Hard cider maker plans Sanford venue

Sanford’s growing roster of craft breweries will soon be complimented by the city’s first cider maker.

Tuffy’s Cidery and Bottle Shop will renovate the building at 200 S Myrtle Ave. (Gmap). Several years ago the building was home to Dog Day Afternoon, a dog grooming and boarding facility.

Tuffy’s is owned by Dan St. Pierre, a partner in DeBary-based Central 28 Beer Co. He was quick to note that Tuffy’s will be a separate operation from the Central 28 brewery.

Tuffy’s will make a variety of hard ciders on site and operate a taproom, which will feature Tuffy’s ciders. The taproom will also offer craft beers, primarily from breweries in Central Florida. In addition, Tuffy’s will offer a selection of bottled beers, ciders and wines to go, thus the bottle shop concept.

“It will be a typically taproom that people are familiar with. You can have a cider or beer and hangout. We’ll also have a grab and go cooler where you can do mix-and-match 6-packs,” St. Pierre said.

That’s Phase 1 of the plan. Phase 2 will include a market with artisan vendors and an outdoor beer garden.

“The building is huge, and the outside area is almost as big,” St. Pierre said.

The cidery, taproom and bottle shop could open before the holidays. Because the building was approved for a brewery, Tuffy’s only needs to obtain building permits and the appropriate state licenses.

“I think we can be open within 6 to 8 weeks of getting our building permits,” St. Pierre said.

Plans have been submitted to the city and under review, according to a city staffer.

There is no timetable for Phase 2. “We’ve got to get Phase 1 done first,” said St. Pierre.

Rumors in town have swirled for weeks that Central 28  was making plans to move into the building. In fact, Central 28 was approved for a brewery at the location in March 2014, however, circumstances prevented the company from opening its brewery in Sanford.

“I like what’s happening in Sanford with the growing craft scene,” said St. Pierre. “It just didn’t work out with the brewery, but we’ve always been interested in doing something in Sanford.”

The name “Tuffy’s” is a nod to his grandfather, said St. Pierre.

“My grandfather’s family owned Tuffy’s Lounge up in Rhode Island,” he said. “It’s been closed for a long time. The name just seemed appropriate.”



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