(Pinellas Park, FL) – The Tampa Bay area eagerly awaits the opening of Rapp Brewing Company, a new craft brewery in the heart of Pinellas County that joins a boom of other small breweries that have opened in the region.
Greg Rapp, 53, has served his homebrewed creations to friends and colleagues for the past eight years. He founded the local homebrew club Pinellas Urban Brewers (PUB) Guild a couple of years ago, where he honed his craft with the help of fellow members.
“I’ve learned a lot from that group,” he said. “They are some very talented people.”
After 30 years in the IT industry, Rapp had enough. He retired and is following his passion by opening Rapp Brewing Company in the spring of 2012.
He has signed the lease on the 3,200-square-foot space off Bryan Dairy Road, just a couple of blocks west of 66th Street, his 50-gallon brewing system is in place, and the licensing and permitting are nearly done.
“What we’re going to do is actually brew a large variety of beer instead one or two flagship beers,” Rapp said. “We will have 20 taps in the tasting room.”
Rapp Taps the Crowd
But he really wants to give his customers a comfortable place to quaff the brews, so he’s turned to the popular crowd-funding site Kickstarter to raise the money to build out the 650-square-foot tasting room.
“We will be using the funds generated by this Kickstarter project to develop the perfect atmosphere for craft beer lovers to meet, sample our creations, and discuss their thoughts about our beers with us and their peers,” Rapp said. “This will be a great place to meet friends and explore all the interesting beers we will have on tap. We also plan on hosting periodic events – maybe monthly, which will include special release beers, food, and entertainment.”
He seeks to raise $20,000 to build the tasting room through donations as small as $1 each (though larger amounts are certainly welcome!) For each level, donors will get increasingly larger awards. For a dollar, the donor will have his or her name displayed on a “Wall of Donors” in the brewery. Anyone donating $2,500 or more will have a private party hosted at the brewery, along with 25 of his or her closest friends, plus all the awards for lower levels of donation, including being able to brew and name a beer, a beer-and-food pairing party, a donor appreciation party, and more.
Rapp Brewing Company is slated to open in late May. The Kickstarter campaign will run through May 2, 2012, or until the goal is reached or exceeded. You can read more about the project here: http://www.rappbeer.com