US 41 in Pasco County isn’t exactly the most gorgeous road that you’ve ever been on.
The sides are populated with car garages, gas stations, run down and abandoned buildings, and the kind of old Florida plant growth that is not as carefully pruned and expertly manicured like a stereotypical Florida postcard.
Somewhere along the road, in Land O Lakes, you’ll come across an old salmon-colored Spanish style house, quietly situated next to what looks to be a warehouse. That house, vacant for years and recently renovated, is the home of the city’s first brewery, In The Loop.
In The Loop started, as most breweries do, with home brewing. The first person to jump on board was Pete Abreut, firefighter and owner of the CrossFit gym that’s located in the aforementioned warehouse next door. He had been home brewing for years along with two other people: his neighborhood friend Joe Traina, and his fellow firefighter Mark Pizzurro.
The location they chose for their professional brewery is picturesque, if nothing else. The old house sits on the shore of Lake Padgett, and a small shed in the back of the brewery’s expansive beer garden backyard houses their small Nano system.
Inside, the house still retains a lot of its original charm. The kitchen area is used for the taps, with one wall taken out and converted into an outside serving window. There is ample seating inside the former living and dining rooms, but unfortunately the upstairs floor was closed off while I was there.
At this point, their tap list is about half guest taps and half brews made on site. Naturally, going to a brewery, I am going to ignore all of the guests tap, and see exclusively what In The Loop has to offer.
Loop Lager (Vienna Lager, 5.3% ABV) – This had a wonderfully unique raisin bread aroma, and a lightly sweet, dark fruit-laced flavor with a deep malty base.
Warren’s Wheat Pineapple (Wheat Beer, 5.5% ABV) – In terms of mouthfeel, here was a bit of classic ale ruggedness on the tongue, and that roughness made an interesting wheat flavor vibrate jut a bit more, finishing off with a strong, almost rindy fruit flavor.
La Femme Capricieuse (Saison, 5.5% ABV) – A classic and well brewed take on this ‘whinsical lady’ of the craft beer community, with a delightful bubble gum nose, meaty and spice-laden taste with a moderate citrus end.
Bourbon Barrel Brown (Brown Ale, 5.8% ABV) – This brown had a light maple sugar aroma that gives way to soft, caramel malt flavors and a light vanilla creaminess.
Local legislators are hoping that In The Loop will start a revitalization of that section of US 41. While there are not very many Spanish style homes along the road, this was a unique find and having a local business such as this brewery will hopefully do great things for the area and for businesses in general. Of course, I’m happy if they just stick around and keep making the beers that I’ve been trying.
But I’m not doing the CrossFit next door. Sorry.
Drink Florida Craft,