After nearly eight decades, something is brewing in West Tampa.
Bay Cannon Beer Co. owner Matthew Juaire and his crew have been hard at work renovating a former theater located at 2106 W. Main St.
After being in the sales side of the beer industry in Minneapolis at 612Brew, he wanted to dive in a little deeper and launch his own concept.
As time went on and winters got colder, Juaire and his wife had a child and decided it was time to head south to be with family and dig into the craft beer industry that has been blossoming in the Sunshine State.
“I couldn’t launch something new in the backyard of 612, so it just seemed like a synergistic move. My partners were excited to do something else and take a shot,” Juaire explains.
Although, no matter the distance, Juaire is sticking close to his roots by making the owner of 612Brew his CFO of BCB.
Once he made the move, it was time to recalibrate and look for locations.
Juaire explained he wanted to be in the Hillsborough County area to not give his wife a long commute to work while also keeping in mind an area that wasn’t oversaturated with breweries already.
Which brought him to West Tampa, where the growth he’s witnessed coupled with his admiration for the rich history in the area made Juaire want to plant roots for the brewery.
At the beginning of his search for a building in West Tampa, he considered the Sicilian Club, which proved to need too much renovation to pull the trigger, but there were many other buildings to choose from that evinced the same type of historic charm.
“The community is very diverse, and it has been for over 100 years. I find that to be romantic and have a soul,” Juaire says.
“Not being from here, I began to love speaking with people around the neighborhood who have been here for generations.”
Juaire then goes into naming off the cities to which his family members have all dispersed to in amazement.
A history buff, Juaire is excited to brew new flavors within the 119-year-old building which now houses Bay Cannon Beer Co.
When he was on the hunt for a head brewer, he reached out to Joe Simmons, who was brewing out of Swamp Head Brewery in Gainesville to get the word out.
After hearing the Juaire’s plan, Simmons decided to get on board.
Juaire describes his head brewer, Simmons, as a rock star, both in and out of the beer world.
See, Simmons was a guitarist in a punk band called As Friends Rust which originated in Gainesville. As their sounds traveled far and wide, Europe got hooked and As Friends Rust toured. This past June, the band was summoned back to Munich to play for a party
“His mom was a rocker, so he grew up in that and he loves metal music,” Juaire explains.
“Joe got into beer when he was touring, and his then-girlfriend, who is now his wife, got a homebrew set as a gift and the rest is history.”
The Bay Cannon Beer Co. gang seems to have some serendipitous life events bringing them together and brewing in our backyard.
Simmons will be brewing up their signature selection of craft beers, including a Hazy Brut IPA and a Brut Belgian.
The kitchen will be run by a graduate from Metropolitan Ministries’ culinary school, Chef Josh Keene.
Each dish can be paired with the drafts; you can even snag a four-ounce pour. Chef Keene and his kitchen crew will be serving up shareables including chicken wings scarpariello with a gorgonzola dipping sauce, beer cheese fondue with Jamison Breadhouse pretzel bread and a golden beet tartare.
The kitchen will also be preparing burgers, a Cuban Grilled Cheese (because Tampa), and grilled shrimp tacos as well as a salad.
Leave room for the Dough Nation Sundae, which screams indulgent, crafted with chocolate chip cookie dough, French vanilla ice cream topped with chocolate fudge, whipped cream, a cherry and “magic dust.”
The time has come to welcome them to the neighborhood — grand opening for the brewery begins at noon on Friday, August 2. The beginning hours for Bay Cannon Beer Co. will be Friday and Saturday, noon-midnight, Sunday noon-7 p.m.
Free street parking is available, but when in doubt, scoot or rideshare to the new and only brewery in West Tampa.
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