Big Storm Brewing makes a big impression on the hit country music singer


CLEARWATER, FL – Social media pays off big for Big Storm Brewing Co. co-owner and CEO LJ Govoni.

For the second time in the past 14 months, Govoni has made national news for his use of social media platforms to forge new relationships.

More recently, Govoni and hit country music singer and songwriter Craig Campbell formed a partnership that led Clearwater-based Big Storm Brewing to develop a new signature craft beer in Campbell’s honor, CC Cold Beer.

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It all started with a question…

A self-described scrolling troll who usually checks social media sites, Govoni spotted a Instagram Feed of Campbell performing his popular single, “All my friends drink beer.”

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Without thinking twice, Govoni posted a response to Campbell’s Instagram page: “But do all your friends drink Big Storm beer?”

Campbell quickly replied, “@bigstormbrewing I don’t know, can’t say I’ve ever had a Big Storm beer #plot.”

That’s all it took for Govoni to embark on a new business partnership. He invited Campbell to tour the brewery and sample some of the more than 80 award-winning craft IPAs from Big Storm, ales, stouts, lagers, sours, malts, Berliner Weisse, porters and pilsners.

The invitation led to the creation of CC Cold Beer, a smooth pilsner that will be on tap at Big Storm’s five taprooms in Florida starting Saturday and will be available for checkout at the new Campbell’s. Grindstone Cowboy Cafewhich is hosting its grand opening Saturday in Eagleville, Tennessee.

In the coming weeks, a variety of clubs, restaurants and bars across the country will begin offering the new brew.

“It’s such a crazy story,” Campbell said. “I posted the video, Big Storm replied. I happened to be performing in the area an upcoming weekend, and they invited me to visit the brewery.”

Campbell said he was smitten.

“Their products are top-notch; their marketing is fun; and from LJ and Shannon (Brooks, co-owner) to the descendants, they’re just great people I’m proud to do business with,” he said. .

“I wasn’t even sure Craig would see our witty comment on Instagram, let alone respond,” Govoni said. “Now here we are, having a beer together.”

Govoni, already a fan of Campbell’s, said the two hit it off the moment Campbell walked into Big Storm Brewing.

“We’re huge fans of Craig as a person and an artist, so partnering with him and his family was a no-brainer,” Govoni said. “It was evident during our meeting that spending time with loved ones is very important to all of us, and we can’t think of a better way to do that than with a cold in our hands.”

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Campbell was the headliner of the Craig Campbell Tour, by God since the release of his single “by God” at the end of February. The singer wrote the moving song with Thomas Archer and Jordan Walker, and the the single is now available by Campbell’s Label Grindstone Records.

Courtesy of Craig Campbell

Not only do Govoni and Campbell share a love of beer, Govoni said they are both driven by dogged determination.

Campbell, 43, grew up playing piano and singing in church in her hometown of Lyons, Georgia, then worked as a correctional officer while continuing to write songs and perform gigs at local bars in his spare time for years.

His break finally came when he hooked up with another South Georgia native and country music singer/songwriter Luke Bryan and began touring as Bryan’s keyboardist and with a country music artist Tracy Byrd.

Eventually, Campbell caught the eye of industry executives, who gave her her first recording contract in 2009. Her debut single, “Family Man,” reached the Billboard top 15 in 2011. Then came his hit, “Keep Them Kisses Comin’,” in 2014. Since then, he’s had several Top 10 singles.

Govoni can relate to Campbell’s persistence. As Campbell made a name for himself in the music industry, Govoni opened his first craft brewery in Pasco County in 2012.

Ten years later, Big Storm is preparing to open a sixth 11,000-square-foot bar and restaurant in Ybor City, has purchased several Florida breweries, including award-winning bar Darwin Brewing in Bradenton in December, and is shipping its craft beer to distributors. in New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas.

In between, Govoni opened an artisanal coffee roastery, Big Storm Coffee Co., in Pinellas Park in 2019, and, in an admittedly bold bet, launched Big Storm Distillery amid the coronavirus pandemic, producing vodka , rum, gin, coffee liqueurs and specialty cocktails.

Govoni also earned kudos for her commitment to her community and the environment. Big Storm has developed specialty beers to raise funds for Feeding Tampa Bay and Hops against hunger to help eradicate hunger in Tampa Bay.

Then, last month, Big Storm became the first distillery and brewery in Florida to adopt innovative green technology, capturing and reusing carbon emissions produced during the brewing and distillation process. The technology gives Big Storm the ability to capture the equivalent of over 1,500 trees in CO2 each year.

Govoni’s first foray into social media fame came on Sunday, February 7, 2021, when he attended Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, which will go down in NFL history as one of The most unusual Super Bowls in 52 years of the highly anticipated football contest.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers became one of the few NFL teams to play the Super Bowl at home and were the first NFL team to win the Super Bowl at home, beating the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9.

It was also the first time in NFL history that the Super Bowl was not played in front of a sold-out crowd. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, only 25,000 fans were allowed in the 65,000 seat stadium. To ensure spectators remain socially distanced and to minimize the fact that the stadium was less than half full, the NFL decided to fill the empty seats with 30,000 life-size cardboard cut-out photos of fans.

Fans, including Iowa’s Clayton Whipple, paid $100 to have a cardboard cutout placed in the stands at Raymond James Stadium.

Govoni had no idea who the person in the photo sitting next to him was, other than the fact that he was obviously a Chiefs fan as he wore a Chiefs jersey in his cutout.

Nonetheless, Govoni had fun posting selfies of himself and his new cardboard friend on Twitter, drinking beer, eating hot dogs, snapping talk and exchanging high-fives.

The tweets traveled to Whipple in Des Moines, Iowa, about 1,300 miles away, who responded with cheerful feedback.

Govoni ended up inviting Whipple, his wife and two sons to Florida. Upon learning of the invitation, Allegiant Airlines offered the Whipple family a free plane ticket, and Govoni and Whipple first met in person at Tampa International Airport exactly one year ago on Saturday.

Needless to say, Govoni doesn’t plan on ending his social media addiction anytime soon.


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