Accomplice Brewery and Ciderworks Opens Taproom in West Palm Beach This Weekend
Move over, craft beer. South Florida is about to welcome one of its first ciderworks into the local craft-brewing scene, and it’s starting with Accomplice Brewery and Ciderworks in West Palm Beach.
After more than a year of planning and prepping, Accomplice founders and senior wardens Matt Stetson and Felonice Merriman have announced the soft opening of a standalone taproom located at 1023 N. Florida Mango Road. On Friday, November 6, the brewery and ciderworks will open its tasting-room doors starting at 5 p.m., when patrons can sample several of the brand’s flagship and specialty hard ciders. The celebration will continue through the weekend.
“Rather than wait for the space to be 100 percent finished, we wanted to capitalize on the reputation and name we’ve been building in the past few months by opening the tasting room early,” says Stetson. “So many people have been asking us to open, we just got tired of telling them ‘no.’ Right now, we’re ready to take in as many people that want to come but with the understanding this is a sort of pre-opening event and product will be limited.”
New Times first spoke to Stetson back in November 2014, when he and Merriman announced plans to open what they say will be the area’s first fully dedicated gluten-free brewery.
As the story goes, Stetson and Merriman began dating in 2012. At the time, Stetson — an avid homebrewer for more than two decades — quickly realized his girlfriend’s celiac disease (an autoimmune disorder in which ingestion of gluten leads to damage of the small intestine) kept her from enjoying grain-based brews along with him. Stetson recalled the frustration he felt at the time and set out to create a series of gluten-free recipes just for her.
Today, part of Accomplice’s gluten-free mission includes developing a line of hard ciders and mead, which the couple have been brewing at their 1,200-square-foot production facility and selling through Brown Distributing since June. The West Palm Beach ciderworks stands as one of several in Florida, including Two Henry’s Brewing Co. in Plant City and Tampa’s Cigar City Cider and Mead.
While you can currently find Accomplice Brewing and Ciderworks cider on tap at bars and restaurants throughout South Florida — all the way from Vero Beach to the Keys — the brewery’s tasting room located next door to the production brewing room has been a work in progress, says Stetson.
“But the cider is here, so everyone is welcome,” says Stetson, who describes the open-air 5,000-square-foot space as similar to the look and feel of the Due South Brewing taproom in Boynton Beach.
At the Accomplice Ciderworks tasting room, you’ll find a selection of ciders made with Accomplice’s custom blend of Washington apples, says Stetson, who stands as the brewery’s recipe creator and brewer alongside his captain of production, Kirk Miller. The soft opening will feature several unique blends, including a flagship traditional German-style golden cider, strawberry cider, and several yet-to-be-disclosed small-batch specialty releases.
If you’re a fan of cider and are headed to Accomplice for a tasting, be sure to bring your growler; the ciderworks doesn’t have any available to purchase, but Stetson says he’ll be happy to send you home with some if you bring your own. That might come in handy next weekend, when the taproom will release additional specialty ciders and mead including a coffee cider, pineapple habanero cider, dry-hopped cider, and a double strong cider Stetson has dubbed El Macho.
Still waiting for those gluten-free beers? Expect production of gluten-free brews to begin later this spring, says Stetson, when the brewery will expand to its new production facility.
The Accomplice Brewery and Ciderworks soft opening will take place at the Accomplice taproom starting Friday, November 6, through Sunday, November 8. It is standing-room only, so bring a chair if you want to hang out. Regular tasting-room hours will continue starting November 13. Hours are Friday from 5 to 11 p.m., Saturday 3 to 11 p.m., and Sunday 1 to 11 p.m.
Accomplice Brewing and Ciderworks tasting room is located at 1023 N. Florida Mango Road, Suite 4, West Palm Beach. Visit accomplicebrewery.com.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.