Sometimes nothing is better than enjoying beers among friends. Unless of course, it’s making beer among family.
It all started in 2015 when Jose Villafana, an army veteran and amateur beer-maker, set off on his trek to become a master brewer. Ever since, Jose and his brothers-in-law, Josh Greenberg and Chris Dunlop, honed their craft, testing and developing a wide range of craft beer styles.
Now the trio and Jose’s father, Jose Villafana Sr., are readying to open their own brewery, Wolf Branch Brewing in Eustis, named for the Mount Dora road where it all began.
The approximately 1,700 square-foot brewery will be in the historic Iron Block in Eustis. The building, dating back to 1882, will have an industrial, warehouse vibe that contains four fermenters, one brite tank, and a 3.5 barrel brew house. The space will feature wood and brick elements to create a lived-in style.
“We’re probably most excited about our lush outdoor beer garden, or as we call it, The Grove – adorned with living walls, hanging lights, wood tables and wood planters,” said Greenberg of the additional outdoor space. “When you’ve hit your breaking point at work or in day-to-day life, The Grove will be waiting to help you escape from the mundane and typical grind.”
Wolf Branch Brewing partners (from left): Josh Greenberg, Jose Villafana Jr., Jose Villafana Sr, Chris Dunlop
The new brewery will focus on crafting old-world styles of beer with modern tastes. The styles include a Belgian Witbier, a Bière de Garde, a Farmhouse Ale and a Coffee Milk Stout among others. Eight to ten house-brewed beers will be on tap at all times, plus two rotating guest taps and a growler station.
Understanding that good grub accompanies great beer, there are plans for the business to partner with select downtown Eustis eateries to offer patrons meals and light snacks The Mount Dora residents are also considering serving hard ciders and wine at the brewery.
A soft launch is anticipated in August and a grand opening in October, possibly for Oktoberfest. Eventually, brewery tours and classes are planned.
“As fellow neighbors, we know this community has been yearning for a unique craft brewery that they can call their own,” said Greenberg..
Watch for the Wolf Branch Brewing to open at 119 N. Bay Street in Eustis late this summer.