Two avid home brewers plan to turn a vacant warehouse on North Franklin Street into a Tampa Heights' micro-brewery -- Hidden Springs Ale Works
Partners Joshua Garman and Austin Good just closed on the warehouse building, next to 8-count Studios
in the renovated Rialto Theater. The historic movie palace is re-imagined as an art and event venue for art and photography exhibitions, weddings, fashion shows and dance classes.
"We kind of love Tampa Heights and the stuff that's going on here," says Garman. "They need a place like we're doing to be a meeting place for the community."
In addition to 8-count Studios, the brewery is near Cafe Hey
, also on Franklin, and the recently opened Ulele Restaurant
to the east by Water Works Park.
The warehouse for now is a large empty space but Garman and Good are interviewing prospective contractors and architects for what they hope will be a tasting room and brewery with an industrial vibe.
Hidden Springs is the brewery's name because "we wanted something Florida sounding," Garman says. "We grew up playing in springs, like Florida kids did. It sounds refreshing."
The immediate next step is filing a zoning application with the city of Tampa, which Garman anticipates will happen within a week.
Owners of Coppertail Brewing Co.
in Ybor City are providing advice and guidance along the way.
Hidden Springs will provide 15 brews plus five guest taps from local breweries such as Coppertail and Angry Chair Brewing
. Among Hidden Springs' offerings will be a milk stout, IPA, double IPA, American amber and Berliner Weisse.
The target opening is in February though Garman says that is an ambitious goal. Initially Garman anticipates hiring a staff of four or five people.
Garman and Good have been home brewers for several years and have won medals in amateur competitions. Both had been thinking about opening a brewery.
"We decided to join forces," Garman says. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."