Fort Myers Brewing fundraising for Island Cow with brand new brew

Reporter: Jolena Esperto
Published: Updated:
Moo Crew Brew will be around for a short time at Fort Myers Brewing. Its proceeds will help the employees of Island Kow, the restaurant that went up in flames on Sanibel in August. (CREDIT: WINK News)

Fort Myers Brewing Company is releasing a new IPA called Moo Crew Brew to benefit the Island Cow workers who lost their jobs when the Sanibel restaurant was badly damaged by a fire in August.

The fire at the Sanibel eatery was not just a loss for its owner, Brian Podlasek, but for all 50 of its employees.

“I’ve never had so many phone calls or text messages,” Podlasek said. “My phone lit up for weeks. And people were calling and just sending things.”

One of those people was the owner of Fort Myers Brewing.

“When Rob, my husband and I, when we heard the news of what had happened to their building, right away we knew we wanted to help,” said Jen Whythe.

So Jen and Rob Whyte decided to do what they do best: create a limited edition Moo Crew Brew with the proceeds going to support the out-of-work Island Cow employees.

island cow
Inside of The Island Cow after the fire on Saturday August 6. (Credit: Retta Crank)

“It’s the most generous thing I think you could possibly do for the staff. Not to mention the most fun, great way to get the staff together,” Podlasek said.

The Moo Crew Brew will sell at $12 for each six-pack. It will be available on Saturday and the brewery will celebrate its debut with a kickoff event lasting until 11 p.m.

Whyte said all small business owners know how hard it’s been the last couple of years.

“Here you are, finally, on the upswing, or you feel like you’re on the upswing, and now this happens and your employees as a small business, your employees are your number one asset,” Whyte said.

Podlasek agrees.

“And to do this for our staff and for our staff to feel appreciated. To me, it’s probably the most important thing,” Podlasek said.

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