First Magnitude: New Brew Crew in Town

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A year into business, the taps are flowing strong at Gainesville’s second craft brewery.


mag logoEric Dreyer has both a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in food science from the University of Florida, which is why some of his friends might have been amused by his most recent career move.

The 29-year-old Dreyer left the security of a research position in the tasting lab at UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences for the unpredictable ebbs and flows of a local startup—and he couldn’t be happier.

That local startup is First Magnitude Brewing Co. and, as an award-winning, craft-beer home brewer, Dreyer is doing something he is passionate about.

“I was happy with my job at the university, but this was too good an opportunity to pass up,” Dreyer said, pointing to the shiny, 15-barrel brew house that constitutes FM’s production facility a block off South Main Street in Gainesville.

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Crane Ramen: Soup Kitchen Extraordinaire

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SHIO: Japanese Sea Salt flavor with clear seafood chaitan broth topped with crab, pork belly, scallions, enoki, garlic oil, nori and egg.


Gainesville’s first restaurant specializing in ramen noodles has done a booming business since opening last December.


gainesvilledowntown.com

How serious are Fred Brown and Steve Grimes about ramen?

Last November the two men flew to New York City for what Grimes called “a ramen-eating extravaganza.” Over two days, they visited seven restaurants and shared between 20 and 25 varieties of the Japanese-style noodle.

They compared notes about the bowls and agreed their taste palates were in harmony. Then they returned to Gainesville and got down to business.

On Dec. 1, 2014, with Brown as operational managing partner and Grimes as executive chef, they opened Crane Ramen in an old storefront at 16 SW 1st Ave. in downtown Gainesville.

Since then, people have lined up to get inside the cozy noodle kitchen and experience for themselves main dishes—or bowls, rather—never before savored in North Central Florida.

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Chef Ami: Fresh to Your Doorstep

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Box of Ingredients Final

The Gainesville business caters to those who might not have the time to shop for food but who still enjoy preparing nutritious, home-cooked meals.


Laura dePaz Cabrera is a busy woman. She balances her career as an attorney with a personal life that includes her husband and their 5-year-old son. She also is the lead female vocalist for the Gainesville-based, Latin-fusion band Tropix.

No wonder that planning family meals is usually not at the top of her daily to-do list.

“I really genuinely love to cook,” she said, “but working a busy and somewhat unpredictable fulltime job, I don’t have the time—or the energy—to plan out home-cooked meals every night.”

That’s why she happily welcomes Chef Ami into her kitchen.

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