Will Lawson’s almost ten-year journey to opening Naples Beach Brewery began when he first moved to Florida in 2003.
At first, Will began home brewing to recreate beers styles he loved from back home in Michigan. His growing passion in all things beer later drove him to complete his education at the Siebel Institute of Chicago. Brewing school helped Will further develop his knowledge of brewing techniques, beer styles and business aspects of the industry. Will explains, “Because I went to brewing school, part of my education was learning the business side. The industry revolves around a strong distribution channel called the three-tier system.”
Geared with this knowledge, Will opted to start Naples Beach Brewery without a taproom and worked with local distributor, Coastal Beverage, to get his small-batch beers to local restaurants and pubs. Brian Delaney, Coastal Beverage’s Craft Team Leader, explains, “It has been a ground-up project with Will. He would call and say, ‘Hey, I’ve got ten 1/6th barrels. Can you pick them up?’ To help him grow to over 100 taps in the local market has been wonderful. Naples Beach Brewery concentrates on brewing great small-batch beers and Coastal Beverage concentrates on logistics, marketing and sales.”
Will’s tenacity and passion for brewing and business has proved to be a fruitful recipe. Last year, Naples Beach Brewery further expanded its brewing capacity and this year added a taproom. Today, Naples Beach Brewery’s beers can be found on tap at almost 50 restaurants and bars around town.