I guess we should start this thing with a little bit of a formal introduction. My name is Josh and my wife’s name is Michele and we hail from San Diego, California; Oceanside is our hometown, specifically. It has always been a dream of ours to open that “someday maybe brewery” but we never thought we’d be relocating to the East Coast to do it. We always imagined going further West to somewhere more like Hawaii…but here we are!
How It Started
Before deciding to open this brewery with Gary, I had been an avid homebrewer for probably a little over 12 years by that point. I began homebrewing on a stovetop extract kit and eventually moved up to a three vessel all-grain system. As my passion for the hobby grew deeper and stronger, I began to want to learn how to make better beer and experiment with different flavor profiles which sometimes included some pretty wild adjunct combinations (the guacamole beer was an interesting phase). Once I learned a bit more about water chemistry, fermentation control and a few other things, my beers started to improve dramatically and I even started getting recognized locally, nationally and even globally in various homebrew competitions I entered, then I was really hooked!
How We Met
Gary and I have known each other for the better part of a decade (probably more at this point) and we met a little bit unconventionally. We were both part of an initially little-spoken-of fraternity of homebrewing brethren which were later coined as BrewTubers. BrewTubing was a way for like-minded homebrewing individuals to simply set up a camera on a brew day or during a homebrew chores day and simply yammer on for a bit, drink a few brewskis and then send it to the internet! What we didn’t expect at the time was that these simple and silly videos would garner hundreds and sometimes even thousands of views from people who wanted to learn about homebrewing or simply watch someone brew beer in their basement from across the world. After a while, there was a small group of folks that would comment back and forth on each other’s videos frequently and a lot of those people became close friends over the years. We used to organize annual meetups in various places across the U.S. from coast to coast and it was an honor of mine to meet such amazing people with a vast wealth of knowledge about life AND about brewing beer. I owe my education in beer almost entirely to these early BrewTubing pioneers. Not until recently did I know that Gary had been keeping his eye on me over the last couple years and he was beginning to ponder needing a partner to help startup and run this behemoth of a project and I was completely tongue-tied when he presented the idea to my wife and I earlier in the year 2022.
How We Got Here
Once Gary floated the idea to us to partner up in this new adventure, we knew this was something we couldn’t pass up. Michele and I both decided that we were going to quit our jobs, sell off a lot of our unnecessary material possessions, pack up a PODS box and move across the country! Since that time it’s been a whirlwind tour of planning, discussing strategy and creative concepts, lots and lots of paperwork and just constantly being in communication with each other; the time zone difference between CA and FL plus the fact that we all still work full-time did make the planning phase difficult to navigate but we’re confident in where we’re at and looking forward to opening.
The four of us collectively, if I may speak on Gary and Larymar’s behalf, absolutely cannot wait to bring you some of the best and most creative beers along with tasty food and a relaxed and fun atmosphere for you, your friends, your family or coworkers. Our goal is to make you feel at home and our hope is that you come to think of us as your favorite little neighborhood brewery. So don’t be shy, introduce yourselves to us, enjoy some suds, kick back and relax!
Chubby Mermaid Brewing Co. will donate a portion of every beer you purchase to the Save the Manatee Club as a yearly donation. We love our “Chubby Mermaids” so please donate to them as you see fit! Cheers!