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HomeBusiness & CommunityScratch Your Beer “Itch” at this Local Brewery

Scratch Your Beer “Itch” at this Local Brewery

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Founded by Anthony and Sarah Palmisano, the Itchy Belly Beer Garden is a Hernando County-based microbrewery that operates out of Masaryktown. Located on 410 Broad Street directly next to the Masaryktown Café, the building was purchased by the local business owners in June of 2023. The Palmisanos officially changed the name to Itchy Belly Beer Garden in September of last year and they received their beer and wine license immediately after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Nearly every weekend, the brewery hosts a vendor market in the one-acre green space behind the building. The space can hold over 40 vendors for patrons to sample beer and other products and play some cornhole. Not all gatherings are exclusively for adults either. The business’s vendor markets range from children selling hand-made items, to flea markets, and even to dog-focused “yappy hours” events.

One of the next such functions will be Itchy Belly’s “Bocks and BBQ Festival” on Saturday February 24. Taking place between one and five in the afternoon, there will be live music by Trove as well as a homebrew and barbecue competition. It will be for a good cause as well with a portion of the ticket sales from the event going to K9 Partners for Patriots.

Since they have begun homebrewing, the couple’s most popular beer has been their Mr. Fahrenheit Pineapple Habanero Cider. The beer’s label displays an image of their iconic lemur dressed like Freddy Mercury and it even won the Best Beer Award at the Hernando Untapped Craft Beer and Wine Festival in early 2023.

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So, what led the couple to open the local beer garden?

Even before setting up shop at their current location, the Palmisanos had been brewing and participating at local beer festivals for the past couple of years. Anthony’s interest in home brewing stretches farther back than that as he has been going strong with the hobby for the last two decades. The pair still work full-time jobs outside of the brewery’s hours as Sarah is the director of Pinnacle Home Health Care and Anthony is a software consultant. They had a fervor for brewing, though, and busy lives would not keep them from opening Itchy Belly to the public.

“It has always been a dream of ours to have a beer garden and to make our own beer and wine there,” Anthony said. “So, it has kind of been a passion project that we have had for some time now. We were just waiting for the right location to open up.”

Co-owner of the Itchy Belly Beer Garden, Anthony Palmisano. [Credit: Austyn Szempruch]
Co-owner of the Itchy Belly Beer Garden, Anthony Palmisano. [Credit: Austyn Szempruch]
The name was personal for the Palmisanos, too. Inspired by their daughter, Itchy Belly came about when Isabella was very young. As she could not yet pronounce her own name, she began calling herself “itchy belly.” The humorous nickname hung around and her parents felt the monicker would be a perfect fit for their fledgling business. Why the lemur logo? The idea serendipitously came to Anthony in a dream and “it has kind of stuck with us ever since.”

While there are not currently any plans to open another location, the couple is looking to build an expansion on their one-acre lot soon. In four to six weeks, the large tent that is attached to the back of the brewery will be replaced by a permanent structure. Televisions and heaters will also be added for guests to enjoy while they imbibe the beer garden’s various brews.

Big Mouth Bubbler. [Credit: Austyn Szempruch]
Big Mouth Bubbler. [Credit: Austyn Szempruch]

Austyn Szempruch
Austyn Szempruch
Austyn Szempruch is a Graduate with Distinction, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. He's written numerous articles reporting on Florida Gators football, basketball, and soccer teams; the sports of rugby, basketball, professional baseball, hockey, and the NFL Draft. Prior to Hernando Sun he was a contributor to ESPN, Gainesville, FL and Gator Country Multimedia, Inc. in Gainesville, FL, and Stadium Gale.
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