Brewing beer (manufacturing), shipping beer (distribution), selling beer in restaurants all over Tampa (retail). These are all things I understand.
I also like to enjoy a good beer, and so when Cold Storage Craft Brewery opened its doors to the public on April 23for its first tour and tasting, heck yes I was there! Cold Storage Craft Brewery, Tampa’s youngest brewery, is a welcome addition to Seminole Heights and Tampa at large.
I seize opportunity when I see it. Here was an opportunity to learn about a local business that’s contributing not only to the economy but to my passion — the supply chain — as well. So my cohort Carrie and I decided we’d take a nice stroll through my neighborhood over to the brewery.
It was a social event and a chance to learn a little bit about the craft brewing industry and here’s some of what I learned:
The equipment is from the old brewery at Busch Gardens. Ask Bruce (co-founder) about
it — there’s an interesting little anecdote about the famous brewery and the hospitality houses.
One of the biggest challenges Cold Storage faced in the beginning was water quality, so they had to invest in a high quality filtration system.
The beer brewing lead-time is 10-14 days start to finish.
Leveraging multiple distributor relationships with Pepin, Gold Coast Beverage, and Great Bay Distributors, distribution is rapidly growing.
Their products — Florida Avenue Ale, Florida Avenue Blueberry, and Florida Avenue IPA — are on store shelves throughout Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Manatee counties. Be sure to check out their Facebook page for updates on new locations that have added their beers to the menu, places like Grill Smith, Fly Bar, Skipper’s Smokehouse, Ringside, and World of Beers.
The local craft beer brewing community is growing and it’s a fun group of folks to be around.
Business is about people, and what I learned is this: Cold Storage Craft brewery is owned
and managed by a good group of people who make a quality product and are having some fun along the way. If you read their business card it’s right there “Creating Friends” and that’s exactly what took place last weekend!
In the end it’s all about relationships and the interactions with the people that draw me to events like this. I’m thankful to have met Julie, Marty, and Bruce from Cold Storage. Then there’s Jay "Jay the Welder" Lesher, whose dream is “to build that one brewery that will change the way we brew”; Todd Howard, beer aficionado and beer judge; and Eric Manolt, a liquor store owner and retail seller for Cold Storage products and a customer!
All these guys were at the tour and tasting for their own reasons and brought together by a little brewery that’s turning up to be much more — a place to learn, a place to exchange knowledge, a place to meet new friends and a place to have a good cold beer!
Join them again on May 21 for the second tour and tasting … it’s well worth it. I know I’ll be there!