It should be no shock by now that at Equity we love to collaborate with like-minded, passionate, and amazing people. So, we are excited to introduce some of the most amazing people and talented brewers down in Florida, the folx at Hopsized Brewing! Darlyn Victor, Ana, and Tripp flew to OK and brewed two delicious beers with us: the Birds of a Feather Hazy Pale Ale and Flock Together NEIPA. Thank you so much to Hopsized Brewing for collaborating us, and stay tuned for our future trip to Florida to brew with our new friends again!
You can try the Birds of a Feather Hazy Pale Ale AND Flock Together NEIPA now in the taproom! We think you'll love these tasty brews just as much as we do -- from OK to FL!
Darlyn Victor and Ana Rodriguez de Vera, the two owners of Hopsized Brewing in Bonita Springs, FL.
Can you give a brief background on yourselves and how Hopsized Brewing came to be?
Hi! We're Ana Rodriguez de Vera and Darlyn Victor! Briefly, we’re originally from Miami, Florida, which is where we met back in 2009. We relocated to Fort Myers, FL back in 2016 after living in Illinois for 3 years for work. We started homebrewing May of 2019 where we “brewed” a NEIPA and a Blonde Ale, which was later conditioned on Mango puree. We started participating in a few homebrew competitions on the East Coast of Florida and did surprisingly well! The community loved our brews and gave us such great feedback, which lead to Ana pushing for us to open a brewery for over a year. Her persistence prevailed… and here we are now!
What types of beer do you brew?
I’ve always loved IPAs and grew an affinity for NEIPAs after my brother-in-law, Rudy, introduced me to them. Needless to say, I was hooked! Ana has always been a fan of sour beers, so here at Hopsized, we brew tons of NEIPAs and always have a sour on rotation. We recently started on Barrel-Aging (BA) program for Stouts, and are happy that we have our first 2 53-gallon barrels filled. We enjoy brewing refreshing crisp beers and have fun brewing them with our Flako (Tripp). He really enjoys pilsners and has a very well-rounded palate.
The Equity Brewing and Hopsized Brewing teams on brew day in the taproom at Equity.
How did you find Equity, multiple states away in Oklahoma, and what made you want to collaborate with us?
I came across a reel on IG a few months back, and it was a look at your space. The colors, the lines, the feel, everything about it drew me in. So, I immediately started following you guys. When I read it was the first all-WOMAN owned brewery in Oklahoma, it was a done deal. We’ve always been supportive of women-owned businesses, Ana is a boutique owner and works her magic at Hopsized, so she nearly fell over when I told her about you guys. That’s all it took! I ended writing to you guys via IG that same day and several weeks later we were brewing our collaborations beers!
Can you talk a little about the beers we brewed together?
Most certainly! When we first spoke with Suzette, our visions aligned quickly. After discussing plans, we ultimately decided that we’d brew a New-England American Pale Ale, and a New-England IPA. We met over Zoom on two separate occasions, but it was on our last Zoom meeting that we whipped up the recipes to both the beers.
• Flock Together NEIPA – this beauty was delicately crafted utilizing high quality ingredients, which include Premium 2-row, and our secret wheat malt and wheat flakes ;-) We designed the water profile to mirror your typical NEIPA brew with chloride being 152 ppm, and sulfate kept at 75 ppm. We always ensure to keep our calcium content between 108-110 ppm. This aides in haze stability along with other factors later in the brewing process. Incognito Citra was used at whirlpool, and fun T-90 pellet hops were used on the cold-side for dry-hopping.
• Birds of A Feather Hazy Pale Ale – this was another beautiful, and delicately crafted brew. Following a similar grain bill, our water profile differed since we had our sulfate levels at 100 ppm to truly drive aromas and the hops forward while keeping our chloride content at 152 ppm. We also utilized Incognito Citra during the whirlpool and used different hops on the cold-side for dry-hopping. Two different liquid yeast strains were used for each beer, which we selected during our recipe making process. Understanding the survivable compounds of each hops utilized during the dry-hop allows us to have a close idea of what the final products would turn out to be!
You say on your website that your brewery is a third space. What do third spaces mean to you and how do you create that atmosphere in your taproom?
The last couple of years has been tough in every sense of the word. When the queen (Ana) and I sat down two years ago and first talked about opening up Hopsized Brewing, we focused on what our mission, vision, and philosophy would be. We envisioned a brewery where patrons of all legal drinking age, regardless of race, ethnicity, professions, religious or political beliefs would come together to enjoy high-quality beers with other craft beer lovers. See it as a momentary pause, one where you don’t have to think about work, home, or any other life stressors. The only rule is to relax, unwind, and leave all the other bullshit outside of those doors.
And finally, what did you think about your visit to Oklahoma?
WE HAD A BLAST! Ana and Tripp will say that they froze their glutes off, but I love, love, love colder weather! We had a great time with the Equity team, and brewing together was therapeutic, possibly even cathartic for our souls. Being able to get away and come together with a group of powerful and influential women was huge for us. We visited plenty of breweries, restaurants, and even went vinyl shopping at an old record-store! Oklahoma was certainly good to us, and you guys were just phenomenal. Thank you for all of your hospitality, and we can’t wait to come back up!