Opening Barley Mow has meant 12-hour days, seven days a week for Colleen Huffman and Jay Dingman. Huffman said they love what they do, but they missed brewing beer at home.
So Huffman posted on Facebook about wanting to brew beer on Sunday's on Barley Mow's spacious patio. And people started coming to brew their own beer.
"We had a great turn out. It's fun. It gives people the opportunity to see how beer is made and how to start making beer at home," Huffman said.
Troy Bledsoe of St. Petersburg has been home brewing for about 1 1/2 years. His day job is in insurance but he loves brewing on weekends.
"It's way cheaper than buying beer and it's a chance to be creative," Bledsoe said.
The brewing process takes about five to six hours. Participants complete the beer making process, which takes about a week at home.
"It's like a batch of brownies in the oven. You can smell them, but you can't yet eat them," said Nick Khoury of Clearwater, who distributes cylinders and valves for his day job.
Participants enjoy the camaraderie of brewing beer together. People help each other and build their own equipment.
"Beer making is really interesting. You meet the coolest people. It is really fun...We're passionate home brewers and are really excited that our area is becoming the new Mecca for craft- and home-brewed beer," said Autumn Kindelspire of Largo.
The home brewers take pride in what they produce.
"I love cooking. I love being able to make something I love. It's a sense of pride; a sense of accomplishment," Khoury said.
About Barley Mow:
- Address: 518 W. Bay Drive, Largo
- Hours: Open daily 3 p.m. until 2 a.m.
- Barley Mow Brewing Company is a nano-brewery offering all types of craft beers on tap, including American black ales, dark blends, amber ales and pale ales. They also carry wine and have a full-liquor bar.