Friday, April 20, 2018
Business

Tampa Bay craft brewers plan beer week in March

TAMPA — The email went out last month, a call to arms of sorts to the Tampa Bay craft beer community.

It began with a simple question: Any interest in starting a regional beer event modeled after Philly Beer Week? If so, let's talk.

And they did, gathering for a series of meetings at a conference room at Cigar City Brewing in Tampa. The result: the first ever Tampa Bay Beer Week, March 3-10.

A loosely knit group is organizing the event, representing virtually all the major players in the Tampa Bay craft beer scene — brewers, distributors, tavern and home brewers. And it's being run with the same sort of collaborative spirit that has characterized the development of the local brewing industry.

"We said, let's collaborate and see what we can make happen,'' said Ben Mills, a spokesman for the event. "Everybody was on board.'' About 50 events are planned so far, with more expected to be added.

Organizers hope the week will spotlight the already thriving Tampa Bay craft beer scene — and become an annual draw for tourists.

"It is such a huge, positive step in order to make this a craft beer town,'' said David Doble, head brewer at Tampa Bay Brewing Company in Ybor City. "I've always said Tampa has everything it takes to become the next major point of growth ... the next Portland.''

The week was chosen because March is the height of tourist season and to take advantage of two established beer events.

The week kicks off March 3 with the annual Florida Brewers Guild Beer Fest at Centro Ybor — it has sold out in advance the past three years — and ends March 10 with Cigar City's third annual Hunahpu's Day, a mini-beerfest expected to draw about 2,000 people eager to buy the first bottles of the brewery's most highly regarded beer, Hunahupu's Imperial Stout, while sampling beers made specially for the event.

In between will be smaller events at locations around the Tampa Bay area — breweries, taverns, brew pubs and restaurants — from beer pairings to special-release beers to brewery nights at taverns to home brewing demonstrations.

Philly Beer Week began in 2008 and has grown into the largest event of its kind in the United States, with more than 1,000 events spread over 10 days in June.

About 70,000 people attend and spend about $11 million on beer-related events.

More than 50 similar events have popped up across the country.

Doble said Tampa Bay Brewing has 10 events planned that week, including a beer dinner at its Ybor City brewery and pub and another at The Pub at International Plaza, and three brewery nights at local taverns that specialize in craft beer.

Willard's Tap House in Largo plans to have all locally brewed beers on its 40 taps that week. Peg's Cantina in Gulfport will tap five barrel-aged beers specially made for the week.

Comments
Florida unemployment at 3.9 percent for sixth straight month

Florida unemployment at 3.9 percent for sixth straight month

Florida continues to coast with relatively low unemployment and modest job gains. In March, for the sixth straight month, the state’s jobless rate was 3.9 percent. Florida added 13,800 jobs over the month.Tampa Bay’s unemployment rate was 3.6 percent...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Judge: Foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa violated numerous rules of conduct

Judge: Foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa violated numerous rules of conduct

Tampa Bay foreclosure defense lawyer Mark Stopa has violated numerous rules of professional conduct and caused two clients to nearly lose their homes because he failed to tell them about settlement offers from their banks. In preliminary findings of ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
SunTrust warns 1.5 million clients of potential data breach

SunTrust warns 1.5 million clients of potential data breach

Associated PressNEW YORK — SunTrust Banks Inc. says accounts for 1.5 million clients could be compromised following a potential data breach. The Atlanta bank says that it became aware of the potential theft by a former employee and that the investiga...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Q&A: Walmart leader chats about Florida stores, and the chain’s latest retail strategy

Q&A: Walmart leader chats about Florida stores, and the chain’s latest retail strategy

The Tampa Bay Times recently sat down with Walmart director of corporate communications Phillip Keene to chat about the retail giant’s latest retail strategies and how the company is winning over customers in a competitive market.Already, two of the ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

Spring break, hurricane relief boosted Tampa Bay hotels in March

The Tampa Bay area’s hotel occupancy rate rose to 87.5 percent in March, the highest level in three years. The rise was fueled by spring break vacationers as well as insurance adjusters and hurricane cleanup crews flooding the state to restore it aft...
Published: 04/20/18
St. Petersburg police remove disabled adults from ‘deplorable’ assisted living facilities

St. Petersburg police remove disabled adults from ‘deplorable’ assisted living facilities

ST. PETERSBURG — Beef jerky, mayonnaise and Altoids mints were the only edible things in view inside one of the houses. There was no running water. The refrigerator was empty. A bed sat on top of the deteriorating living room floor. Cigarette butts b...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Marriott Edition to bring five-star hotel ambitions to Water Street Tampa

Marriott Edition to bring five-star hotel ambitions to Water Street Tampa

TAMPA — At the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York City, hotelier Ian Schrager transformed a Jazz Age building with its own rich history into a destination offering even more heady experiences — extravagant, edgy and bohemian.In Tampa, Schrager will have...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Here’s your first look at what will be Riverwalk Place, Tampa’s tallest tower

Here’s your first look at what will be Riverwalk Place, Tampa’s tallest tower

TAMPA — Developers on Thursday detailed plans for what they touted as the tallest building on Florida’s west coast, with condominiums priced in six and seven figures and a shimmering glass design they say would stand out in the skylines of New York, ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
The St. Pete Pier takes another step forward

The St. Pete Pier takes another step forward

ST. PETERSBURG — Development of the city’s long-awaited pier advanced another step Thursday.The City Council approved a $15 million construction contract and additional money to design a waterside restaurant, build a playground and ferret out naming ...
Published: 04/19/18
Free rides on PSTA and HART buses to celebrate Earth Day

Free rides on PSTA and HART buses to celebrate Earth Day

Those who use mass transit across the Tampa Bay area can ride for free on Sunday.To celebrate Earth Day, both the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) and the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) will be offering free rides on Su...
Published: 04/19/18