OK younglings. I’m pretty excited about this brewery visit because the brewery itself is so unique on a few different levels. I first heard about Broken Cauldron Taproom way back when Mrs. UsedHair and I went to the DeLand Craft Beer Festival last year. What’s so special about Broken Cauldron?
Post from RICOH THETA. #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA
It’s two, two, two breweries in one!
On my trip to Broken Cauldron, I talked with Ken and Jeanna Malines about how it all got started. As it turns out Jeanna and Ken were actively working to open a brewery called Black Cauldron Brewing and generally having a hard time with all of the hassles that new breweries have to deal with (licencing horror stories are pretty common in the industry). Meanwhile some other brewers in Central Florida were trying to create a brewery called Broken Strings Brewery and having the same problems. In the true, almost anti-competition, nature of craft brewing all of the brewers decided that it would be best if they worked together and shared each others challenges and successes. So, Broken Cauldron Taproom has beer that is brewed by Black Cauldron and beer that is brewed by Broken Strings. Brilliant!
Ken filled me in a little more on why that approach works so well. Opening a craft brewery takes a metric ass-ton of work. Most people that decide to do so can’t really “quit their day job” until the brewery is not only up and running, but also profitable. We’re talking a time scale of years here. Ken said that they seriously started the process about 14 months ago. At the time, they thought they would be open last November. But, they were actually able to open June 4th. Now they are facing the “becoming profitable” portion of the journey. However, with 4 people (2 from Black Cauldron and 2 from Broken Strings) available and 100% dedicated, they can get all the work done themselves and not have to worry yet about supporting staff (on top of all of the other costs involved). And they might even be able to have some sort of semblance of a life outside of the brewery. In addition, because each pair of brewers has unique brewing styles and preferred beers, each pair of brewers is able to spend more time focusing on brewing styles of beer that they really want to brew rather than spend much of their time brewing just what they think will bring in customers. Their individual styles cover the gambit from Belgians to sours to IPA, etc. that will already please most crowds.
One more way that I found Broken Cauldron to be unique is that the setup is not just a collaboration between Black Cauldron and Broken Strings, it’s also a collaboration between Jeanna and Ken. And I don’t just mean that Ken brews the beer and Jeanna runs the taproom. They collaborate all the way with Jeanna (according to Ken) being the really creative force behind the recipes for the beers. So many collaborations under one roof!
Let’s take a gander around the place. To start, the walls are covered with cool art featuring music legends that have passed away.
In addition, they have a great mural dedicated to the Pulse tragedy.
And they have a little art floating around the door to the brewing equipment.
So, because we can, let’s take do a 360 video walk through of the place.
Finally. A special treat for anyone dedicated enough to read all the way to the end. Ken takes us on a 360 video tour of the brewing area and talks about an upcoming brewery that we might see cropping up in the Sanford area and tells us how Broken Cauldron plans to be involved in yet more collaborations.