Crooked Can expanding into Lake County

Andy Sheeter, founder of the Winter Garden brewery, is making plans to open a 40,000-square-foot destination brewery in Minneola.

  • West Orange Times & Observer
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Andy Sheeter created a popular brewery in Winter Garden nearly a decade ago, and he now is embarking on a new venture that will add a Crooked Can destination brewery in Lake County.

The Lake County craft brewery, which does not yet have a name, will sit on three acres and feature a 40,000-square-foot facility with a much larger production area plus a tap room, beer garden, flex lawn space, food hall similar to the Plant Street Market and headquarters space.

The Lake County Crooked Can will operate in a high-visibility area, Sheeter said.

“We’re right off the (Florida’s) Turnpike, so when visitors from out-of-town come in … the signage is right there, so they’ll see the sign,” he said. “Those going to the theme parks and resorts already know our brand because it’s sold there.”

In 2014, Sheeter founded the Crooked Can Brewing Company, an 11,000-square-foot craft brewery that anchors the Plant Street Market in downtown Winter Garden. It has been so successful that it is at capacity for production and patron space, he said.

There are no plans to close or move the Winter Garden location, Sheeter said. This will serve as a second Central Florida location. A third brewery is located near Columbus, Ohio.

“This is going to be what we call a destination brewery, and I think one thing that’s important to know is this is a complement to the brewery in Winter Garden,” Sheeter said. “The brewery itself will have a much bigger production area because we’re out of capacity. It’s going to have a tap room. It will be set up better for corporate events."

The outdoor beer garden will sit on one acre and serve as an extension to the indoor area. The one-acre flex space will be available for concerts, receptions and other outdoor gatherings.

“We would envision us doing a lot more special events in this particular spot,” Sheeter said. “This will give us the flexibility if a business wanted to come in and do a corporate (program). It’s a great area for kids to run around and have fun when it’s not being used."

This space also allows the brewery to hold larger community events such as Oktoberfest or the Celtic Festival without having to get permission from the city to close off adjacent streets.

Sheeter acknowledges he won’t initially fill the entire 40,000 square feet.

“We won’t be able to utilize all the space up front, but five years from now we want to be able to utilize it,” he said.

The brewery will be part of the Hills of Minneola development going in near the new turnpike exit at Hancock Road. Skorman Development is in charge of the project.

Work on the Lake County brewery likely will begin in 2024, Sheeter said. He currently is going through the necessary steps for permitting and architectural drawings.


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