BRADENTON – From humble beginnings in a shack on Anna Maria Island to almost opening across from McKechnie Field, Michael Wagner's paused dream of operating his own craft brewery is finally moving forward.
|Michael Wagner, on cover of Beer Advocate Magazine|
Set to open on 7th Street East, the future brewing facility was approved on Wednesday for manufacturing operations and alcohol license by the Bradenton City Council in a unanimous vote.
The remaining work for Wagner - obtaining the proper state and federal permits and construction - almost seem like baby steps for his Little Giant Brewery, considering the amount of time he's waited for everything to come together. After first settling on AMI in 2010, the company moved to Whitfield Park Loop near SRQ Airport in 2011 before experiencing a setback in securing a different location on 17th Avenue West by McKechnie.
Speaking after the meeting, Wagner said that the process for securing LG's permanent home on 7th "has been moving pretty smoothly as far as getting all the planning and site plans together."
According to Wagner, another hurdle, when two residents near the facility expressed concerns over traffic at a May Manatee Planning Commission meeting, was recently addressed. "Some of the folks (at the meeting) came by and we spent a good long while talking about things about the neighborhood, and we worked out things as far as the ethos of the brewery," he said, adding that residents trying to sell a property across the street from the site had offered extra parking spacing for the time being.
Once the brewery opens, one of the planned initial beers available would be an Indian Pale Ale, and Wagner also plans on brewing a black IPA, and counted dark ales, porters, ambers, german ales, and seasonal bocks as some of his other favorites to brew.
Pending approval for remaining federal and state permits, Wagner said that construction for the brewery could start by August or September, if not sooner.