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Gibsonton Brewery Shines with Carnival Culture

GIBSONTON, Fla. – An eight-foot Boa named Julius Squeezer, fire spinning, and a bed of nails are not things you’d usually find at a brewery, but that’s exactly what’s happening in Gibsonton.


What You Need To Know

  • Alafia Brewing Company gives performers a place to shine
  • Gibsonton has a rich carnival history
  • The brewery plans to add more carnival fun outside

For the past two months, it’s been a wild ride inside Alafia Brewing Company.

Just about every week, crowds come together for a cold beer and a show with a history that goes back generations.

“Gibsonton Florida has a rich carnival history and has basically people working for the carnival for quite a while now, over a hundred years already,” Alafia Brewing Company Partner Dan Castanera said. 

It’s a place attracting performers with some serious street cred. 

“I learned to eat fire and swallow swords. I was in the movie Batman Returns, the second one, with the Red Triangle Gang. I trained eight stars for Circus with the Stars,” performer John Strong said.

Having the ability to perform at a place like this during what’s been a difficult year for everyone, giving them a unique chance to shine and bring in some extra cash.

“It’s really special and I hope people see this place and want to come to this place because there’s not many places like it that have this opportunity to come here and still connect with people even during something like the pandemic,” flow artist Alli Gamad said.

“We decided to celebrate what Gibsonton was really about, which is no matter how weird, or odd, or strange you feel, this is home. You’re accepted here,” Castanera said.

The brewery has plans to keep expanding within the upcoming months. The next step is to take the carnival fun outside with games, concessions, and an outdoor beer garden.

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