works with a heavy industrial feel.
He hired Chris Hale and Gina Capparelli at Colonial Metalworks
in Fort Pierce to make the industrial bar stools after
he saw a chair they made that Nolli says “turned the whole
Nolli says he didn’t want tile, wood or vinyl flooring and
wasn’t sure what to do until Hale convinced him to try metal.
So, after making 40 metal chairs, Colonial butted pieces of
metal together over wooden flooring and screwed and glued
them down. Funny thing, says Nolli, is that glass bounces
rather than breaks when it hits his metal floor.
“In a year and a half, we’ve broken maybe a half dozen
glasses,” he says.
He kept giving Hale and Capparelli rusty pieces of metal
that they put together and are now spread across the property.
“Even the sign out front. They said, ‘We made this and if
you don’t like it, you don’t have to buy it.’”
Of course, he bought the sign, and it sits in front of Pierced
Nolli says he was on a mission to bring cider making to
Florida. He sent a buddy to attend a course on making cider
in Washington state. The buddy called Nolli to say, “Don’t
hire me, hire Chelsea.”
Chelsea Luper had learned the trade at a startup cidery in
Washington. Soon, Nolli got her and her husband to visit,
and she was hired as the cider maker at Pierced Ciderworks.
The cidery has the ability to make up to 6,000 gallons annually,
and its products, particularly its ’Merica Dry, an English
cider, are on tap at about half of the other stops on the Wine
& Ale Trail. Nolli says a blackberry cider called Purple Drank
is a popular one.
SAILFISH BREWING COMPANY, 130 N. 2nd Street,
Fort Pierce. Opened April 2013. Kitchen on site, The Crafted
Pie. Taps: 23 including 22 of beers made on site. Phone:
772.577.4382. Website: https://sailfishbrewingco.com
This is the oldest craft brewery on the Treasure Coast that
remains in business. Two short-lived ones, both at the same
location in Stuart, came and went, one in the late 1990s and
another closed about a dozen years ago.
Still, most people refer to Sailfish Brewing Company as the
first Treasure Coast craft brewer.
Sailfish is also the most widely distributed of local brewers,
as some of its products are available statewide.
Sailfish opened in 2013 on the site of what is now Pierced
Ciderworks. It moved to its current location in downtown Fort
Pierce where there once was a J.C. Penney department store.
That department store once served as an anchor of downtown
retail businesses, says David BuShea, Sailfish co-founder and
president. He’s proud that he helped form the Downtown
Business Association in 2018. The present location opened in
February 2017 after several months as a production facility.
The granddaddy of Treasure Coast brewing, at only seven
years old, was started by BuShea and two friends who also
were construction managers before brewing, Nick Bishoff
and Mike Sturgis. The trio scouted locations from Vero Beach
to Stuart. BuShea says Fort Pierce city officials smoothed their
path, helping them decide to locate there.
Production for 2019 will be 7,200 barrels, which is triple
that of 2018, BuShea says. He hopes that production capacity
will be increased to 9,600 barrels annually. Kegs make up 70
percent of Sailfish’s production, and cans 30 percent. BuShea
says the target is to make that split 60-40 keg to can sales. Its
three most popular beers are Sunrise City IPA, White Marlin
Belgian Wit and Tag & Release Amber.
Sailfish has a large rectangular bar that can seat about 50,
in addition to the tables inside and on a patio that fronts
HOP LIFE BREWING COMPANY, 679 N.W. Enterprise
Drive, Port St. Lucie. Opened July 2017. Taps: 22, of which 18
are of products made on site. No kitchen on site. Food trucks
on site every day. Phone: 772.249.5055.
Hop Life Brewing has ample room for outdoor parties, and
while there is also plenty of space inside, its owners are ready
to expand at its industrial park location in St. Lucie West near
the ballpark where the New York Mets have spring training.
A converted fruit juice warehouse affords 23-foot ceilings
and seating for 80. Another 50 seats are outside. The tables
inside are thick enough to be in a German Biergarten. They
were custom-made by a local carpenter.
Among its brews are Reel Lite, a “light and refreshing
cross between an ale and a lager,” according to Hop Life’s
beer menu, Twin Buoys Blonde Ale and Fire Hog Red Lager.
The best-selling beer is a German-style sour beer, Puckard, a
pineapple mango gose.
Like many craft brewery owners, Jim Kelly and Rob Tearle
began with home brew kits and friends loved their beers
as they steadily gained knowledge and expertise in the brewing
Hop life began as an apparel company in 2011, founded by
Kelly, in order to preserve the name that every beer drinker
can relate to, and to fund the brewery. In 2012, Tearle joined
and in 2016 another partner, Jeff Blitman, joined. So, all three
were on board when the brewery opened in 2017.
Kelly and Tearle were career firefighters, which explains
why their logo is a version of the Maltese Cross used by most
U.S. fire departments. Firefighters from around the country
have already inquired about leaving their patches for a display
at Hop Life, Tearle says.
Hop Life’s 2019 production is expected to be 1,300 barrels,
or about 40,000 gallons, up from 1,000 barrels, or 31,000 gallons,
Hop Life is among the brewers on the Treasure Coast that
distribute products with Southern Eagle Distributing.
Among its events are “Dirty Singo Bingo” nights that pack
the house, led by a comedic transvestite.
The pavilion at Summer Crush Vineyard & Winery can seat about 450 who
come to see local and national musicians.