Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

New Brewery, Roast Closes, New Restaurants

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

New Brewery, Roast Closes, New Restaurants

Article excerpt



Lakewood Ranch's first brewery is in the works, with plans to open this year.

Naughty Monk Brewery has leased 8,600 square feet at 2507 Lakewood Ranch Blvd. and will focus on Belgian- and German-style beers, Diana Eibler, CEO and Head Brewmistress, said in an exclusive interview.

"The whole building is a shell right now," she said, so they have a lot of work ahead.

"We've had so much encouragement from the community," she said. They have been doing tastings all over the area for the last two years, refining recipes. "We have some really good beers that made a good splash," she said, including a coconut stout and an habanero agave Belgian wheat ale.

The brewery's tasting room will have 24 taps, Eibler said, with seven devoted to other breweries. She said she doesn't consider the other local brewers to be competition. Instead, they have helped Naughty Monk. She said Sarasota's Big Top Brewing Co. has been especially helpful, and St. Petersburg's 3 Daughters Brewing Co. even shared their business plan. Naughty Monk would be the second local brewery to open this year: Calusa Brewing opened off Clark Road in late April.

Eibler isn't doing this alone. Her husband, Joe Eibler, is the brewmaster. They both got into beer by starting out as homebrewers about six years ago, she said, adding that they weren't beer drinkers until she tried a Belgian strong pale ale on tap.

"My first Belgian beer was a Piraat on draft," she said. That beer changed her opinion of what a beer could be. She said they honed their homebrewing skills and heard "you should sell this" from friends and family so many times

that they decided to do it.

They are joined by partner Anthony Martin, CFO Eric Keller and his wife, Judy.

"We're calling us the Fabulous Five right now." Diana Eibler said with a laugh.

They plan to be draft only at first, she said, with bottles and cans to come later. They have about eight solid beer recipes now, with more to come.

Eibler said her years of experience as a surgical nurse will come in handy at Naughty Monk.

"Trust me, we will have the cleanest equipment and lines in town."

-- Alan Shaw, The Beer Geek


Roast Restaurant and Bar chef/proprietor Andrew Thompson closed the restaurant last week, citing construction during the prime months of tourist season as the reason for the demise of his downtown Sarasota restaurant.

Thompson opened Roast in 2013 after holding the executive chef position at Polo Grill & Bar in Lakewood Ranch. Thompson refurbished the upstairs piano bar into a more comfortable lounge with cocktails and light bites; added a modern yet more intimate vibe to the main dining room and transformed the courtyard to a dining area and bar with fire pits and a rotisserie to accommodate special dinners such as pig roasts and crab boils. …

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