Lakeland's Brew Hub, a collaborative brewing facility that opened last week off Interstate 4, is giving craft breweries, like Tampa's Cigar City Brewing, more brewing, packaging and distribution capabilities to meet demand.
With chief brewmaster Paul Farnsworth leading the brewing operations, Brew Hub has an initial capacity of 75,000 barrels (one million cases) per year. In addition to Cigar City, the company's teamed up with Orlando's Orange Blossom Brewing Co., Green Man Brewery in North Carolina and the California-based BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse.
Brew Hub's partner brewing concept, according to the company, is a way for participating breweries to stay in control of their products.
Breweries and their brewmasters have access to the facility's 50,000-square-foot brew house, where they're able to monitor the brewing process and ensure their suds are crafted correctly.
Through this collaborative process, packaging and distributing liquids into other markets happens on a larger scale, and breweries don't have build larger facilities.
Brew Hub, which has former Anheuser-Busch executives on board as its main partners, also offers breweries other assistance, including marketing and legal services.
The company's tasting room is open from noon to 12 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday. It plans to open four more facilities around the country in five years, with St. Louis as its next destination.