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The Tampa family sports pub chain buys the upscale Brass Tap.
Published Jun. 26, 2012

Beef 'O' Brady's, the Tampa-based chain of family sports pubs, announced Monday that it has purchased the Brass Tap, an upscale and growing network of craft beer and fine wine bars.

The Brass Tap, founded in 2007, currently has locations in Wesley Chapel, Brandon and Trinity. A fourth location is expected to open at Dale Mabry Highway and Kennedy Boulevard in South Tampa this summer, with two more franchises by early next year in Carrollwood and Orlando.

"The Brass Tap is a renowned Florida brand with a unique position in the marketplace," said James Walker, chief development officer for Beef 'O' Brady's, in a statement. "This culture is like nothing else I have experienced in the industry before, and we are excited to help grow the Brass Tap through franchising."

The founders of the Brass Tap, who also own seven Beef 'O' Brady's franchises in Florida, will remain as shareholders, partners and owners of the current Florida franchises.

Cashing in on the imported microbrew and craft beer craze, the Brass Tap and its rival, Tampa's World of Beer, are trying to revive the drinks-only neighborhood tap room that was declared an endangered species two decades ago.

Both of the chains are adding stores, and they have hit on a formula generating about $1.4 million in annual revenue per store almost entirely from beer alone. And the average patron sips less than two brews a visit.

Jeff Martin, one of the bar's founders, said partnering with Beef 'O' Brady's will help take the company national much faster thanks to the restaurant chain's experience and widespread network. "On the franchising side, bringing them on as partners was a good fit," he said.