It has been years since I last wrote about Crazy Dingo Brewing. And, when I wrote about them, co-owners Stu Paasche and Dan Esperon were just homebrewers, living on a dream and less than a barrel of beer a batch.
Fast forward to the now, and these fine gentlemen took the little idea, named for one of the Stu’s slightly insane Australian Shepherd dogs and turned it into Southwest Florida’s newest brewery.
The dream is still small, and the day my producer Steve and I visited with our kids in tow, Stu had just started to set up his brand new one barrel brewing system.
The dream is still limited, and as of this writing are only open on Friday nights and Saturdays, in their little piece of heaven at Southern Fresh Farms in Fort Myers.
The dream is also still as tasty as those samples they sent me all those years ago. Maybe even more so, since they have had the past four years to hone their skills.
It’s an interesting location for a Taproom, being part of an outdoor patio area at this farmers market, U-Pick farm, and petting zoo. There’s definitely a lot for everyone, and my four-year-old had more than enough fun feeding carrot chips to the goats and snacking on a nice strawberry snow cone as the three of us recorded an interview for the Florida Beer Podcast that hopefully you have heard by now.
If you have not, check it outand heed my warning to bring a pint glass. You’ll understand when you get there, but they run short of glasses and will take a dollar off your first pint if you bring your own glassware. (That’s why the photos in this article are so strange, and why I was drinking a beer out of a glass that has the Marauder’s Map from Harry Potter firmly emblazoned on it.)
As the small production size would suggest, they rotate and rotate fast. I would strongly suggest going for the experience and determining what you’re going to get once you actually arrive.
When we were there, I was lucky enough to try two of his beers:
Farm Saison (Saison, 6% ABV) is a delightfully refreshing, slightly spiky saison lovingly loaded down with fresh blackberries. It’s got a light sweetness to it that never hangs heavy or becomes too much to handle.
If that’s not your speed, he also went the other direction with an absolutely ambrosial Cafe Cubano (Stout, 5.8% ABV) Stout that is amazingly decadent, with heavy dark Cafe Bustelo notes of espresso and the feeling of a white milky sweetness that runs underneath. This is a beer that should be right at home in Little Havana or Ybor City as much as it is on their little farm taproom.
That farm is actually partnering with them to grow hops right there at the facility, to which still has started to be able to release wet-hopped beer where the hops travelled 50 feet at best. From past experience, these are the guys that you want to have working with those hops as they clearly know what they are going to be doing. I know Steve and I want to get back there soon, and it will be exciting to see what beers they will have on tap when we go.
I’ll make sure that our glassware is nice and clean on our return trip.
Drink Florida Craft,
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