History in the Making
Beer-making, that is. It all started with Rob’s hobby – making his own homebrew – which he started doing with friends during his college years. After he established a successful career in software engineering and married Jen, he picked the hobby back up, and they enjoyed his creations for many years, just with close family and friends. After moving from California to Fort Myers, Rob and Jen created Fort Myers Brewing Co. so they could have a place to make new friends and enjoy their favorite things together – good people, good times and good beers!
The venture began with two old dairy tanks that Rob and Jen converted into their first brew system to make a small selection of beers, sold only from a 400-square-foot taproom with a max production capacity of 300 barrels of beer a year. But today, FMBrew operates state-of-the-art brewing and canning equipment and owns 22,000 square feet of space, producing 15,000 barrels annually.
Striving for greater efficiency as operations grew, Rob put his software engineering hat back on to develop software that runs all of FMBrew brewing operations, POS system and apps that allow the crew to manage operations via text. This ingenious approach has saved the business hundreds of thousands of dollars, enabling FMBrew to reinvest savings into other areas of the business.
Check out the timeline below to reflect on just a few favorite memories and milestones during our first decade of brewing!
FMBrew Moments in Time
With our business plan in hand (scribbled on a cocktail napkin), we began developing recipes before our doors were even open. Obviously, “product testing” immediately became our favorite part of this new venture.
Working on a Recipe For Success
Before opening our doors, we focused on development and refining Rob’s recipes and planning our future in the brewery business.
Founding Fort Myers’ First Brewery
Earning ‘Best Florida Beer’ Honors
Best Large Brewery in Florida
Celebrating 5 Years
We believe every day is worth celebrating on this brewing journey, but our five-year anniversary was a major milestone, and an excuse to make memories we’ll treasure forever. This was the year we won our first World Beer Cup Award – SILVER in the Chocolate Category for Chocolate Stout!
Spyk’d Hard Seltzer Launches
A Crafty Approach To Surviving Covid
Upgrading our canning line system just prior to the pandemic was pivotal to our survival, allowing us to maintain operations during the shutdown by offering more beers to-go. In addition to offering merch and six-packs for pick-up, we also jumped into action to serve the community by partnering with a local distillery to produce hand sanitizer.
A Leader In Resiliency & Innovation
When it Rains it Pours
The year started off great! We won our first GOLD at the World Beer Cup for our Chocolate Stout and received several honors at the Best Florida Beer Championships, the Great American Beer Festival and the U.S. Open Hard Seltzer Championship. But then Hurricane Ian rained on our parade. In response, Rob built a mobile laundry system and provided free services to neighbors living without clean water and power.