Born in 2012 out of a Latin American gastropub, Darwin’s on 4th was well known throughout the Florida culinary world. We began brewing culinary-inspired beers on a modest brewing system to pair with the brewpub’s cuisine. In 2013, we expanded operations to a fifteen-barrel production facility, taproom, and beer garden and Darwin Brewing Company quickly became a staple in the burgeoning Florida craft beer landscape.
With deep roots in our community, it is not enough to simply exist within the community, we aim to be a part of it. We work with local organizations to support and give back to the community. We are proud to call Bradenton, FL home.
Darwin Brewing is dedicated to serving and delivering the highest quality beers possible. Beers that everyone can enjoy. We incorporate ingredients indigenous to Florida and the Americas creatively into our brews, brewing six year-round, four seasonals, and a variety of other specialty brews. We are Evolutionary Florida Beers!
Our taproom, located in downtown Bradenton across the street from LECOM Park offers a complete beer experience with 14 Darwin beers on tap, flights, pints, growler fills, and packaged beer to go. Make sure to check out our brewery shop to pick up Darwin apparel, barware, and merchandise. We look forward to having a pint with you.
Blue Hellenga, Director of Operations
I am originally from the Pacific North West. I moved to Miami when I was 20 years old to have a new experience and see the other side of the US. I started frequenting a specialty bottle shop/beer garden in North Miami and got bit by the bug. I remember going into the restroom and seeing a American Home Brewers Association poster on the wall and got interested in what that was all about. I tried a homebrew.. It was an okay 5 gallon Belgian batch. I ended up ordering ingredients for multiple batches of different styles. IPA’s became a new love to me and after having our first Child my wife Bianca and I moved to Eugene Oregon. Eugene is in the Shadow of Portland with Beer but has many staple Breweries and Cideries. I wound up Brewing at Steelhead Brewery Aka McKenzie Brewing in the heart of downtown and eventually built and ran the Production facility that was a few blocks West of the Brew pub. I grew to love the NW/West coast style IPA’s and Big Russian Imperial stouts. I’m looking forward to a Florida crowd with a different palette and glad to have this opportunity to keep things rolling at Darwin Brewing Company.
Bill Cornelius, Owner
I am from a really small town in east central Illinois. After graduating from the University of Illinois with a degree in production management, I worked as a production buyer at Ford Motor Company. After working 5 years at Ford, I started my own manufacturer’s representative company selling metal stampings and precision machined parts to the automobile company. In early 2000, I became a high school teacher in Northville, Michigan where I taught computer aided drafting and coached basketball and track. In 2010, I moved to Sarasota where I bought a building which housed a brewpub. The brewpub tenant skipped town in 2013 but left the brewing equipment. I was now in the beer business.
Luke Johnson, Sales Director
Born in Iowa but raised in Clearwater, FL after my family moved there when I was 3. I grew up in the beer industry as my dad was in it for 25 years. My first job in the industry was loading keg trucks and working in the warehouse at Great Bay Distributors in St. Petersburg, FL.
After graduating from Benedictine College in Kansas I started my professional career in the beer industry with Doll Distributing in Des Moines, IA. Over the next 10 years I moved my way up from delivery driver and on-premise account manager to off-premise account manager. I saw an opportunity to work on the supplier/brewery side of the industry with Oskar Blues in 2015 and for the next two years represented them as their Iowa and Nebraska Territory Sales Rep. From there I took an opportunity with another great brewery, Firestone Walker as their Market Manager in Iowa. Having spent 15 years living and working in the Midwest my wife and I had always had the goal of moving back to Florida someday. In 2019 that goal was achieved when my wife was promoted and transferred back to Clearwater for her company.
With a new home in a new state came a new position for me as well. I became the Florida and Georgia Area Sales Manager for Mighty Swell Hard Seltzer. Having the desire to be back in the beer industry I took the role of Sales Director at Darwin Brewing Company in 2021.
I am proud to be part of this great team and contributing to Darwin Brewing Company’s success for years to come. Cheers!
Seana Riley, Taproom Manager
Newer to the Bradenton area, I moved here in 2018 to escape another long, cold winter up north. I am a Michigan native and that is where my interest & passion for quality craft beer originated. I am a huge fan of IPAs, Belgium style dubbels, and milk stouts. I am excited to expand my beer & brewing knowledge and Darwin Brewing Co is a great place to do so. I look forward serving Darwin’s superior brews where the craftsmanship shines through.
I grew up in PA then moved to Michigan to pursue a brewing program certification. I’ve always loved craft beer, there’s so much variety and there seems to be always something new on the horizon. After drinking so much I got thinking about homebrewing. When I started homebrewing then I really fell in love and wanted to make a career out of it. Beer is everything. The creativity and artistry really speak to me. With so many ingredients out there I can really express myself. I can’t paint or draw but I can make a beer. I like making New England IPAs, Porters, and Stouts. I also enjoy beers with bold flavors and colors. To go along with those beers I wear lots bright floral shirts. Darwin is a good opportunity for me to evolve. They’re changing things up and I want to be apart of that.
Area Sales Manager – Southwest Florida
Area Sales Manager – South Florida
I’m Nicole, a Bartender and self-proclaimed fun enthusiast, I have been a long-time lover of Miami’s food and beverage scene. Already being a fan of fermentation and bubbly drinks, choosing to work with Darwin Brewing was a no brainer when I saw the opportunity come open! I’m excited to offer my sunny disposition and enthusiasm for great beer brewed with integrity to the city of Miami! I currently reside in an overpriced one-bedroom apartment with my struggling herb garden and three dogs (which includes the boyfriend). Cheers!