west by the yellow Sprint sign.)
While the outside is an unassuming, the inside is quite comfortable.
“People sometimes take their shoes off because they feel right at home,” said Michael.
The bar style is handmade, refurbished, and repurposed – from a bowling-alley-floor-topped bar, to an ammo can from Afghanistan to a picture of hands in sign language – it’s all part of the Schmidt’s soul.
“This is a place to bring your child, or your family pet, play a game, listen to some music or have a party, and you will be comfortable – guaranteed,” said Michael.
Guests can also enjoy board games and WiFi, as well as live music on Saturdays.
“We currently carry nine draft crafts – from IPAs to Belgians – that we make in house, as well as hard cider, bogle wines, soda, water, and cold-brewed espresso (on tap),” said Nicholas, who is also the CEO.
Sample flights for tasting a few brews are also available.
“In addition to our own brews, my ‘easy-drinking’ go-to is Ballast Point’s Sculpin (San Diego, Calif.) as it has an incredible hop balance, and is super-drinkable,” said Nicholas, who is also a fan of sours and, therefore, also enjoys drinking La Folie Sour Brown Ale Beer by New Belgium Brewing (Fort Collins, Colo.), a beer that he describes as “mouth-puckering with hints of fruits.”
Although Old Soul Brewing isn’t a restaurant, they do sell a few typical bar snacks.
“One item we are proud of is Smilin Bob’s smoked-fish dip,” said Nicholas, who said the dip, served with crackers, pairs well with their darker beers, such as Black Betty and Peanut Butter Porter, a seasonal favorite.
The family trio finds their inspiration for new beer flavors in a few different ways. They study what’s trending now and figure out how can they put their own spin on it. They consider what they personally love to taste and enjoy and then create a beer around it.
And when guests make an emotional connection to the beer they’re drinking, their compliments inspire them to keep experimenting with new brew flavors.
“They taste one of our beers and say, ‘this reminds me of the county fair or that trip to Germany,’ and when they say things like that – it’s a great inspiration and the highest praise we can get,” explained Michael.
If you go
Old Soul Brewing, 10970 S. Cleveland Ave., Units 402 & 402, Fort Myers, 239-334-4334; oldsoulbrewing.com; facebook.com/OldSoulBrewing
Monday-Friday 4-9 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday 1-9 p.m.
Weekend nights are often open later. Live music on Saturdays.
Giving Back Celebration, Late November/Early December. Free food and music all day. Meet and greets with local establishments, brewers and vendors. Canned good entry fee. Check Facebook page for details.