Darwin's picks site near McKechnie Field for new brewery

cschelle@bradenton.comAugust 12, 2013 

BRADENTON -- Sarasota-based Darwin's on 4th announced Monday its new microbrewery Darwin Brewing Company is coming to the former Bradenton Press building early next year.

Chef Darwin Santa Maria and business partner Bill Cornelius announced the site selection and name Monday after the Bradenton Herald first reported the move Aug. 8.

The brewery will overhaul the press building at 803 17th Ave. W. over the next few months, and aims to have its Andean-influenced beer tapped in early 2014, according to the release.

With the addition of Darwin's across from McKechnie Field and two more breweries opening in Bradenton in the fall -- Motorworks Brewing, 1014 Ninth St. W., and The Little Giant Brewery, 301 Seventh St. E. -- the city is becoming a hub for breweries.

Darwin's on Fourth, 1525 Fourth St., Sarasota, opened in early 2012. Santa Maria was also the founder of Selva Grill in Sarasota.

"The goal has always been to create a full-scale local brewery and event space. It's finally happening," said Chef Santa Maria.

"We're thrilled. Plus, we feelgreat about joining the exciting craft beer revolution happening here in Bradenton. We will be very involved with the community and look forward to showcasing local artists, musicians and more at the brewery."

The 15-barrel brewery will feature a tasting room, beer garden, andperformance area for local bands. The brewery will offer canning, kegging and growlers of its beers and plans to hold food truck rallies there.

Darwin's also named Jorge Rosabal as its Bradenton brewmaster. Rosabal already heads up the in-house brewery at Darwin's on 4th, and plans to include "exotic Andean ingredients of Chef Santa Maria in both season creations as well as signature beers available year-round."

Charles Schelle, business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter@ImYourChuck.

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