Motorworks Brewing Co. names man behind beer

<p><em>BRADENTON</em> – Bob Haa Jr. has been named head brewer at Motorworks Brewing Co., one of three craft-beer producers working to open in the city.</p><p>Motorworks hopes to open in November at 1014 Ninth St. W.</p><p>”Brewing is a very satisfying job. Very creative,” Haa said.</p><p>”It’s also a lot of fun making beer for a job.”</p><p>Motorworks, along with Darwin Brewing Co. at 803 17th Ave. W. and Little Giant Brewing, at 301 Seventh St. E., will produce beer in smaller volumes using techniques and ingredients that enhance, rather than lighten, flavor.</p><p>Haa, a native of Maryland who has spent most of his life in Florida, started homebrewing in 1990.</p><p>He traces his interest in beer to the late 1980s, when he used to frequent Mr. Dunderbak’s, a German restaurant and beer garden, in Tampa.</p><p>But at that time, Haa’s interest eclipsed available information on how to brew beer at home.</p><p>His first homebrewing kit came with instructions on winemaking instead of brewing.</p><p>Perhaps not surprisingly, his inaugural batch of beer didn’t turn out, but it cemented his enthusiasm and determination to get better.</p><p>An accountant by training, Haa eventually left his calculator and balance sheets behind to take a brewing job with the Hops brewpub chain, in Maple Grove, Minn.</p><p>He became so accomplished that the chain promoted him and had him craft seasonal beers and oversee quality control at Hops’ 72 restaurants nationwide. Haa also helped open several locations.</p><p>Haa found himself out of work when the chain collapsed from a heavy debt load before landing a part-time brewing gig at a short-lived Spring Hill brewpub called St. Sebastian’s Brewery. There, Haa learned “Old World” brewing techniques from the brewery’s Belgian owners.</p><p>He then switched to sales with Micro Man Distributors, an independent purveyor unaffiliated with big beer makers like Budweiser, Miller or Coors. While there, he was often asked for local Florida beers.</p><p>It was there, too, that he became acquainted with Motorworks owners Denise and Frank Tschida, who at the time owned a liquor store in Tarpon Springs that focused on craft beers.</p><p>Haa — pronounced Hay — says his first goal at Motorworks is to focus on making quality beers, then work on ramping up volume.</p><p>Haa says Motorworks will brew various types of beers. “We’re going to be a destination brewery,” Haa said.</p><p>Motorworks’ pilot beers should be ready in about a month, Haa said, with the brewery’s taproom opening to the public around Thanksgiving.</p><p>The full production brewery will not open until early next year.</p><p>Hay said he wants to be very creative with the business’ beers, which will be packaged in kegs and cans for distribution.</p><p>Motorworks intends to partner with Lakewood Ranch’s Gold Coast Eagle Distributing to gets its products to market.</p><p>Haa says he is looking forward to collaborating with other craft brewers, as well.</p><p>”It’s not so much a competition between local breweries,” Haa said. “Brewers tend to help one another out.”</p>

Home Beer Brewing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *