Fermentation Lounge is getting a facelift
Every two weeks in this column, we dive deep into the news surrounding Tallahassee's five brick-and-mortar breweries — Proof, GrassLands, Deep, Lake Tribe and Ology.
But this week? It's all about the capital city's craft beer roots: Fermentation Lounge.
"Ferm," as it's affectionately known, is located in the quaint -- and often underappreciated — All-Saints District of Tallahassee. Ferm is one of the original craft beer-focused spots in town, behind only places like (and we're about to go WAY back in time here) the Mill Bakery and Eatery, and Buckhead Brewing, both of which once brewed their own beer years ago but are now closed.
Current co-owner Jon Nash bought Ferm in 2016, although it originally opened in 2008. Since then, Nash has been working on a master plan to renovate and update the current space, as well as expand his own brand of craft beer, Fool's Fire Brewing.
And that plan is officially in motion.
Over the last six months, Nash and Team Ferm have expanded its kitchen and menu, added 20 additional seats to the bar area, welcomed seven more taps (going from 17 to 26), and installed video menus of all current brews on hand.
"My biggest motivation for this was to add more room and update it more to my tastes —while also keeping the old school, funky charm Ferm has always had," said Nash, who co-owns Ferm with friends Petr Kubik and Jamie Brewton. "When Ferm first opened, it was supposed to be more of a performing arts space with beer. But craft beer in Tallahassee is so big now, we had to keep up with the demand."
And that demand means Ferm — which also has a brew-pub license — is jumping into the brewing fray themselves. Fool's Fire Brewing launched last year, and FFB beer continues to be available on Ferm's regular tasting menu. But Nash said that once the renovations at Ferm are finished, the focus will be on opening a Fool's Fire-specific tasting room right next door a couple of days a week.
"We've ordered new brewing equipment, and by the end of 2018, we should have two core Fool's Fire beers on tap and rotate 2 or 3 other locally brewed Fool's beers," Nash said. "That's the goal."
We can't wait to see all the finished products!
There's still plenty of news on Tallahassee's five core breweries to report. Lightning round in 5, 4, 3 ...
GrassLands Brewing Company
GrassLands' small batch releases continue every Thursday, and this week's is a guava-pasellito style Berliner Weisse, using leftover guava puree from its new core beer, "Guava Gold" (a fruited ale). GrassLands is also releasing a new tropical IPA next week.
Ology Brewing Co.
Ology celebrated its one-year anniversary last week, and the crowds were huge for their four-day affair, which included the debut of their first canned beer, their second sour bottle release and — the biggest news of all — the release of a frozen version of its wildly popular Juice Lab Berliner Weisse series. Yes, we said frozen (think "beer slushie"). Ology owner Nick Walker said he is "blown away by the love we've received over the past year."
Proof Brewing Co.
Proof released its ode to the FSU Softball team's recent national championship last week — "Cardiac Kids Fruited Wheat Ale" — and the Pomegranate Passionfruit and Peach Cobbler are still on tap. Proof also recently welcomed a group of seniors from Tapestry Tallahassee assisted living facility for a private tasting. (You're the real MVPs for that, Proof.) And for continued updates on Proof's relocation to the old Coca-Cola plant on South Monroe, make sure you've bookmarked 1320SouthMonroe.com for all the news!
DEEP Brewing Co.
Deep Brewing and Proof were both selected as Tallahassee's Top 2 breweries in the recent Demo Awards voting, and both poured their beer at the awards party last week. A day later, Deep brought back the first of several Berliner Weisses it plans to release this summer: "Diving At Dawn," an amazing red raspberry sour that is still on tap in the tasting room. But it likely won't last much longer than this weekend, so get by there before it does!
Lake Tribe Brewing
Lake Tribe re-released Nolee’s Summer Suds, their seasonal summer pale ale, last weekend, and it will be in the tasting room while it lasts with a small quantity of kegs being distributed to Tallahassee businesses. Also pouring soon: PowWow Session IPA. PowWow is a light bodied, crisp beer with an impressive bouquet of juicy, floral, and fruity hop aromas. That beer will be available starting July 7.