Invasive Species Brewing secured more than $100,000 in funding from the City of Fort Lauderdale to help with the buildout of its new brewery, which will be located in Flagler Village at 726 NE Second Ave.
The money came in the form of loans forgivable after five years from the city's Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) and was formally approved with no opposition during the agency's meeting July 11.
The exact amount is $110,353, which breaks down to $85,557 from the Property and Business Investment Program to be used for equipment purchase and interior/exterior improvements, and $24,796 from the CRA Façade Program for exterior improvements that include new windows and doors.
Invasive Species brewery evolved from a homebrew club with a "strong following," its owners say, and is the idea of Broward natives Josh Levitt, a former brewer with M.I.A Beer Company; brothers Jordan and Chris Bellus of Laser Wolf; and Phil Gillis of Rheingold Brewing Company and Brown Distributing. The owners were able to obtain funding after putting up $200,000 of their own cash.
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According to the project proposal, Invasive Species sought CRA funding to purchase equipment, increase production, and add jobs.
"We will become the creative anchor of the Flagler Village District and inspire further development of an artistic and creative business community," the proposal stated.
The taproom of the brewery is planned to be 1,000 square feet, plus a 800- to 1,000-square-foot outdoor area. It's not yet clear when Invasive Species will be open to the public. The brewery did not immediately respond to New Times' request for comment.
Descarga Brewing Company, which is slated to debut in North Miami later this year, received $150,000 of public funding in the form of a business attraction grant in June. The 2,800-square-foot space will contain a three-barrel production system and a 1,200-square-foot tasting room. The brewery will offer seating for 60 people, including 20 seats in a 600-square-foot outdoor beer garden.