Reapplying knowledge from their former lives in the corporate world, two guys who met doing CrossFit are going in on a brewery together. St. Petersburg’s newest craft-beer-spot-to-be, Dissent Craft Brewing Company, aims to be a place for experimentation, education and fermentation when it opens in late summer or fall.
For founders Chris Price and Dale Miller, the venture has been a surprisingly speedy journey. Last fall they started considering the possibilities after discovering a shared love of homebrewing, and now, a shiny three-kettle brewing system is about to arrive and set the project in motion.
“We both come from the corporate world; it’s our first step outside that,” Price said of the brewery’s name. “Kind of a rebellion against the shirt-and-tie way of life.”
Dissent is located at 5518 Haines Road N., which is closer to Clearwater’s Pair O’ Dice Brewing Company than the busy downtown St. Pete beer scene. But the spot, chosen for what’s planned as their flagship location, is in a high-traffic area sure to attract thirsty drifters.
The roughly 1,200-square-foot brewery will be an engaging immersion in beer culture, built around an open floor plan that allows patrons to witness the brewing process. A mural depicting the history of beer, from the days of ancient Egypt to the inception of Dissent, will cover both sides of the 120-foot length of the brewery. And part of the experience will also eventually include workshops on all facets of brewing.
“We want people to be able to interact with the brewer and the taproom, to get that five-sense experience,” Price said.
The duo has lots of ideas about the beer they want to carry. Price enjoys sours, Belgians and IPAs, while Miller’s big on pumpkin, pepper and other flavorful brews. Good thing, too, because Dissent’s offerings will reflect their diversity in taste.
According to Price, the first tap list will likely feature a Belgian IPA, mango habanero IPA (a specialty of Miller’s), German pilsner, English bitter and porter. The plan is for the taproom to start out drafts pouring from 16 taps, four of them guest taps, and then add a selection of bottle-aged beers available for purchase.
He says they’ll take advantage of their status as a niche, small-scale brewery with plenty of experimenting — unusual combinations and styles included.
Although Miller and Price are both homebrewers, they don’t feel like they’ve mastered the craft, which is why they’re bringing expert help on board. They aren’t naming any names yet, but as Price tells it, they're in the final stages of interviewing a decorated brewer from the North Carolina beer community who completed formal training in Europe.
Price is enrolled in the University of South Florida St. Petersburg’s Brewing Arts Program to learn more about the trade for himself, and others. His goal is to pass on the knowledge to Dissent customers.
“We want to make it as much an experience as a brewery,” he said.