Monthly Archives: October 2013

3 Daughters Brewing Update and Some Thoughts on Volume

Jeff Houck of brings us an update on 3 Daughters brewing. Most importantly, he answers the question: “What does $1.5M buy you?” Apparently a small craft brewery in St. Pete.

Weaver (home-brewer and chef turned head brewer for 3 Daughters — ed.) has nine beer recipes finished, including a dunkelweizen, a Russian imperial stout, a brown ale, an India pale ale, an Irish red an oatmeal stout, a summer wheat and a porter. The signature beer to start with: the Beach Blonde Ale, which comes in at a very drinkable 5 percent alcohol by volume.

Yum. Who doesn’t love a RIS? Seems like they’re going to play off their local beach culture, too, and capture the boat and lawn-work crowd too. And what about volume?

Build-out is finishing on the tasting room at the front of the building, which will include a 30-barrel brewhouse and a 1-barrel pilot system and about 180 barrels of brewing space. Harting already has plans for three more expansions to add fermentation capacity.

A 30-barrel brewhouse and a 180 barrel “brewing space” – must mean 180 barrels of fermentation and finishing space, with room to grow. Look out Tampa Bay, the beer flood is coming! Here comes Motorworks, too with a rumored 30-barrel brewhouse less than an hour or so south of there, not to mention the two other breweries in St. Pete – both of which have slightly different business models. Between the two production breweries alone, that’s about two pints each for each and every beer drinking adult in the Tampa Bay area – and that’s only assuming 100 brew days and only those two breweries. If they hit 200 brew-days (which is 4 full brews a week), then that’s four pints per beer drinker per year from just two breweries. We have about 20 breweries in the Tampa Bay area, not counting brew pubs. My prediction: things may be real interesting in about 18 months. Simple and imprecise math results in an estimate of 20 pints of beer per beer drinker in Tampa Bay, just from local craft breweries, not including the big brands. That’s not a lot of beer. US per-capita consumption is 78 liters (164 pints!). A big assumption here: 100% local consumption. We already know that the Godfather of local brewers has multi-state distribution already, which eases the burden on the local market to drink all this beer.

I’ll keep poking at the numbers as my crystal ball gets a little more clear, but one thing’s for sure: we’re looking at some incredible variety and availability here in the Tampa Bay area. Now if we could only get this beer to market in a quick and efficient manner…

Calculations: 30 + 30 barrels = 60 barrels; 31 gallons per barrel = 1,860 gallons per brew. 100 brew days (two brews a week and two weeks off) = 186,000 gallons of beer a year. 8 pints in a gallon = 1.48 million pints per year. There are about 3 million people 18 and up in Tampa Bay. 2/3 of them of are drinkers. 36% of them drink beer, that’s about 720,000 people. 1.48 million pints into 720,000 people is about two pints per person per year at only 100 brew days from just TWO breweries.

Bay Area Barley's Angels

Blossoming Barley’s Angels: New Belgium Brewing

TBBN’s sincerest congratulations go out to Lisa Schneider Colburn of the Tampa Bay chapter of the Bay Area Barley’s Angels and Independent Owner Veronica Danko. On October 23, Wood Cellar Manager, Blender, and Sensory Specialist at New Belgium Brewing Company Lauren Salazar presented to the group about her efforts to revolutionize their sensory tasting programs and develop their barrel aging program. All the while, the ladies of Bay Area Barley’s Angels savored delicious New Belgium beers and gnoshed on stinky cheeses. Lucky. Hey Lisa, can I come to the next one on my press pass?

edit: words. Brouhaha was completely the wrong word to use here. 🙁


Budding Brewer Builds Brilliant Brewstands

Have you met MacGyver? You know, the dashing ’80’s hero who could pick a lock using a chewing gum wrapper and a bottle of Windex? Yeah, well I bet MacGyver was a home brewer. See that’s one characteristic that all home brewers share – aside from all of us being dashing and debonair and having incredible theme song – that is we generally have a maker’s mentality. In home brewing, that translates to the ability to make mash tuns out of igloo coolers and the creative use of gravity to move large volumes of hot sticky water around without burning anyone or making their wives ban all home brewing activities on the kitchen stove. Don’t ask.

Joshua Garman

Most home brewers are content with their own Rube Goldberg-esque contraptions. See, the brewing process is not complex – but it does involve heavy, hot, sticky, and wet stuff. Any tools or equipment to reduce the labors involved in heating, cooling, lifting, pouring, and generally dealing with the heavy, hot, sticky, and wet stuff are welcome additions to any brewer’s repertoire. Enter our hero, MacGyver, and tinkerer cum laude: Joshua Garman.

Joshua makes brewstands. A brewstand is probably the pièce de résistance for the home-brewer. It’s kind of like the foundation of the brewing process. Heating water for your mash? It starts on the brewstand. Moving water into the mash-tun? Yep, the pump is attached to the brewstand. Keeping your mash temp at 158 for 60 minutes? Yep, the brewstand holds the gas pipes, valves, and controllers that keep the cold beer in your hand and your hand off the gas valve. Have a back problem and can’t lift that 100 pound kettle? Yep, there’s a pump for that. And for that, Josh is a God. He’s applying his gifts: engineering know-how, skill with tools, and in-depth knowledge of the brewing process. The results speak for themselves. Fewer back aches. More beer.

An extruded aluminum brewstand.

Joshua Garman, proprietor of Levitate Brewing Systems customized this extruded aluminum brew stand for a customer.

Josh has been home brewing now for a few years and this is the natural extension of his craft. He’s no longer content just making beer – now he wants to make the tools that help others make beer. Josh is so confident in his ability he started a company – Levitate Brewing Systems – to bring his crafts to market. His first customers are local homebrew club members, but he’s expanding. Josh is working with local home brew store Southern Brewing and Winemaking to put a demo stand in their store. Look for it there soon.

Right now the systems are custom developed to meet your individual tastes. Like aluminum rather than stainless steel? No problem. Want electrically controlled gas valves? Check. Josh brings multiple talents to bear, not just welding. He even designs easy to use automatic control systems that, and I’ll be honest, made me feel like I was sitting in front of the control panel of a launch pad. I love gadget porn.

Levitate Brewing Systems brew stand controller.

Levitate Brewing Systems brew stand controller.

Josh is rightfully proud of his work – it’s brew-ti-ful. But the results speak for themselves. I got a chance to taste a delicious Marzen he brewed on his personal stand – mmmmmm good.

HLT, MT, and BK

For more information about Levitate Brewing Systems, contact them directly through their website:, or drop by Southern Brewing and Winemaking soon to see one for yourself.