About Us

OUR STORY

It’s a long way from San Diego to Michigan, but if not for that distance – Fort Myers Brewing CO. might never have come to be.​

Rob Whyte began brewing in his hometown of San Diego in the early 90s but by the time he and Jen Gratz-Whyte were married, his time making beer had all but went away. It was only Jen’s work schedule that changed the narrative. Jen, a Michigan native with a strong entrepreneurial spirit, took a position which required her spent to spend a considerable amount of time back in Michigan where her career had begun.

This left Rob with plenty of idle time to rediscover his passion for brewing and he soon found himself earning some recognition in many of the uber-competitive California homebrewing competitions. Now fully engaged with his brew hobby, Rob began volunteering at a nearby brewery in Oceanside. He continued volunteering for years – and never missed a brew day – which provided him plenty of knowledge on the business of beer making.
When the duo moved to Florida in 2011, Fort Myers was without a single local brewery, an opportunity the two could not pass up. After two years of research and planning, Fort Myers Brewing Company opened its doors with very modest aspirations. What started as a small system serving a few drafts from a simple tasting room that bore a remarkable resemblance to someone’s basement has since grown into a four-vessel 10-barrel brew system with 90, 60 and 20 barrel fermentation tanks that churn out draft and packaging to service an ever- expanding distribution points and a constantly busy and growing tasting room and outdoor social hangout.

Rob and Jen found that their favorite breweries shared more in common than great beer. They all served as a gathering place where new and old friends could mingle and a sense of community could be felt by all. It was only natural then that they would decide to open Fort Myers Brewing Company in the community they call home, Gateway, and build a place for family (including the furry family members) with an open seating plan that helps strangers become friends.

THE FM BREW CREW

Introducing the people behind the brewery

Cypress "Scooch" Whyte

"Top Dog"

About Scooch: “I own the place.”

Favorite FMBrew: Cypress Strong of course!

Rob
Whyte

FMBrew was born out of a hobby that originally began in 1991, perfected since about 2006.
I’m supposed to tell what my favorite FMBrew is, but that’s like asking a parent which of their children is their favorite, I love them all!

Jen
Gratz-Whyte

I’ve helped pour concrete, put together equipment, analyzed projections, written business plans, cleaned bathrooms & stressed about everything!

About Jen:  “I know the owner….”
Favorite FMBrew: Spiked Seltzer

Fred "2 Star" Malone

Sales/ Sanitaion Engineer/ V.P.

About 2Star: “I sell beer. Lots & lots of beer.”

Favorite FMBrew: Red Tape

TJ
Jewell

Director of Brewery Operations/ Brewer

Favorite FMBrew: Yes!

Monica "Coaster" Dixon

I do the social media and plan the parties.

About Monica:  SWFL born and raised, FGCU Marketing Grad and #basic. I enjoy brunching, pumpkin spice everything and scrolling through Instagram. 

Favorite FMBrew: Fuego 5. No wait… Tart Like a Tiger

Tony LaMantia

Taproom Manager aka Taster Board Specialist and Food Truck Taster

About Tony: Not standing still is my favorite. I have visited 47 of the 50 United States, and spent time in 18 countries on 5 Continents. I have collected water from 4 different oceans, and may try to make a beer with it some time. I love beer and coffee equally and I am glad that they both are mostly water because my doctor says that I am supposed to drink a lot of water. I married up to a woman who may actually love beer a little more than even I do.  I love good food and I love people, even if sometimes the best ones might smell kinda funny. Lastly, there is no such thing as a girly beer or a manly glass, and I am 99% sure I can find a beer that you will like, even if you have already given up.

Favorite FMBrew: Ironically, Clean Shave

Shanna "Banana" Phillips

Full time Beertender, part time Instagram influencer

About Shanna: Hailing from Philly (Delco), livin’ my best Florida life. Current pirate, and aspiring future Key West mayor. If I’m not slinging beers, you can catch me and my dire wolf (#KierrathePirateDawg) eating pizza & terrorizing the town.
Favorite FMBrew: Cups of OYA

Alysa "Little One" Alonso

The Smallest Beertender

About Alysa: Regular degular schmegular girl from Miami. FGCU grad. Cardi B is my spirit animal. Okuuuuuurt!!!!

Favorite FMBrew: Watermelon Gose

Kristen "K - Dub" Germain

Beertender / Director of Lost & Found

About Kristen:  Former school teacher and Michigan native, now enjoying my upgrade on peninsulas. I’m outdoorsy if you count drinking on patios.

Favorite FMBrew: OYA mixed with Blood Orange Sour

Ilana
Schmelzer

Beertender

About Ilana: I’m a Florida native who took a short (5 years) stint in the mile high. Now I’m back to pour ya some brews & spread the love. 

Favorite FMBrew: Chocolate PB Porter or OYA… I can’t decide.

Ryan Carruth

Brewer

About Ryan: I have a passion for all things beer related. Whether it’s traveling to a festival, brewing a beer or sharing bottles with friends, it’s safe to say I found my calling.

Favorite FMBrew: Chocolate PB Porter