A tap room, a microbrewery, games, and a food truck lot… What more could you ask for? The perfect Lakeland hangout for both partaking adults and younger kids is already being built on beautiful Lake Wire. We sat down with Dan Thumberg from Swan Brewing to hear his story, the challenges of opening a brewery, and the great plans he has for the building.
Dan has been working in the beer industry as soon as he hit the legal age to enjoy it. Working at Anheuser Busch, Dan learned plenty about the brewing and distributing process. Something that took him by surprise was the effort these big brands made to keep local microbreweries from becoming real competition.
Any time a microbrewery starts reaching high popularity, national breweries like Anheuser buys them out. Then, those huge companies can sell the “cool” microbrew brand all around the country instead of only the local market. Dan understands why a micro-brewery would sell out; the money in these offers is almost irresistible. But lucky for Lakeland, Dan isn’t getting into this for the money. He is in this for the love of his craft, and the love of beer.
As you have probably guessed, it’s no easy task to start a brewery in any city. Good thing Dan handled it like a pro. Dozens of meetings, blueprint revisions, and compromises are just part of the game. Dan has a few tips for new entrepreneurs going through the process: stay extremely organized, follow up religiously, and don’t be afraid to make friends with everyone you can.
Property after property failed the test as the perfect spot for Swan Brewing. Then, one day as Dan was dropping off mail at the Lake Wire post office, he looked across the street to see an old, empty 1940’s auto repair shop. It was perfect. The big garage doors, the cemented patio area, and the great view of the lake meant Swan Brewing had just found a home.
So, what can we look forward to seeing? Swan Brewing’s mission is to make beers that people want to talk about. No one tells their friends about the great Bud Light they had the other day. But when someone enjoys a brand-new, limited time, Lakeland-only beer created by that month’s featured local brewer, they can’t wait to share.
Next, let’s say you stop by Swan Brewing after work, and you’re hungry. Instead of ordering the same old bar food you can find anywhere, you can walk right up to the latest cool food truck parked right on the property! These food trucks will be swapped out regularly so you’ll always have something new to try. There will even be awesome games for kids (or adults, of course).
Even though an opening date is yet to be decided, we are very excited. This new addition to our community and the craft beer movement is going to do wonders for the Lake Wire area. So let’s raise a glass to celebrate the dreamers and makers in Lakeland, and we wish the best of luck to Swan Brewing!