Editor's note: We brought the spirit of CL's Beer Issue to the music section. Read more in a newsstand today or just click here.
Hard to believe, but all is not well in The Fermenters camp. The Tampa Bay band, whose members include some of the area’s best beer-makers, has apparently been drinking “lots and lots of Mickey’s Malt Liquor” at practice these days. That’s according to drummer — and Coppertail Brewing Co. president Kent Bailey — who took a little time out of his day to joke with CL and tell us what the band has been up to since last year’s epic run of appearances surrounding Tampa Bay Beer Week.
“We practice once per week when we have a tour approaching,” Bailey joked. He said The Fermenters used to practice in the old warehouse at Coppertail before choosing to sharpen their sound at a temporary office space in downtown Tampa. They drop practices to “about once or twice a month” in non-touring cycles.
In addition to Bailey, the band is made up of Barley Mow owner Jay Dingman, Slim Pickens Cider and Mead owner Todd Strauss, Angry Chair head brewer Ben Romano, JDub’s head brewer Matt Tucker and Tampa Bay Brewing Company head brewer Tim Ogden. They’re influenced by ’90s rock bands like Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam and Black Crowes. Everyone except Romano and Bailey plays the guitar, and The Fermenters only play covers despite having started out playing original music, according to Ogden.
“The Fermenters have the most guitarists of any band in Tampa and we intend to keep it that way,” Bailey said. “As Tim said, we've all done original bands before but we find that only through playing other people's songs do we really find our own creative voice.”
A 2016 Sarasota Herald-Tribune story by former CL music editor Wade Tatangelo finds Tucker saying that Bailey is the most talented Fermenter. Bailey disagrees, and Ogden hilariously agrees with Bailey on that.
“Kent is an amazing drummer, and Ben is a fantastic bass player,” Ogden told CL, “but Matt Tucker on guitar is probably the best musician in this configuration in my honest opinion.”
The Fermenters would not commit to announcing their next show, and Ogden confirmed that one isn’t on the books yet, but all jokes aside, they did agree that the city of Dunedin is one of the Bay area’s most exciting places to be a beer lover. “[It’s] is one of our favorite places to drink beer. I can't keep up with all the brewery openings over there lately,” Bailey said before Ogden chimed in.
“Dunedin used to be a ‘best kept secret,’” Ogden admitted. “Personally I'm glad the word has gotten out.” Read our profile on Dunedin’s resurgent beer scene on here. You can’t follow The Fermenters on Facebook, but you can send cases of Mickey’s to Bailey via Coppertail’s Ybor City tasting room located at 2601 E. 2nd Ave.