The recent launch of Lake County’s newest craft beer has been a runaway success. Retailers and craft beer bars are struggling to keep Wolf Branch Brewing “Season” beer in stock. Now the start-up is gearing up for a launch of another kind.
In mid-to-late January, Wolf Branch Brewing will open its 1,700 square-foot brewery in downtown Eustis. The cozy craft beer bar will feature a selection of house brews on tap, as well as a few taps for guest beers. The goal is for eight to ten house-brewed beers to be on tap at all times, plus offer growlers for patrons to fill in the taproom so beer lovers can take their favorite local beers home.
The brewery will soon add a 300 square-foot beer garden with a mural by local artist Richard Barrenechea of Mount Dora’s “Starry Night” fame.
Wolf Branch Brewing focuses on crafting old-world styles of beer with modern tastes. The grand opening will feature their “Brumada,” a Belgian Wit, “Sibarita,” a Belgian Tripel, “St. Pat’s,” a Red Ale, “Coocha,” a Coffee Milk Stout, and "Season" a Belgian-style farmhouse ale, as well as carefully curated guest beers on tap.
The venue will have more than just beer. A staple will be Grandpa’s Sangria, housemade in red and white varieties and served in mason jars. Recognizing that good grub accompanies great beer, the business is partnering with neighboring Sol de Mexico and other area eateries to have custom menus for delivery in the brewery. With any luck an ordering window will be cut into the beer garden so hungry patrons can order directly from the restaurant. For customers just feeling a tad peckish, the brewery will offer light snacks like chips and gourmet popcorn.
Above: At Wolf Branch Brewing it's a family affair
The brewery will also host some of the area’s top music talent. David Oliver Willis lives a few doors away and will likely be a staple performer.
The seed for Wolf Branch Brewing was planted 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, have honed their craft, testing and developing a wide range of craft beer styles.
Now the trio and Jose’s father, Jose Villafana Sr., are ready to showcase their beers and friendly hospitality in the brewery named for the Mount Dora road where it all began.
Wolf Branch Brewing is located at 119 N. Bay Street in downtown Eustis between the State Theater and Sol de Mexico. Currently, the brewery is open limited hours: Monday through Thursday from 12:30- to 2:30 p.m. and from 5:00-9:00 p.m. and Fridays until 11:30 p.m. Saturday the hours are 1:30 to 11:30 p.m. and Sundays from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m. Watch for extended hours after the grand opening later this month.
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