We pulled up to Little Giant Brewing Company, which is currently located in an industrial area of Sarasota. The Brewer/Proprietor, Mike Wagner, was discussing his latest brew in process with a couple of guys from the local homemade sausage company, Geier Sausage Company.

Mike is definitely running a true startup brewery – what every guy dreams of, and the type of place where one feels instantly at home. But Mike is no home brewer. He studied at the prestigious Siebel Institute, followed by work and further study in Germany from some of the “big boys” in the industry. Also, being from the Chicago, Mike has an excellent background in brewing, including a stint at Tampa Bay Brewing coming, before he finally ventured on his own.

He plans to expand into a new location soon – adjacent to the local baseball stadium. Imagine how cool it will be to pull into his tasting room, attend a spring training game, and then follow it up with a celebratory round at Little Giant’s tasting room.

The brewing style of Little Giant is traditional and quaffable – Mike wants to make beer where people will want to drink not just one, but enjoy it all evening. You may not find the wacky and crazy here, but you are guaranteed to find something you really want another one of – and now.

On our visit, we had the opportunity to sample their Overhead Peeler Porter, a British-style robust porter, as well as MacDaddy’s - an excellent Scotch Ale. What struck us the most is the drinkability of beer – it was hard not to go back for another. While we enjoyed his beer, Mike was hard at work brewing an Alt beer – again in traditional style.
Today, Little Giant Brewery gives tours and is available at select events. Mike is looking forward to opening the new location, which will offer a hospitality room, and full retail services, including growlers and kegs.

The passion of Little Giant Brewery is obvious – not just in the quality of the beer but also in the spirit of what a small brewery should be – true to the spirit of brewing and more interested in beer than anything else. And the end of the day, all that truly matters is the quality of what ends up in the glass.


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