A horse of a different color

When you have a metric ass-ton of bottles and cans, you have to keep track of them all.  I log beers in an excel tracking sheet. Sometimes I come across some wonkiness that makes tracking difficult. For example, I’ve logged in several beers (Diver Down and Keybilly) from the brewer “Brew Hub“. Nothing special going on there. Recently, M.I.A. Beer Company hit the central Florida market pretty hard. Nothing special there either. But, when I went to log the M.I.A. beers into my spreadsheet, I noticed that both M.I.A. and Brew Hub were listed as brewers. Now, how am I supposed to log that into my system? Is one a sort of brand name for the other? Are these even the same breweries? Grrrr.

On a recent trip to Tampa, FL I had a chance to stop into Brew Hub.

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Brew Hub bottle wall

While I was there, I asked them about just how this whole multiple brewery thing works. The General Manager, Baye Perry sat down with me to tell me all about it and to give me a quick tour of the facility.  Brew Hub brews their own beers (like Diver Down and Keybilly).  They also brew beer for a number of other breweries such as M.I.A., Green Man Brewery, and Cigar City.  These are all legitimate breweries that exist in their respective areas and have their own tap rooms.

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Brew Hub exterior

I’m sure some of you more craft beer savvy readers are already fuming to yourselves about contract brewers. Let’s address that first. Let’s say you are a Big Beer franchise that, for the sake of argument, advertises that your beer’s flavor is heavily influenced by the fresh clean mountain water you use.  You then contract facilities all across the country to brew your beer with no possible way of actually using mountain water in the process (because Florida is definitely known for it’s high reaching mountains).  This is what we typically think of when we talk about contract brewers.  That’s NOT what Brew Hub is.  They provide state of the art brewing equipment and talented employees that assist craft breweries in bringing their beer to market.  For a small brewery this means that they can start to can or bottle their beers without putting in the up front expense of a canning line.  For a larger brewery, like Cigar City, it means they can add more production space and keep the same taste and quality that they are used to.  Baye mentioned BJ’s Brewhouse as a poster child of what Brew Hub can do.  BJ’s used to use contract brewers to supply the beer for their nation-wide restaurant and brewhouse chain.  This lead to inconsistency and a lack of culture in the beer that was produces and they had quality problems that plagued them and tarnished their reputation.  Then they started working with Brew Hub, who helped them set brewing standards and provide consistency.  Now BJ’s is winning impressive awards at beer competitions.

So New Shimmer is a floor wax and a desert topping.  And Brew Hub is a craft brewery, a tap room, and a power house of a manufacturer for other breweries.  But I’ve rambled on about them long enough. Lets take a look around.

Post from RICOH THETA. #theta360 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

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Brew Hub tap room

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Brew Hub taps
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Brew Hub tap room selection

And now for a super special treat.  Those watching on Facebook have probably seen the 360 pictures and videos that I’ve been taking as I visit new breweries.  Here is my first official post with a 360 video, a tour of the inner workings of Brew Hub.  Enjoy.