After his first visit to West Tampa, Matthew Juaire couldn't stop coming back. He was fascinated by the stories contained inside the abandoned cigar factories, the history of jazz music that had passed through, and of hearing the stories of families whose grandparents grew up on the same street.
When Bay Cannon Beer Company opens at 2106 Main Street this week, in what was once a performing arts venue and once a fish market, he hopes it's a nod to bringing back the area's history.
"This is Main Street," he said. "People should be out on Main Street. The neighborhood has changed a bit. There is history here and we hope we can bring some of that back."
The brewery won't have any permanent beers on tap, rather a rotating list featuring beers like blackberry beet saison, a Belgian style beer infused with earthy tones and tartness. It will also have a menu featuring casual bites to pair with their beer list.
"We want to have balanced neat beers that everyone might like and do the crazy thing that people might want to try," Juaire said.
He said he hopes the decor will be a nod to Tampa's history, from the diamond-tufted backing on seats reminiscent of the jazz age, wood from the original Belleview Biltmore hotel and exposed brick facades. The name Bay Cannon came after Juaire visited the two cannons outside Plant Hall at the University of Tampa.
He hopes the brewery will serve as a community meeting place and encourage more of the beer community to explore West Tampa.
The brewery will also feature two American oak foeders to experiment with mixed fermentation in beers like true farmhouse ales or wild ales that could take between two months to a year to fully develop.
"You don't really know," he said. "You know when it's a good beer, you know when it's right, but it could be six, nine, twelve months."
The brewery opens Aug. 2 and will be open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from noon to midnight and Sundays from noon to 7 p.m.
Contact Divya Kumar at email@example.com. Follow @divyadivyadivya.