It’s been a while since we’ve heard from our friends at Inner Compass Brewing Co. (website | Facebook)

Dylan and Samantha Bashore have slowly been making progress on the future home of their brewery, which will be located at 300 E. 2nd St. (gmap) Old-timers will remember the place as Sanford baseball legend Buddy Lake’s gas station.

Some local entrepreneurs are turning to the public and the Internet in hopes of joining the growing craft beer scene in Sanford.

Tim Goodman and his wife, Danielle, are the owners of Hood’s Up Brewery (Website | Facebook), a nascent small-batch craft beer operation looking to open in downtown Sanford. They have started a Kickstarter campaign and hope to raise $28,000 online.

Bokey is not just Sanford’s nickname – it’s soon to be a frothy beverage.

Sanford’s first brewery, Wop Hops, will unveil a new beer – The Bokey.

Greg Piecora, co-owner and head brewer at Wops Hops Brewing Co. (Facebook), says the beer will be a classic Rauchbier, which is a German smoked ale. The decision to brew a beer honoring Sanford was an idea first floated by Paul Williams, owner of West End Trading Co. Piecora chose to brew a Rauchbier because of its connections to Sanford.

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.

The former celery capital of the world may soon be the Beer Capital of Florida

A resolution by the Sanford City Commission in 2005 made Budweiser the official beer of Sanford, but the city is quickly becoming the king of the craft beer scene.

By the end of 2015 Sanford will have three craft beer breweries, a Belgium beer bar, a craft beer bar and restaurant with more than four dozen microbrews on tap, a store selling home brewing equipment and supplies, and a bar that serves sour beer – all within a three block radius.

wops hops
Greg Piecora, left, and Peter Minelga, plan to open Wops Hops Brewing Co. in the Stokes Fish Market building on Sanford Ave.

Greg Piecora evaluated a number of places to locate his business, Wops Hops Brewing Co. Conventional wisdom dictated that Winter Park and Maitland were among the top choices.

Piecora chose Sanford.

“I love a city with personality, and Sanford has personality,” Piecora says. “We could have been anywhere, but this city has a heartbeat. The history, the people, the vibe — this place is real.”