Landscaping, a near-complete tasting room, 200 kegs and a whole lotta beer are some of what’s arrived at the former tire shop turned home of Mastry’s Brewing Co. since March.
Good thing, too, since brewmaster and owner Matthew Dahm says the St. Pete Beach craft brewery is weeks away from opening. When CL stopped by 7701 Blind Pass Road last week, Dahm was in the middle of batch No. 9, a Bohemian pilsner he describes as “a really nice, good-drinking beer.”
Though they haven’t been brewing lagers at St. Petersburg’s CD Roma, where the then-nanobrewery got its start more than a year ago, Dahm says he and assistant brewer Micheil McElvey will dive into more creative beers with their new toys, which include a five-barrel brewing system. They’re making what they like — and what patrons want. The idea is to be tasting room-centric at first, dialing in their quality assurance and giving the beach community attention before tapping into distribution.
The brewery’s “vacation in a pint glass” identity will be represented in the suds, but also the overall feel of the space. Different from the high-energy vibe of downtown St. Pete, where there’s already a good concentration of breweries, Mastry’s Brewing has a slower pace in mind to match its surroundings.
According to Dahm, the tasting room, featuring industrial lighting and textures like wood and brick, captures the essence of who the brewery is to the neighborhood.
“Being here gives us the opportunity to set a new pace,” he says. “We’ll capture the beach feel — laid-back and relaxed.”
The Mastry family will be highlighted in the taproom as well, with splashes of nostalgia paying homage to Dahm's grandma, Juliet Mastry Miller. Headshots of the one-time singing star (she performed in best nightclubs throughout New York City and Pennsylvania) will be showcased, as will a photo of her long-gone Mastry’s Restaurant in New York, which was a neighbor of Carnegie Deli from 1963 to 1976. Dahm’s also hoping to hang a shot of his great-grandfather holding a cigar on his wedding day above a humidor.
Patrons at the indoor-outdoor property will find 50 interior seats, four glass-paned garage doors providing an open-air feel when raised, and tables, bar-style counter seating and various games in the beer garden, accented by six or so wooden planters. The tasting room’s bar also spills into the brewing facility, allowing drinkers to chat with the brewers at work.
Wines and some imported Coca-Cola products (the glass-bottle kind) will be offered, along with coffee (likely decaf, dark, light and nitro offerings) through an in-house partnership between Mastry’s Brewing and their friends Evil Twin Coffee Co.
Jenna and Jeff White’s Evil Twin roastery has been around since the inception of the brewery. They’re still perfecting their cold-brew recipes, but the small-batch coffee side of things will launch shortly after the brewery’s grand opening at the end of September or early October.
That said, keep an eye on the Mastry’s Brewing Facebook page for a “Hey, come get a beer” post. Dahm says rolling up the doors for that aforementioned soft opening is a guarantee. Of the 15 taps, they’ll feature six or seven of their own beers to start, plus a golden strong ale collaboration with St. Pete Brewing Co. and other guest drafts.
“We have the room, so the idea is to fill them all,” Dahm says.