Ybor City’s craft beer scene is growing again with Big Storm planning to open a brewery in the vacant Hamburger Mary’s and Mary’s Pub locations in Ybor City with plans to open by the end of 2021. Big Storm will be joining the likes of Coppertail, Tampa Bay Brewing Co., BarrieHaus Co., Zydeco Brew Works, and Rock Brothers Brewing – among others on the way.
“We have long wanted to open an Ybor location and are excited to have finally found what we think is the perfect spot, in the heart of the district, overlooking East 7th Avenue,” said Big Storm co-owner L.J. Govoni.
“We are also excited to open our first taproom in Tampa, giving those who love beers a place to visit in Pasco, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.”
The Ybor City taproom will be the independent craft brewer’s fifth location in the Sunshine State. In November, Big Storm expanded to Central Florida, with the opening of a brewpub at Amway Center in downtown Orlando.
The taproom will feature Big Storm’s core beers, including, Bromosa, Tropic Pressure, Wavemaker and Sunny Key Lime. Govoni also says Big Storm will brew small batches of dark and barrel-aged beer in Ybor with an emphasis on aggressive imperial stouts. He says they will install an oversized 5-barrel brewing system.
In addition, the Ybor location will feature spirits like Big Storm’s branded vodka and award-winning Blood Brother’s Bloody Marys. Last year, Big Storm purchased controlling interest in Blood Brother’s.
Despite pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic, Ybor City has continued to grow with new restaurants, hotels, and breweries opening their doors to the public and filling out Centro Ybor, 8th Avenue and 9th Avenue which lagged in growth for years prior. Big Storm navigated the pandemic in a pivot to hand sanitizers when shortages became clear in 2020 in what was a very challenging time for breweries when they were shut down for months by the state.
Big Storm, based in Clearwater and founded in 2012, is currently distributed in five states including Florida, Ohio, New Jersey, North Carolina and Texas. Their Best Florida Beer champions include Oktoberfest Märzen Lager (Best in Show Champion and Gold Medal), Belgian Single (Silver Medal) and Helicity Pilsner (Bronze Medal).