Cocktails & Spirits

Jungle Island to Launch Microbrewery and Ale House

Having locally-made beer at a stadium is nice, but brewing it on the spot with a microbrewery may be even better -- which is exactly what Ovations Food Service hopes to do at Jungle Island sometime this year.

Jungle Island's management firm, Iconic Attractions Group, hired the Tampa-based concessions firm to develop the concept. But will it be a craft brewery?

Ovations executive vice president Doug Drewes said the company will brew its own beer and open an ale house. But he has not yet revealed the name of his beer-making partner.

See also: One Man's Quest to Find a $1 Beer in South Florida

If history is any clue, the brewery might not be so crafty after all. Drewes harkened back to the days of Anheuser-Busch dominance.

"Back in the day, it was the Budweiser Brewhouse, a mock image of a Bud brewery selling Bud beers," Drewes said to Sports Business Daily. "Now it's evolving into the real thing."

Ovations hopes to tap into the sports market by partnering with teams and building more microbreweries at stadiums and arenas. But they could certainly buck the local craft brewery trend and end up resembling something like Coors Field, which opened a Blue Moon brewery in 1995.

The only difference would be that Ovations would be responsible for making the beer, not simply operate the space in which it's made. But it could still go the other way.

The theme of the brewery will be tied to the park's name, which aspires to be a destination for both tourists and locals. Drewes said that construction on the brewery could begin as early as six months and finish by the end of the year.

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David Minsky is a U.S. Navy veteran and Tulane graduate who has experience reporting on stories from California, South Florida, and the Deep South. He has also won some journalism awards. Email or tweet David with story tips and ideas.
Contact: David Minsky