One of the biggest successes in Ybor City in recent years has been the increased popularity of the Tampa Bay Brewing Company, particularly after it moved into its Centro Ybor location in 2006. Much of that has to do with the explosive growth of the craft beer market, of course, as well as the fact that it's an attractive location based simply on the quality of its food.
Now TBBC is moving on up with a second brewery restaurant that will include a standalone building with a production brewery and packaging facility. The expansion will provide TBBC with more than four times the current brewing capacity, allowing for increased packaged beer distribution across the state. The project is expected to create up to 60 new jobs and more than $5 million in capital investment upon completion in 2015. Construction is expected to begin next month.
"We are all very excited about creating new jobs in Hillsborough County and the wonderful City of Tampa that has been our home for so many years,” said John Doble, patriarch of the family business in a press release issued out by the Tampa/Hillsborough County Economic Development Corporation. “Hillsborough County has been amazingly supportive of this endeavor.”
The new 2.1. acre facility will be located near the intersection of Race Track Road and Hillsborough Avenue, abutting the Hillsborough/Pinellas County line. It will include a 30-barrel brewing system, a taphouse and restaurant. Tours will be available to the public.
“This is a great success story for our community, and reflects our growing presence in the craft brewing industry,” said Mark Sharpe, Chairman of the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners. “We’re creating an environment that not only attracts investment to Hillsborough County, but allows a local, family-operated business like the Tampa Bay Brewing Company to grow and prosper.”
Last month Sharpe was rebuked by his fellow members of the board of County Commissioners when he asked them to co-sign a letter he wanted to send to the Hillsborough legislative delegation regarding a bill that craft brewers in the Tampa Bay area strongly opposed.
One iteration of the bill sponsored by Lakeland Republican state Senator Kelli Stargel would have required any brewery that sold more than 2,000 kegs a year (or 1,000 barrels) to be subjected to the three-tiered system for packaged containers of alcohol, requiring that distributors get a cut of those products. David Doble, brewmaster with the Tampa Bay Brewing Company (and John's son), told Stargell and other legislators
that his break-even point was selling 14,000 kegs annually. "2,000 kegs is absolutely nothing," he said last month. "If this bill passes, I am done ... I've worked for 18 years and these people are going to crush us."
Today, David Doble says “I’m very excited about finding a suitable location in our home county with the land needed to build a production brewery. The massive additional brewing capacity and the ability to have direct truck access to the brewery are fantastic. In addition, we’ll continue the awesome restaurant service and outside seating that our current customer base has come to enjoy.”