LARGO — Olde Florida Brewing Co. celebrated its one-year anniversary Feb. 25 with a steady stream of beer and customers flowing in and out of the place throughout the day and night.
According to owner and co-founder Rodney Woods, the microbrewery at 1158 Seventh St. NW behind Untouchables Pizza, made it through the first year thanks to the strong support of loyal customers.
“Cheers to one year!” Woods said during a brief speech in the outdoor beer garden, noting the brewery persevered through the downturn in the economy and the recent retirement of cofounder and master brewer Jay Dingman. “I just want to say thank you so much, genuinely, for your support tonight and over the last year. I love you all.”
Woods then praised their partnership with the On Brazilian Time food truck and welcomed the addition of well-respected local brewer Tom Ludwig, who said he’s looking forward to bringing his unique and varied styles to Olde Florida’s lineup of original labels.
“What you are going to get is beyond exceptional beers,” Ludwig said of his plans for the menu, which he said would include at least eight original labels. “Everything from light to fruity, to dark. Whatever you’re craving, I will produce that for you. I promise you that.”
According to Ludwig, who has worked with Tarpon-Springs-based brewmaster Bob Sylvester as well as Dingman at his former place, Barley Mow, and has two beers on tap at Bayboro Brewing Co. in St. Pete, he’s excited to put his own spin on the Olde Florida lineup and help reinvigorate the place.
“I intend to bring in a lager, a Saison, a fruited wheat and a pale ale, along with an IPA and some others,” Ludwig said.
He added that his “goal is to use locally sourced ingredients and customer input to turn this brewery around and make it known for top notch beer. And I hope the general public will appreciate what I can bring to the table.”
For Woods, he’s equally excited to bring someone with Ludwig’s brewing experience on board.
“I can’t wait for him to get started and see what he can do,” Woods said, noting new beers should be flowing through the Olde Florida taps in the next few weeks.