In March 2018, I visited the new Cape Coral location of Big Storm Brewing. Late last year, Clearwater-based Big Storm purchased the defunct Cape Coral Brewing and has some pretty big plans. To begin, the former Cape Coral Brewing building with its seven-barrel brewing system was turned into a Big Storm outpost.
However, they also plan to utilize the Cape Coral Brewing name for another separate venture located elsewhere in the city. If that comes to fruition, former Cape Coral head brewer Chris Hart will be the brewmaster at the new establishment. In spite of some articles to the contrary, Chris is not presently involved with Big Storm Brewing Cape Coral.
In fact, no beer is currently made at the Cape Coral building because the brewing system is being revamped/re-lined. Once it’s up and running, they will be producing specialty beers at the Cape Coral location. The popular “core” Big Storm varieties will continue to be made elsewhere.
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Inside Big Storm in Cape Coral
The tasting room still looks very similar to the old Cape Coral Brewing. Big Storm has done some painting and installed a new, sturdier bar in the same footprint as the old bar, but little else has changed. Word from the staff is that they are in discussions to purchase the building. If that happens, there will be more extensive remodeling and an expansion into the adjoining storefront to include a kitchen. Presently, no food is served, nor any food trucks. But there are a ton of restaurant nearby. Of course, you’re welcome to bring food or have it delivered.
Big Storm Cape Coral Beer Menu and Impressions
We ordered a sampler with Palm Bender IPA, Firestorm Black IPA, Arcus Southern Pale Ale, and Oats in Hose Oatmeal Stout. Oats In Hose was my favorite of the bunch. It’s very smooth with a good balance between hops and oats. I realize they are limited with the 6.5% abv but I would prefer a little more body.
The Palm Bender IPA and Arcus Southern Pale Ale were really pretty average. Both were too malty for my personal preference and lacking that bright, clean hoppy flavor. The Arcus is made with a touch of local honey and you do pick up a tiny hint of that but still a bit muted overall. Hop heads will be disappointed with these two.
Next, we had a bomber of “Lie to Me” chocolate cherry imperial stout ($14.95 for 25 ounces), a special release from Valentine’s Day. This beer was very cold when served and initially all I got was roasty-ness (is that a word?). Fortunately, Lie to Me did get more complex as it warmed. The cocoa and cherry became more prominent although still fairly subtle – a stark contrast to Funky Buddha’s similar (in theory) The Love Below. Lie To Me’s description sounds like a dessert beer but for better or worse, the flavors aren’t overwhelming. Also, the 11% abv is masked incredibly well so Lie To Me is very drinkable. My biggest complaint is that it’s pretty thin. Not much body or richness.
Summary of Big Storm Brewing Cape Coral
Lee County is no longer the beer wasteland that it once was. Cape Coral now has three breweries and Fort Myers has another six, not to mention a multitude of craft beer bars. If Big Storm wants to succeed in their new Cape Coral location, they need to step up their game. The tasting room is fine and the staff is great but the beer is very mediocre. And with all of the quality choices that we’re spoiled with nowadays, mediocre just isn’t going to cut it. I look forward to revisiting Big Storm Brewing Cape Coral once the specialty beers are being brewed on site.
Big Storm Brewing
839 Miramar Street
Cape Coral, FL 33904