By Gaines Hayes, Depository Trust and Clearing Corp
Driving through the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, it’s hard to miss Tropicana Field. However, another worthy destination lies beyond the Rays stadium. This location is none other than 3 Daughters Brewing. Situated amidst the Arts District of St. Pete, the brewery fits the neighborhood perfectly with its laid-back atmosphere and modern, urban interior. Outside the main building you can’t miss the corn-hole boards and giant Connect 4 games near the parking lot. Once inside, you would immediately notice that the family-friendly atmosphere and the lack of televisions which encourages customers to talk with each other
Once all the visitors from Emerge Tampa Bay had arrived it was time to begin the tour of the facility. Leigh Harting, one of the co-owners and Chief Marketing Officer for 3 Daughters, started the tour by bringing the group to the tasting room. She mentioned that visitors in the tour groups are encouraged to have a drink in their hand as they walk through the brewery. Leigh also said that she was the mother of the 3 Daughters for which the brewery is named for (respectively aged 7, 12, and 13). Looking closely at the bar itself, you could even see three sets of embedded handprints left by the young girls.
After our group had their drinks in hand, Leigh began to explain the beer making process. She described how important it was to understand both the biology and chemistry behind the brewing process. The biology component comes from understanding that yeast is a living organism and trying to create multiple generations of the same yeast culture for a particular beer. Meanwhile, the chemistry component lies in the mixing, fermenting, and storing of the beer itself. Leigh continued to say that making one good batch of beer is easy; the difficulty lies in consistently making the same high quality beer in large quantities.
To help with this issue, 3 Daughters has its own Beer Lab where it can monitor the quality and consistency of the beer it produces. The brewery also has an interesting arrangement with the University of South Florida’s St. Pete campus. The USFSP Brewing Arts program offers students a strong knowledge base plus hands-on training for a career in the craft brewing industry. After completing 10 modules, students spend time on-site at the brewery for practice in the quality assurance stage of beer brewing. The entire program covers the brewing process from a scientific, engineering, and business perspective.
This brewery has also made impressive progress in terms of distributing its products. It has 3,000 retailer partners including Target, Sam’s Club, and (most recently) Walmart. It also commands much deserved attention from Disney and Top Golf, its #1 and #2 accounts respectively. None of this should come as a surprise considering how this particular brewery has the capacity to brew 60,000 barrels a year. At the moment, this excess capacity allows 3 Daughters to brew beer for other local companies as its site operations continue to scale.
Despite the fact that Tampa Bay is home to so many craft breweries, Leigh doesn’t believe that the market is oversaturated yet. She alluded to the fact that there are many individual niches that a craft brewery can fill. She also described the area as one of the fastest growing but youngest in terms of craft brewing popularity. Leigh joked that Tampa hasn’t turned into Portland, Oregon or Asheville, North Carolina yet.