Tag Archives: threepalms

Three Palms Brewery

Randy Reaver (Three Palms) and Mick Cohn (Beer Box)

East Tampa brewer Three Palms eyes expansion plans

Three Palms Brewing is expanding.

By the end of this summer, Three Palms will grow from its current 3 barrel 1,000 square foot combined brewery/tasting room to a 15 barrel 3,000 square foot family and pet-friendly tasting room and brewery. Along with the physical expansion, they’re expanding their opening time to seven days a week.

But that’s not all: Randy goes on to tell Tampa Bay Brew News that he’s in the initial stages of canning his immensely popular “Going the Distance” IPA. Stay tuned for more details about the expansion and canning plans!

Congratulations Randy!

2014: A Year in Preview

More Thoughts on Volume and Predictions for 2014

There’s talk – always talk – about a bubble in the “craft beer” industry. Heck, even Greg Koch calls this a time of “irrational exuberance”.

The Stone founder, always quick with a metaphor, compares the craft industry to a young San Diego tree, one that came of age during one of those rare years when the usually fierce Santa Ana winds fail to materialize. “There’s no headwind at all,” he says. “In order for a tree to grow strong, there has to be wind. Otherwise, when we have a season of severe Santa Anas, there will be toppled trees all over the place. A lot of small brewers right now are growing up with no headwind. Chain stores are asking them before they open if they can get in line to buy some of their beer. This is an unusual thing that they think is normal. This won’t continue.”

But really is there a bubble? Are our breweries operating in an environment devoid of any headwind?

I’ve already written my thoughts on the addition of  3 Daughters Brewing capacity to our fair local market. One of the things I missed was the impact of tourism – the transient population will drive up the volume of beer consumed here. Here’s a few more thoughts in the form of predictions for Tampa’s local beer economy, triggered by Koch’s doomsday premonitions. In my opinion – we’re gonna be just fine, but there may be some growing pains.

We will lose some local breweries

The growth in craft beer is not coming because people stopped drinking wine or other spirits, or because there are a lot of new beer drinkers in the marketplace – it’s coming at the expense of other breweries – you know, the big three.

There will be a point at which the market of early adopters and people who like beer but not “that beer” has been “tapped”, and without significant growth in the overall market of beer drinkers or Joe Sixpack upping his beer budget by 50%, one doesn’t have to wonder long to know what the result will be: a bunch of small businesses which are highly leveraged and/or under capitalized will likely get tapped out.

Established breweries with better financial footing will likely survive this culling – think Cigar City with its debt-averse owner Joey Redner, big new heavily capitalized breweries like Motorworks or Coppertail, or little guys with tiny capital footprints that are still bootstrapping but are beer purists and dedicated to the craft – call them artisinal breweries, like Three Palms.

Mind you, at last count there are about 30 breweries open or planned making beer for sale either on or off-premises. That’s a lot of breweries and a lot of beer. Among these 30 there are some unique concepts serving sub-markets of the beer industry – and they will likely be just fine – like Saint Somewhere and their unique blend of beers (not to mention that most of their distribution is outside of the state!). But the breweries that are focusing on just plain old ales with nothing special about them – they’ll likely find an untimely end. I’m not naming names, but I suspect there are at least a dozen that won’t make it in their current format. Maybe they’ll be merged into brewpubs. Maybe they’ll be consolidated and their equipment merged into other small breweries or brew pubs, or gasp! it may go to a brewery in another part of the state or country.

We will grow to be a Mecca on the East coast for beer

We continue to surface brave, creative, and intelligent people into this industry. We have a fantastic local home brew club circuit, numbering at least 8 counting only Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. We’re getting a world-class contract brewing facility in Polk County. Our local breweries are getting national and international attention for their creativity and style. And, we have two father-figures in Cigar City and Yuengling. We may not be Asheville, but what they have in volume we make up in charm. We have a theme park that was built on beer for crying out loud.

Look for groups like Tampa Bay Beer Week, Alan C. Shaw, Florida Beer Guy, Tom Scherberger, and yours truly to keep pushing the local angle and upping the tourism ante. One way to grow that demand for Tampa Bay Brews is to get people here drinking it and having a good time doing so. We already have a signature non-brewery event – Tampa Bay Beer Week – and one more that is brewery specific – Hunahpu’s Day. Other parts of the state will look to us for distribution and representation we build up the critical mass of eyeballs and visitors required to become a beer destination. Heck, San Diego did it.

Furthermore, there are talks among the local beer geeks that we need to do a better job of publicizing what we’re all doing around here: making great beer and building a great community. Look for some action on this side – a new organization representing local breweries and doing their charitable good deeds. I suspect at least one more of these will open in 2014 in addition to the great work that Tampa Bay Beer Week is doing.

Big beer will fight hard

The efforts of those representing the current three-tier system will come to light this legislative session and the next. Something has to be done – everyone is looking for resolution to the tasting room loophole and whole the #growlergate thing just makes us look dumb. Big Breweries will continue to use the tools at their disposal – no silly, not their research labs and incredibly bright brewmeisters, I’m talking about their lobbyists and deep pocketbooks – to maintain their dominant position on grocery store shelves. Without access to shelf space, growth beyond beer geeks for little guys will be hard to come by. (Did you ever wonder why we have dozens different varieties of watery lager, but only a handful of ales on the shelves, even with such incredible local variety?) This is where I believe the battle will be fought and won. Retailers can’t carry beer except that which has traversed the distributor networks. Distribution contracts are opaque, one-sided, and not always in the brewery’s favor.

With local breweries like Intuition Ale Works stepping up to the lobbying plate and additional pressure coming from the likes of the Florida Brewers Guild, I suspect that we’ll see some forward motion but not a resolution in 2014.

Its all about the gemutlicheit

We’ll soon realize that there are a lot of really great breweries around here, and taking the time to drive to one and sufficiently enjoy their offerings makes for a long unwinding time before you can actually drive home. Getting people into your tasting room for more than an occasional pint will require something more than the latest imperial sour double-dry-hopped goodness – it will require mug clubs, cornhole, dart boards, board games, shuffleboard, pinball machines, good food, and … dare I say it … a sense of community and warmth. You’re not just selling beer here folks, you’re selling a state of being. Breweries that focus on this – on being a destination – will succeed, in this guy’s opinion.

But it really doesn’t matter

… because these kinds of predictions are only worth the bits they’re written in, and these days that’s worth less than a cup of coffee. These predictions are my own – your mileage may vary. I hope that you at least have a good chuckle at them and that you convince your officemate, roommate, mother-in-law, or postal worker to drop by your local brewery for a pint and a growler to take to that New Year’s Eve party you’re hosting.

Happy Holidays from TBBN.

Keepin’ it real: Pretzels with Spent Grain at Three Palms

In case you didn’t know – you can use grains from the brewing process to make delicious breads. Definitely give this a shot… And hey, they’re free!

Guest Post: Thanksgiving Beer Pairings with Randy

Three Palms Logo

The Thanksgiving holiday is a great time of the year for the family at Three Palms Brewing. Like many other families, we love to cook a huge meal and eat until we are comfortably full(or stuffed, lol). Our meal typically consists of turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, pan fried and turkey stuffing for our main course and pumpkin pie for dessert.

In addition to the food, craft beer is a big part of our Thanksgiving day celebration of course! This Thanksgiving day, before our meal, we will start with the Three Palms Brewing Morning Pourage American Stout coming in at 4.7% ABV. With coffee like notes, medium body, and dry finish, this makes for a great pre Thanksgiving meal beer that goes well with a cinnamon roll. Once the Thanksgiving feast is ready to hit the table, we will pour ourselves a pint of our Pindo IPA. The aroma from the hops, citrus and tropical fruit notes and slightly sweet malt profile will bring the Thanksgiving feast together in harmony.

After some time of relaxing and watching football, we will work our way to the dessert tray. Of course before we do so, we will pour ourselves a snifter of our Sir Albert’s Reserve American Imperial Stout. The full body and chocolate notes of this beer as well as slight alcohol warming at 9.4% ABV make it a great candidate to pair with a piece of home made pumpkin pie. We currently have the beer mentioned to take home in growlers(while supplies last) so you too can enjoy your Thanksgiving feast as we do at Three Palms Brewing! Either way, have a safe and fun holiday, Cheers!


South Florida Brewers Guild Festival 2013

Over 30 Florida breweries, food trucks, fun.

Please, no pets allowed!
Must be 21 or over to attend!

General Admission Tickets are $40.00 in advance.

VIP Tickets are $75.00, limited to 100 guests.
VIP Guests will be given 1 hour early admission to the festival (1 pm), free hor d’oeuvres from the food trucks during the first hour and VIP parking at Intracoastal Park.

No tickets will be mailed. Please bring a copy of your receipt and ID for admission to the BeerFest.

This is a Rain or Shine event, no refunds or exchanges.

Confirmed Breweries
7venth Sun Brewing
Alligator Brewing
Barley Mow Brewing
Big Bear Brewing
Bold City Brewery
Cigar City Brewing
Charlie & Jake’s Brewery Grille
Cocoa Beach Brewing
Cold Storage Craft Brewery (Florida Avenue)
Due South Brewing
Engine 15 Brewing
Florida Beer Company
Green Room Brewing
Intuition Ale Works
J Dubs Brewing
MIA Brewing
Mile Marking Brewing
Orlando Brewing
Proof Brewing
Swamp Head Brewery
Tampa Bay Brew Bus
Tequesta Brewing
Three Palms Brewing
Wynwood Brewing
…more TBA


Three Palms Brewing

This is what I’m talking about. It’s about the community, family, and the “Big G“, not just great beer. Three Palms has all of that it in spades.

When I walk into Three Palms with little notice on a Wednesday afternoon, there’s Randy, holding his little girl and welcoming us with open arms. I had a little time off from my day job, so I took my wife to the movies and then over to Three Palms Brewing and tasting room for a quick meet up. It was perfect timing, too. Mick from the Beer Box in Sarasota was on his way up. A two-fer. New friends, good beer, and my wife at my side. What could be better?

Randy immediately offered me a sample – his Imperial Stout. “I turned up the temperature on the cooler to get a little extra flavor out of it.” It worked – a nice mouth feel that comes from beer served at just the right temperature, and plenty of flavor to this one. It’s a great representation of the style. As Randy’s futzing with the CO2, he startles his darling daughter who’s just getting ready to take a nap – a baby taking a nap in a brewery: I love it. He stops and gently snuggles her back to sleep. Then it hits me: here’s Randy, micro-brewer extraordinaire, being an awesome dad AND brewing fantastic beer. This is what its all about.

Building a dream, one brew at a time.

Building a dream, one brew at a time.

As we talk about his experiences growing up from homebrewing, Randy’s prepping for his tasting later that night – fresh kegs of Imperial Stout, Milk Stout, Saison, and his Sour. The glassware is clean and sanitized. Everything’s just right.

Randy started home brewing about five years ago. He’s been a member of Tampa Bay BEERs and Brandon Bootleggers. It didn’t take him long to realize that he wanted to make a career out of this. Fast forward to July 4, 2012 and here’s Randy brewing Three Palms’ first batch of beer: Queen of Wheat, his take on the traditional German Hefeweizen.

Three Palms has been in its current location on the Northwest side of Brandon, about half-way between Brandon and Tampa for about a year, and like other brewers around here, he’s growing – but his vision is not just for his beers. “I want to have beers from other Florida breweries, too.” He’s got big plans for 16 more taps in addition to the four he currently operates – 20 in total. When I ask him what’s missing in the Tampa Bay beer scene, his only response: “more breweries with more tasting rooms.” He’s right – there’s something about having beer in the place it was made. It’s the epitome of local.

As we’re talking about future plans, I bump into a fermenter holding a hundred or so gallons of his latest brew, his Saison. What’s coming up for Three Palms aside from the growth in the number of taps? That’s easy. More beers on rotation. When I ask Randy if he has a vision of Three Palms being known for a particular style, he gives me the quote of the year, and a little insight into the challenges that up-and-coming brewers face: “Every beer I put out there can be good enough to be someone’s favorite beer.”

Randy from Three Palms Shows off his Fermentation Room

Randy from Three Palms Shows off his Fermentation Room

The problem he faces is the same one that brewers throughout the ages have faced: if one of his styles becomes so popular that his customers start demanding it, he’ll have to dedicate more of his tiny 3 BBL brewhouse capacity to delivering on that style. And he’s not ready to do that, just yet. There are so many more styles to explore! With just of 300 BBL of production planned for 2013, Randy’s still tiny in the craft beer scene volume-wise. But he’s hanging in there.

Randy’s not just about trying out new styles, he’s a mentor to homebrewers in the Bay area too. In April Randy chartered a Belgian Dubbel competition and invited area homebrewers to participate. The winner will collaborate with Randy in the development and naming of a new style for Three Palms. He received over 20 entries, just what he was hoping for. The winner of the competition will see his or her beer on the taps in Three Palms’ new tasting room after the expansion later this year.

Randy’s meeting with the Hillsborough County Commissioners on July 22nd to seek a zoning variance that would allow him to expand to the 20 taps he has in his vision. “I’m looking for community members to come out and support Three Palms – anyone that has anything positive things to say will help our cause.” Even if the scheduled hearing doesn’t go well, Randy is still planning a brewery expansion.

Mick Cohn from the Brew Box in Sarasota ambles in about this time. Mick’s an affable guy with a sharp wit and a great sense of humor – and he loves this beer. And Mick’s love of the beer is just one of the reason’s for Three Palms’ expansion. Everyone loves it.

Randy Reaver (Three Palms) and Mick Cohn (Beer Box)

Randy and Mick ham it up for the camera.

Randy’s got a barley wine brewing this week. It should be done in about 6 weeks. I know where I’ll be then. If things keep going well for Randy, I don’t think he’ll have a problem with the variance he’s seeking. I think his only problem will be how long it takes to get bigger equipment.

Three Palms Brewing is located at 1509 Hobbs Street in Tampa. It’s really between Tampa and Brandon, east of Falkenburg near the new Taco Bus. Check out their Facebook page: Three Palms Brewing.