Since they first opened thirty years ago, craft breweries are becoming increasingly popular. Diane Schoen, VP Marketing at Brew Hub says this is due to the convergence of several different trends: "Consumers love the variety, the taste profiles are constantly changing and craft beer is all about discovery. Consumers are also wanting more products that are produced locally, with over 4000+ craft breweries throughout the country the craft brewing industry is filling that need."
Paradoxically, many craft breweries face problems precisely because of their popularity, since they lack the capacity for expansion to meet the demand. As problems go, that's not a bad one to have. Brew Hub was created to address the need for "brewing, packaging, distribution and selling services for craft brands that are constrained by capacity, geography or capital," says Schoen. It's "Where Craft Brewers Go to Grow."
The first Brew Hub location in Lakeland Florida pioneers a model of partner brewing, offering a facility where craft brewers can brew their beers on site. Craft brewers can use the facility "to brew their beer to exact specifications under the supervision of their own brewmaster, and to package and distribute from Brew Hub," explains Schoen. This allows craft brewers to expand their production and distribution without the costs and risks of building a new brewery. Partner services include help with sales, marketing, logistics, legal, and government affairs.
Brew Hub essentially works like an extension of the craft brewery and currently partners with award-winning craft brewers such as Cigar City Brewing, Orange Blossom Pilsner, Green Man,, JDubs, MIA Beer Company, Brew Bus and Toppling Goliath. The Florida location is the first of five planned across the country, serving different regions. Brew Hub currently brews 100,000 barrels or 1.3million cases annually, . and will expanding an additional 30% in early 2017.
The brewery in Lakeland, Florida also has a 3,000 square foot Tasting Room. The Tasting Room features the partners' beers as well as "Brewers Choice beers that our exceptional brewing team creates on a regular basis," says Schoen. The selection and variety change all the time, as do the most popular beer selections. She adds that "IPAs are always popular and consumers love anything barrel aged."
Brew Hub also produces their own craft beers,Diver Down and Keybilly.Diver Down is an Imperial Red Ale. Schoen says that "It has a great taste profile and is very smooth for an 8.4% beer. Keybilly is an Island Ale made with real key lime juice, it's the perfect beer for Florida." Keybilly was created by a homebrewer named "Paradise" Pat Kennedy from Islamorada, Florida. "He reached out to us when we were still building the brewery in Lakeland, we liked his beer so much we decided to brew and distribute it throughout Florida." says Schoen. Both are available in cans and on draft throughout Florida, and Keybilly recently introduced 6-pack bottles.