As a youngster growing up in Sanford, Dylan Bashore used to ride his bike to the library during the summer.
“Downtown had no life,” Bashore said. “The library was the biggest thing going on.”
Things have changed substantially since then. Downtown has a thriving nightlife and a blossoming art scene. Bashore, 28, and his business partner Robert Turner, 31, plan to contribute to the changing face of downtown life when they open their brewery and tasting room, Inner Compass Brewing Co., in the fall of 2015.
Inner Compass Brewing Co. (Website | Facebook) will be located at 300 E. 2nd St. in Sanford. Locals know the location as the abandoned gas station at the northeast corner of Palmetto Avenue and 2nd Street.
Bashore and Turner plan to completely renovate the building, including adding retro garage doors and awnings out front for outdoor seating. Funding for the building, renovations and brewing equipment is being provided by family and friends.
“It’s very hard for a brewery to get bank funding, especially in Central Florida,” said Turner. “Breweries or a new thing in this area. It’s not like Portland or Asheville where there are multiple successful breweries.”
Bashore said his parents at first were skeptical about investing in a brewery.
“They knew I was into homebrewing, but they didn’t think this was something I could make a living at, ” Bashore said. “Once they started researching the craft beer industry, they realized that you could in fact make a living doing this.”
Bashore and Turner have been homebrewing for number of years, primarily for family and friends. Bashore said the first time he really thought he could make a business out of brewing beer was in 2013.
“We brewed a beer for my wedding, and it was the first time I got really positive feedback about the beer,” said Bashore.
The duo has participated in craft beer festivals and unveiled their brews for Sanford at this years Pints ‘n Paws event.
Bashore said their brewery will be a 10–barrel system and they expect to brew about 900 gallons of beer per month. Like all craft brewers, they will offer a rotating selection of beers, but their core beers will include a blonde ale, an IPA, a pale ale, and a chocolate-peanut butter stout.
Once Inner Compass Brewing is operating they will join a thriving beer scene in Sanford (Sanford’s Brewing Reputation). Wops Hops Brewing Co. (Wops Hops Brewing Co. comes to Sanford | Facebook) has been in business for nearly a year, and Sanford Brewing Co. (Facebook | story coming soon to The Bokey) plans to open in late summer 2015.
Turner and Bashore think multiple breweries will only enhance their business.
“You can never have too many options if you love craft beer,” said Turner.
For more information on the brewery and its opening date, check out the company’s website and Facebook page.
-by Dan Ping