PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — A group of bloggers, Instagramers, influencers and travel writers got a taste of Pasco County on Friday — specifically of its craft beer scene.
“I haven’t been up here in quite a while. And my goodness, just driving on the road that we are on it’s exciting to see so much growth,” said travel writer Jessica Stollenmaier.
That growth includes 13 breweries from one end of the county to the other.
Florida Avenue Brewing Company started in Tampa but opened this 40,000 square foot facility in Wesley Chapel at the end of 2020.
“The space was huge for us, being able to get something at an affordable price. And then how welcoming the county was. Everything from the economic development corporation to county commissioners to neighbors,” said Florida Ave. Brewing CEO Anthony Derby.
Pasco’s tourism department, known as Florida’s Sports Coast, invited these influencers for a tour, hoping they’ll post about the area to the thousands of followers they each have on social media.
“I actually have a couple of followers writing to me right now: ‘May tell me your favorite spots. I’m going to the Tampa area in a couple of weeks or a couple of months.’ Someone else told me they bought a house somewhere around here too. So they want my suggestion,” said May Alvarez, an influencer from Miami.
Escape Brewing in Trinity fought through the pandemic, not only surviving but making plans to move to a bigger building.
“It was kind of a land of the lost for a long time. And then slowly people started migrating to this area. The momentum started building. Big Storm was doing great things. We started doing some good things from a craft beer perspective,” said Escape co-founder Matt Thompson.
“There is so much to do on this side. You are close to the coast. You can go camping. Scalloping, check out the local breweries,” said beer enthusiast Heather Fischer.
More and more people are moving to Pasco, and as these influencers post their pictures and write their blogs more and more visitors could be headed that way too.