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Dunedin breweries work together to become beer destination in Tampa Bay

Woodwright Brewing Company.png
Posted at 6:12 AM, Jul 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-23 08:18:22-04

DUNEDIN  — In the City of Dunedin, "local" is the name of the game.

It’s a charming small town with its own flare.

“Dunedin is becoming more of a tourist destination,” said Michael Painter, Co-Owner of Woodwright Brewing Company.

With the city’s shops and a quaint downtown that’s not surprising, but you can’t talk about Dunedin without talking about its breweries.

Coined Florida’s oldest microbrewery, Dunedin Brewery is celebrating 25 years this summer on July 24.

“It started just with my father and a homebrew set and we call it a hobby out of control,” said Michael Lyn Bryant, Vice President and General Manager of Dunedin Brewery.

“We have people that have been coming here since day one. They will probably tell you that if you’re sitting at the bar next to them. They are people that come every week. Even people that move away, they end up coming back,” he added.

There are now eight craft breweries within a mile of each other.

That includes Woodwright Brewing Company. It started as a woodworking shop in 1995 and turned into a brewery a few years ago.

“We could not have opened the brewery without the community support,” said Painter.

Bren Cueni, Co-Owner of Cueni Brewing Company, will tell you this is a town that appreciates its ale.

“The one thing that’s great about Dunedin also is there are a lot of women in the brewing industry which is unusual,” said Cueni.

There’s no shortage of beer on tap here and both the community and the different brewery owners say, the more the merrier.

“The fact that there’s so many of us, we can all help each other and we all do well,” said Cueni.

“We all do cooperate. We try to promote the town, or the community together. We all offer something different. Every brewery here offers a very different experience with different beers,” said Painter.

Throughout the pandemic, locals stepped up to help keep them all afloat.

“They really supported us in a way that we were very grateful for,” said Cueni.

“It’s amazing how the community stepped up and bought to-go beers whether they wanted it or not," said Painter.

“We’ve always had a strong support system in Dunedin because Dunedin has a flourishing culture of support for local things,” said Bryant.

Dunedin — now a booming beer destination hidden in a small town.

“It’s pretty wild. It’s a lot emotionally and a lot to navigate just a community member in Dunedin,” said Bryant.

“It’s a great community,” said Cueni.