The brewmaster didn’t like to talk to people, his colleagues say, but when he was working behind the bar at 3 Daughters Brewing, he did his best to hide his discomfort.
Ty Weaver had been a part of the brewery since its founding and served as the head brewer, which also meant working the bar, co-workers said. But they described him as a private person.
“He didn’t like a lot of people to know how good he was at everything,” 3 Daughters general manager Christian Harris said. “Even when people came in and would ask questions about the brewing process, he would weasel his way out of it. He just didn’t like talking to people.”
Weaver, 50, didn’t want people to recognize him outside the brewery. Harris said Weaver grew a beard for his company headshot.
Immediately after the photo was taken, he shaved.
Weaver was driving a motorcycle when he was killed in a crash on the Sunshine Skyway bridge Thursday morning, 3 Daughters Brewing owner Mike Harting told the Tampa Bay Times. The Florida Highway Patrol has not released the identity of anyone involved in the crash, citing Marsy’s Law.
Troopers said the driver of the motorcycle hit the back of an SUV that was braking for traffic on the bridge. The motorcyclist was “separated from the motorcycle” and “overrun” by a tractor-trailer, according to the Highway Patrol.
“Ty was an exceptional person whose talent, dedication and love for the art of brewing were unmatched,” Harting wrote in a statement sent to the Times on Thursday.
Brian Horne, 3 Daughters’ vice president of sales and marketing, said he was in Ocala for a meeting with a company partner when Harting called him to share the news.
Horne said he was shocked.
“You hear it, but you don’t process it,” he said. “The first thing that Mike and I talked about is: What do we need to do for his family, and what do we need to do for our family here? I’m going to literally turn around and get right on the road back to St. Pete.”
Frequently fighting back tears, Horne spoke to the Times on Friday afternoon at 3 Daughters’ St. Petersburg location. He said the company is participating in a brewery event in Naples on Friday night and the organizers of the event called to say they will donate the proceeds in Weaver’s honor.
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Weaver’s family and Harting met in the backroom of the brewery Friday. Horne said they were there to grieve together and plan what’s next. Weaver’s family and 3 Daughters hope to start a foundation to honor the head brewer, but they have not yet made official plans for that.
Harting and Weaver had known each other for more than 20 years, Horne said. They first met while working at a local Outback Steakhouse.
Before the opening of 3 Daughters, Weaver and Harting opened BellaBrava in downtown St. Petersburg. Weaver was a chef then, but he wanted to try making beer. He and Harting made a brew for a beer-battered fish recipe.
It turned out the beer they made for the fish was quite good, Horne said. Weaver and Harting put that beer on tap, and it outsold every other beer they had.
That beer became Beach Blonde Ale — still one of 3 Daughters’ most popular brews to date.
“Everything Ty did, he was amazing at,” Horne said.
Horne and Harris described Weaver as a calming presence at work. As someone who went out of his way to help others.
On Wednesday, Horne was inside 3 Daughters’ back warehouse trying to get a case of a specialty beer — Nauti Pale Ale — to deliver to Tampa. But the beers were high up on stacked pallets, and Horne described himself as short.
Horne saw Weaver was busy, but Horne said he was running late so he asked for help.
Weaver dropped his work to come over. He pointed out to Horne there was a nearby ladder. Horne said he looked at Weaver, and Weaver looked back at him.
“I know the ladder is too short for you,” Horne recalled Weaver saying.
Horne said Weaver got the beer down and patted him on the back. Horne said, “Thank you.”
Then he left to drive to Tampa. It was the last time he saw Weaver.
On Friday, Horne found a six-pack of Nauti’s sitting on his desk.