UF professor leaves honors advising to open downtown Gainesville brewery

February 17, 2014 | Category: Brewery Opening

By: Erin Meisenzahl-Peace, Alligator Contributing Writer

John Denny quit his job for beer.

The former associate director of the UF honors program left his position Jan. 30 to launch First Magnitude Brewing Co., a new craft beer production brewery set to open on South Main Street in July.

Denny and his wife Christine will run the business with another couple, Meg and Wells The Losen. Denny will take on the role of head brewer.

“This is a dream that I’ve been kicking around with my wife and a couple other partners, and we’re finally going to execute it,” Denny said. “Here I have an opportunity to combine something that I really love with a way to make a living.”

Denny’s love for craft beer emerged 20 years ago, when he began homebrewing after taking a class at Santa Fe Community College.

For years, Denny has devoted his free time to distilling new drinks. He entered brewing competitions through the Hogtown Brewers and won various awards for his creative kitchen concoctions. Come July, he’ll be crafting those concoctions in a new microbrewery located in downtown near Innovation Square.

First Magnitude will host brewery tours and have a taproom where customers can try year-round and seasonal beers. There’s an increasing demand for it in Gainesville, said Brandon Nappy, marketing manager at Swamp Head

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