Talk of the bay

By Times Staff
Published May 21, 2007

Pour yourself a Brooklyn lager in a few weeks

Brooklyn Lager, a craft beer that's the fourth most popular draft beer in New York City, will be widely available in the Tampa Bay area within two weeks. The lager and pale and brown ale cousins produced by Brooklyn Brewery, a craft brewer that produced 58, 000 barrels in 2006, will be sold by most grocery stores. Touted as the first successful New York brewer since Schaefer and Rheingold checked out in 1976, Brooklyn Brewery has an unusual history. Its founder and president is Steve Hindy, a one-time Associated Press Mideast correspondent who taught himself home-brewing when he lived in beer-free Saudi Arabia. He and a banker friend set up shop in 1988 using a pre-Prohibition recipe for Brooklyn Lager. They raised money for the venture weeks before the 1987 stock market collapse.

Report: Relish our immigrant workers

Just in time for the immigration debate buzzing in Washington, D.C., comes a report on the immigrant work force in Florida. A report to be released today by Florida International University says immigrants made up 23 percent of the state's work force in 2005, compared with 19 percent in 2000. What's more, the report posits, we're lucky to have these workers: "In short, immigrants contribute more to the Florida economy than they cost, " a preliminary release states. The report concludes that recent immigrants to Florida, as compared with U.S. natives:

- Contribute equally or more to the economy as measured by taxes paid and assistance received.

- Are just as likely to have advanced degrees and nearly as likely to have bachelor's degrees.

- Are more likely to be entrepreneurs.

After a news conference this afternoon, the report will be available online at www.risep-fiu.org.

Congrats to our top entrepreneurs

The 25 finalists for Ernst & Young's Florida Entrepreneur of the Year awards include some bay area connections to make us proud:

- Paul Simino, president and founder, One Simple Loan, Oldsmar.

- David Serlo, CEO, PSCU Financial Services, St. Petersburg.

- Thilo Best, president, Horizon Bay Senior Communities, Tampa.

- Crawford Ker, president, Ker's WingHouse, Largo.

-Jon Yob, president and CEO, Creative Recycling Systems, Tampa.

Winners will be announced at a gala in Orlando on June 21. They will be eligible for the national awards in November.