Cheers for Beers

3 Bridges Brewing's New Taproom Is Open in Venice

Venice locals Scott and Corey Harper aim to give back to their community through food, beer and plenty of fun.

By Lauren Jackson September 27, 2023

3 Bridges Brewing opened a new taproom on the U.S.-41 Bypass in Venice last weekend, named for the three bridges that lead to Venice Island.

“We both grew up in Venice,” says owner Scott Harper of himself and his wife and business partner, Corey. “Because we’re local and want to maintain that local feel and focus on local things, we named [the brewery] 3 Bridges. It just made the most sense to us.”

Until recently, 3 Bridges Brewing was operating in conjunction with Off the Wagon restaurant. The Harpers handled the on-site brewing, while the Off the Wagon's owners focused on front-of-house operations.

While he acknowledges that working with Off the Wagon was a great experience, “right from the beginning, we knew we wanted to have a place that was just for us,” Harper says. “It’s been a giant learning curve, but ultimately, we’ve put together a really great team. Everyone who has been attracted to working here, well—let’s just say we’ve gotten really lucky.”

The mushroom bacon smash burger at 3 Bridges Brewing.

The couple began their brewing journey like so many others in their industry: home-brewing in their garage.

“Everyone starts in their garage, and you get the crazy idea to turn your fun hobby into a job,” Harper says. “We were brewing on Sundays as a way to hang out together and share time making beer. Friends would come over and it became a giant Sunday Funday thing, drinking the beer we had made a few weeks before while making new beer for the next few weeks.”

“When people come in and drink your beer and enjoy this thing that you made, it’s so rewarding,” he continues. “The challenge of making good beer is so interesting. And then, as you grow, you can focus on making the best possible thing every day.”

3 Bridges Brewing offers a broad range of beers, which showcase the Harpers' skills at navigating the brewing process. At 3 Bridges you’ll find an easy lager, complicated sours and plenty of IPAs. But for Harper, it’s all about a Czech-style pilsner called the 1765.

“It’s the kind of beer you want to have on a hot summer day, just hanging out. Beer is about bringing people together and is a social thing,” Harper says. “You can drink it and enjoy it and not think about it too much. We make beers here that require big flavors and are complex, but some are just fun. A good, cold, crisp beer is my favorite.”

3 Bridges Brewing's Cuban crunch, which takes inspiration from Taco Bell's Crunchwrap.

The fun doesn’t stop with beer at the new taproom. A Cuban wrap is folded into the shape of a Taco Bell Crunchwrap and filled with mojo pork, ham and pickles before being griddled to a golden brown. It’s playful and inventive.

The smash burgers are also excellent, each made with two patties in either a traditional style, with blue cheese, or covered in sautéed portabello mushrooms.

The Harpers have plans for attractng new guests, but they're currently getting their feet under them after a monumental reception from the Venice community.

“It's about keeping it fun and interesting," Harper says. "We want to do beer-related events here, things like Oktoberfest, and [other events] that are about beer and about imbibing. In the midst of all that, happy customers will see and feel it. Ultimately, it allows us to give back to our community.”

3 Bridges Brewing is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week at 1765 S. Tamiami Trail, Venice. For more information call (941) 468-8100 or visit the brewery's Facebook page.

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