Big Storm Brewery expansion a hit in Cape Coral

Big Storm embraces its tagline of “Florida’s Craft Beer Forecast” with a lineup of…

Big Storm Brewery expansion a hit in Cape Coral
Big Storm Brewery expansion a hit in Cape Coral 1

Craig Handel
 |  Special to Fort Myers News-Press

While several businesses closed or contracted during the global pandemic, Big Storm Brewing Co. chose to expand.

And so far, it’s paying off.

When it moved from Miramar Street into the Big Blue Brewing building on 47th Terrace this past October, Big Storm added by more than 4,000-square feet to its Cape Coral taproom. The move allows Big Storm to operate a restaurant while adding more beverage options.

Big Storm bought the Big Blue property in August and while some might question an expansion during a pandemic, LJ Govoni has no doubts it was the right move.

“I’m really excited to be in the Big Blue space,” said Govoni, who is one of the company’s owners. “With the brewery that was there, we’re doubling down on our commitment. It’ll give us a bigger presence in the community. It’s like a second home.

The people who ran that facility have been with my family for 15 years.

2020 was a tough year, but we’re excited to play a bigger part in 2021.”

Founded in 2012, Big Storm currently has three taprooms in Florida — Clearwater, Odessa and Cape Coral. During the pandemic, Big Storm also announced a fourth taproom would be opening in 2021 in Orlando at the city’s Amway Center.

Led by head brewer Joel Moore, Big Storm has embraced its tagline of “Florida’s Craft Beer Forecast,” by developing a lineup of Florida favorites like a tangerine-infused IPA “that has outpaced everything”; Tropic Pressure Florida Ale, steeped with hibiscus flowers; and Key Lime Shandy, brewed with a puree “that is like key lime pie in a glass.”

The latest was its Christmas Ale. 

When COVID-19 hit last March, state officials asked Govoni and his partners if they’d make hand sanitizer. After making about 10,000 gallons of it until June, the focus turned to building a rum portfolio.

“We made a barrel a week, which we let age and sit,” Govoni said.

It wasn’t the path they expected to take in 2020, but adapting to the market conditions has allowed Big Storm to expand its customer options.  

So when COVID had a second wave, Govoni’s crew pivoted back to hand sanitizer, then started making vodka and whiskey.

In the end, Govoni believes that’s partly why tasting room business has been up 70 percent.

“We’ve always kept our place clean,” he said. “We’re just doing more of what we’re doing. We have a great sense of pride in what we do.”

If you go

New Year’s Eve Keg Drop

Instead of a ball drop, ring in the new year with a keg drop — a decorated, lighted, hollowed-out beer keg on a 10-foot pole that drops at midnight. It’s part of a New Year’s Eve party that includes live music from Soulixer and the Riverside Band, a photo booth, party favors and more. 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday. Free admission. VIP table reservations are $125-$750 and include dessert and a bottle of Champagne for each person. The event takes place inside and outside. Big Storm Brewery Cape Coral, 4721 SE 10th Place, Cape Coral. 257-1401 or


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