Home State Brewing Co. Brings Taproom to Hamlin

Brewery Seeks to Create a "Home State" of Mind Away From Home.
Photo: Shannon Ball
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Startup Home State Brewing Co. has announced plans to open a brewery and taproom at 16016 New Independence Parkway in Winter Garden in late November 2021 according to CEO Colin Vanatta.

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Vanatta grew up in Winter Garden, went away to school at Georgia Institute of Technology, and met AJ Alix. The city of Atlanta offered the friends a look at the repurposed warehouse brewery atmosphere of a thriving beer community. Four years ago, they began considering how they might create a similar scene in Vanatta’s hometown.

“AJ already has a successful startup, so in the summer of 2017, we began to look at how to do this financially,” said Vanatta.

Alix, who is the company’s Chief Innovation Officer heading up business and marketing matters, envisioned a place where everyone could be comfortable and feel at home. He first coined the the tagline, Crafting a “Home State” of Mind, which has since become the brand’s slogan.

“We’re trying to create a community where it doesn’t matter who you are, we want you to be able to call our place home.”

Chief Branding Officer Lexi Schmidt says she initially came on board the project to support now-husband Colin, but quickly became invested in the concept, which includes three separate guest areas with a taproom, covered patio, and Biergarten where patrons can sip craft beer varieties brewed on-site.

“The craft brewing experience is something you care about, personalize, and hone over years,” said Schmidt. “Within our community, we want to craft a place where people can gather.”

Director of Operations Marco Reyna, the fourth founding member of Home State Brewing Co., answered the call for a Head Brewer before being brought on as partner. Reyna, who appreciates traditional German beer styles, fleshed out the Home State of Mind catchphrase, tying it to the German word gemütlichkeit.

“Gemütlichkeit means being completely welcome in a place that is warm and inviting,” said Reyna.

With its customized brew house and 20 draft lines, Reyna says the goal is to have something on tap for every taste at any given time. Even non-beer drinkers will feel included with the brewery’s wine and seltzer options.

The question of a location was answered with the development of Hamlin Town Center at Horizon West. Anchored by the Cinepolis movie theater and adjacent to Cyclebar, Home State Brewing Co. will capitalize on the 14,000 homes that have sprung up in the area in the last few years.

“There weren’t a lot of businesses or places to eat and drink, and all of our friends were moving out there,” said Vanatta. “It seemed like a community we wanted to be part of.”

While the addition of a kitchen will come later, Home State Brewing Co. has plans to bring in food trucks and live, local entertainment, as well as play host to events like Trivia Night. Located along a biking and running trail, the group hopes to have a strong philanthropic presence and involvement in community events.

“I was raised to leave a place better than you found it,” said Vanatta.

Home State Brewing Co. will join Ford’s Garage, Tijuana Flats, and MÖGE TEE in the area. For more information, visit homestatebrew.com.

Shanna Sloyer-Martin

Shanna Sloyer-Martin is a freelance writer in the Midwest with 20 years experience in magazine, newspaper, and digital marketing and blogging.

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