Brew Practitioners believe there’s happiness in a beer garden

  • Brew Practitioners staff with owner Cannon-Eckerle at left. Contributed photo/Tanzi Cannon-Eckerle

For The Recorder
Published: 7/19/2017 5:05:55 PM

The long-time friends who run Brew Practitioners, a majority women-owned brewery in Florence, spent years chatting and researching the idea. But after a visit to Munich’s Oktoberfest in 2014, they explain on the brewery’s website, “we were ready to jump right in — there is just too much happiness in a beer garden to not own one!”

Tanzi Cannon-Eckerle, one of the founders, has spent the last two years hard at work brewing while renovating a 150-year-old building — formerly the headquarters of the Florence Sewing Machine Company — into a hangout and hosting space, complete with lofty ceilings, a long wooden bar and exposed brick walls, and an outdoor patio.

The Main Street taproom is now open Tuesday through Sunday and hosts events every night, from open mics and book readings to charity fundraisers, discounts on flights and pints, and trivia.

“It really has grown into what I dreamt it would be,” Cannon-Eckerle says. “When the weather gets good, and we open up that patio door, it’s like a beach breeze.” The other day, she adds, “I had a group of people show up with picnic blankets, and they had a picnic out in the grass. Sometimes I feel like I’m at a music festival.”

The Brew Practitioners taproom now has 11 draft lines. This allows for Cannon-Eckerle to serve the brewery’s six mainstays, color-coded beers — the White (blonde ale), Orange (pale ale), Brown (brown ale), Red (amber ale), Yellow (IPA) and Black (stout) — as well as rotating specials. For July, Brew Practitioners will tap a Colonial beer based on a historic recipe and will also soon tap a new Hefeweizen wheat beer. Cannon-Eckerle says that the brewery also has the Double IPA available on tap “pretty constantly.”

“Our mission is to make the most drinkable, balanced beer we can, and to have a beer for everyone,” she says, adding that she now sells a “monstah flight” so that visitors can taste all 11 beers. Brew Practitioners is now canning, and Cannon-Eckerle says that the company is producing 50 percent more beer than last year.

Although she is still making her final decisions on what to bring to the On Tap festival, Cannon-Eckerle is pretty certain that she will be bringing along her lemonade blonde ale, called Pink.

She says she got the idea for this light, crisp, and refreshing lower-alcohol beer several years ago, when she was sitting on her back patio on a hot day. Inspired by wine coolers, she considers it an option for “people who don’t like most beers but still want to try them.” Pink isn’t one of the six “classic” Brew Practitioners beers — not yet, anyway, but Cannon-Eckerle says it’s been available at her taproom full-time, by demand. “Especially right now,” she says. “It’s the perfect outdoor beer.”

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