Rock Brothers Brewing has been creating craft beers for the past two years with rock bands including Have Gun, Will Travel, JJ Grey & Mofro, Hootie & the Blowfish, Umphrey’s McGee, 311 and Rebelution. They just received approval from the city council of Tampa for rezoning the historic King Greco Hardware building on the corner of 8th Ave and 15th Street in Ybor City for their new brewery, tasting room and live music venue.
“This building is a perfect place to brew craft beers and house a live music venue. We couldn’t have asked for a more serendipitous situation” said Rock Bros founder Kevin Lilly. “It was built in 1895 and was owned at one time by the Greco family when it was a hardware store. Today, it’s a designated historic site, and we are working very closely with the Ybor Historic district to retain as much authenticity within our remodel as humanly possible. We intend to rekindle the building’s proud history and take craft brewing and the live music experience in a new and innovative direction.”
Up to this point, Rock Brothers has been brewing their beers on site at Cigar City Brewing and with their out of state brewery partners. They will transition their brewing operation from Cigar City over to the new facility over the course of the remodel. Rock Brothers currently has beer across the country, depending on hometown locations of the artists. Only two of the beers in their portfolio are distributed in Florida. The Ybor facility will change that. “Our out of state brands like Hootie’s Home-grown Ale, 311’s Amber Ale and Umphrey’s McGee’s Nothing Too Fancy Pale Ale will be brewed and served in our tasting room. This will serve as the only location in the country to get this beer besides their native markets. It provides our entire unique, nationwide portfolio in one central location. We will also feature fun and creative seasonal twists on all of our flagship brands throughout the year” said Tony Casoria, co-founder of Rock Brothers.
“Brewing craft beers is a passion for us, but the live music portion is just as valued and respected. In addition to exploring new tastes for craft beer, we want the patrons to discover new music. Our brewery will serve both as a literal tasting room and a listening room” said Kevin Lilly. “We pride ourselves on authenticity and a genuine ability to take products to market that both the artists, brewers and fans can be proud of” added Tony Casoria.
This isn’t Kevin and Tony’s first walk in the park with music related ventures. They are the co-founders of Attic Records, a local record label which also produces the annual WhigFest Music & Arts Festival in downtown St. Petersburg. “Music has always been a major part of everything we do, at its core actually. It feels great to finally have a home for our concerts and a venue we completely direct and control” said Tony Casoria.
Newly added members of Rock Brothers Brewing include Dale Hunter and Joey Redner. Dale, a real estate broker and entrepreneur, is facilitating the real estate acquisition, the rezoning of the property and the overall construction of the facility. “It has been an interesting journey the last two years developing this concept. Building a brewery and music venue was always in the big picture for us. Dale came to the table with the real estate background, expertise and business acumen to bring our vision to a reality. We are more than grateful to have Dale on our team” said Kevin Lilly.
Joey Redner of Cigar City Brewing has played an integral role over the past two years for the company and is also now an official “Rock Brother.”“Words cannot express the excitement we all have in bringing Joey on board… not only is he a giant in the craft beer movement, but we have the privilege of now calling him our partner. He has done so much for us so far by letting us brew at CCB these past two years, which no doubt helped catapult our brand, to call him partner means the world to us” said Kevin Lilly.
When asked to comment about his new found partners at Rock Brothers, Joey stated, “Oh my God what are they up to now?”