Made In America, Swamp Head Brewery
GAINESVILLE- When you think of beer, you might think of the big names... but microbreweries are hopping all over the country including in north central Florida.
Tonight's the first Wednesday of the month, so as promised, we're featuring a local business and their "Made in America" products.
TV20's Alex de Armas found one local spot that's pouring back into their community every day.
There's about 65 microbreweries in Florida-- including at least one in Gainesville.
It's a taste of The Swamp that's being poured all over the state.
In southwest Gainesville there's one spot where you can find "Midnight Oil," a "Big Nose" and even have some "Wild Nights."
I'm talking about beer here… Swamp Head beer.
"So I realized there's no craft beer here, no one was really doing it here," said Luke Kemper, the owner of Swamp Head Brewery.
Kemper and a family friend, Craig Birkmaier, wanted to bring craft beer to Gainesville.
"I thought maybe we can do something here," said Kemper.
The pair started making beer in 2009.
Today, the company has 18 employees.
During their first year in business, they brewed 700 barrels of beer, last year they brewed 3700, and all made here in their brewery in southwest Gainesville.
Swamp Head Brewery has about 225 taps in different bars and restaurants within Gainesville and Ocala.
"The plan is for now to not leave Florida," said Kemper. "We really want to be Florida's brewery. We want to make it our homework. We want to make it for everybody here the best beer they can get."
The Swamp Head team aims to pour back into their community.
"We try to keep every dollar we can in the Gainesville community or as close as possible," said Brandon Nappy, an employee at Swamp Head Brewery.
They use locally roasted coffee for their coffee stout.
Their bar is even made out of wood fashioned by another local business.
The staff here at Swamp Head Brewery really like to keep it local. Instead of throwing out their used grain they give it to the UF Department of Agriculture to feed their cattle.
"The beef that you can buy at their beef store you can consider some of it Swamp Head beef because it has eaten some of the grain that we brewed the beer with," said Nappy.
Both Kemper and Nappy were born and raised in Gainesville and say they want to give back as much as possible to the community that has supported them throughout this hoppy journey.
"Gainesville is a great place," said Nappy. "The community here is amazing. Most importantl, it's been unbelievable to see the way Gainesville has embraced Swamp Head."
"Just having everybody else say they love what we are doing for the city, we're happy because we also enjoy what we're doing," said Kemper.
The owner of Swamp Head Brewery has high hopes for their future.
Getting a bigger place is number one on his list right now so the team can make more beer.
If you know of any local business that make products in north central Florida, let us know.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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