Sarasota-based Big Top Brewing Company is planning to open a brewery and restaurant in downtown Pensacola, CEO Mike Bisaha confirmed on Monday.

“We fell in love with Pensacola from the first day we started distribution two years ago with the Lewis Bear Company,” Bisaha said. “The people and town reminded us of everything we loved about our hometown of Sarasota. History, culture, and people drive everything we do at Big Top and we found all of that in Pensacola. We are very excited to brew alongside Perfect Plain, Pensacola Bay, Gulf Coast and all of the other amazing breweries that have built the craft scene in Pensacola. We can’t wait to add our out-of-the-box style to help make Pensacola a true beer destination.”

Bisaha founded Big Top with three partners in 2013. Many of the company’s brews — including its Circus City IPA and Trapeze Monk Belgian Wit — play tribute to Sarasota’s long history as the winter home of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus.

The new brewery will be located in the historic 1901 building located at 21 West Romana Street, last occupied by Taco Mez. The location will be the company’s first outside of Sarasota as well their first venture into serving food.

“Our chef is relocating from Orlando to continue the high standards we hold in beer and transition that to food,” Bisaha said. “We will serve lunch, dinner and everything in between.”

The plan is for the brewery to open by August, Bisaha said.

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