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Hopsized Brewing Co. opens its doors in Bonita Springs

Hopsized Brewing Co.

A Fort Myers couple’s love for craft beer and breweries led them to launch Hopsized Brewing Co., said Ana Rodriguez de Vera, who co-owns the new local business with her husband, Darlyn Victor. 

Hopsized opened Nov. 19 in units 13 and 14 on the southern end of the new Bernwood Trade Center, 9201 Cockleshell Court. The newly developed commercial center was built on property that provided cattle a place to graze not that long ago.

In addition to Hopsized, both have fulltime day jobs and busy schedules. Victor works as a manager for Lee Health, while Rodriguez owns Subtle & Chic Boutique in Bell Tower Shops.

Victor also is the brewer at Hopsized. “So, he brews all the beer and I handle everything that has to do with operations and front of house,” Rodriguez said. Hopsized Brewing Co.

She encouraged Victor to learn how to brew his own beer at home as a hobby. He started small with 5-gallon batches. “The first batch was awful,” she said. “So, I was like, ‘OK, let’s try again.’ At that point he just really built an interest for it. Of course, I pushed him. I said, ‘You love it, let’s do it.’ He eventually started brewing really great beer. We frequent breweries so I knew this was good, quality stuff.”   

Without Victor knowing it, Rodriguez started entering his beers in competitions. “We were winning first and second place amongst people who had been brewing for 10 to 12 years,” she said. That was when she knew they were onto something. “After that, it took me about a year or so to do the convincing, and here we are.” 

They signed a lease in August 2020 for a nearly 4,000-square-foot space, which includes a brewing room with five fermenters. With word spreading to neighbors and others via social media the couple have already discovered how other people love and support the craft beer industry. “We are ecstatic,” Rodriguez said. “I find myself having a hard time leaving because I just love being here. We have an exceptional team.”

Hopsized concentrates on creating sours and New England IPAs, Rodriguez said. “So far, the top seller probably is Chargie,” which is a kolsch, German-style hybrid with characteristics of an ale and a lager.

“A lot of our beer names are inspired by places that we visited or traveled to,” she said. “My husband and I travel a lot. So that was actually one from when we went to Turks and Caicos. We heard it in a song that was playing at one of the breweries there, so we asked the bartender, ‘What does that mean?’ She said chargie means my boo or my bae or my baby.”

Eventually planning to can their products, the couple is waiting to purchase a canning line that will be set up for to-go beers. They are waiting to catch their breath after the height of the brewery’s opening dies down a bit. Hopsized Brewing Co.

“We are definitely not going to be doing distribution. It’s always going to be just in-house, taproom sales,” Rodriguez said, noting that maybe Hopsized will collaborate as a guest tap with another brewery eventually. They already host a couple of guest taps for beverages such as cider.

The Hopsized team eventually plans to host an event there called Night Market at the Springs, which will feature small business vendors. “I would love to be able to do that once a month,” Rodriguez said. They also hope to quarterly partner with a nonprofit organization to create a special beer with proceeds benefiting that organization.

Food trucks are scheduled to visit the brewery frequently. “We’re trying to make it so we have one every day that we’re open,” said Rodriguez, noting that most food trucks are already booked this season. As of January, they hope to be able to host a food truck daily. They will install an overhead door on the side of the brewery to make it easier to accommodate food trucks. A few times a month, expect Hopsized to sponsor events with more than one or two food trucks and vendors set up in the back to host a large festival-type event.

Hopsized Brewing’s hours of operation are 3 to 9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 3 to 11 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. It’s closed Monday and Tuesday now but may open these days soon during season.

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