Friends and Wesley Chapel residents Ryan Clarke and Shashank Mishra, M.D., had both dabbled in making their own home brews, so it was only natural that when the two would hang out, craft beer was often not only the drink of choice, but also the topic of conversation.
One night, the conversation turned to the obvious – why not start our own brewery?
“We talked about it several times,” said Clarke, “We had the same thoughts and philosophy. Eventually the talks began getting more progressive.”
Those talks progressed to the point where, on June 6, 2018, the two founded Double Branch Artisanal Ales (DBAA), and in December Clarke and Mishra’s first craft brewery is expected to open at The Grove at Wesley Chapel.
The craft brewery will be Wesley Chapel’s first, and will operate in the “main street” area of The Grove. The 8,400-sq-ft. space will boast a 2,100-sq.-ft. production brewery, a 1,900-sq-ft. tap room, a 550-sq.-ft. outdoor patio and 1,850 sq. ft. of private event space.
It will offer a full spectrum of beers, from lagers to stouts to sours, but it’s first flagship beer will be called Chappie’s Lager.
“This will not only be a craft brewery, but something that offers the local culture of Tampa without having to drive 30 minutes,” says Clarke. “We have a large amount of nationally-syndicated restaurant concepts out here in Wesley Chapel, but not too many locally owned places. Wesley Chapel needs these type of things.”
Brew Bus Brewing, Inc., the company behind Florida Avenue Brewing Co. and Brew Bus Brewing, purchased the old Sports + Field site on S.R. 56 in May, with plans to transform the former sports training facility into a brewery and restaurant before opening in 2020.
Clarke and Mishra also think they could be part of something big, as The Grove at Wesley Chapel — hardly a bustling hotspot in recent years with all the expansion on S.R. 56 — was sold for $62.7 million to developers that they expect will reinvigorate the area by building additional homes and retail/restaurant.
Clarke and Mishra, who met at AdventHealth Wesley Chapel where Clarke is a nurse practitioner and Mishra is a Doctor of Internal Medicine, already had launched their plans. They actually announced DBAA on the brewery’s Facebook page months ago, but had to quickly take it down because The Grove wasn’t ready for the announcement.
Clarke takes pride in DBAA being Wesley Chapel’s first locally owned and operated craft brewery. He looked into the idea back in 2008, but couldn’t find the right situation. After finding the right financial backing, location and availability, he and Mishra were ready.
Because Clarke wanted a place that would become part of the community’s fabric, he chose Double Branch because it “related to the heritage of the area.”
The Wesley Chapel area was often referred to as “Double Branch” for the twin creeks that flowed through the property owned by the Boyettes, one of the area’s founding families. The Double Branch Church (now the First Baptist Church of Wesley Chapel) was the center of the community.
The area also became an area known for its share of moonshine stills and homebrews in the 1920s, which Clarke says the Double Branch brewery pays homage to.
DBAA, which is still waiting on a permit or two but hopes to begin construction on Monday, could be a major player in the transformation of The Grove, which is rumored to be readying for a number of significant changes.
DBAA will offer beer and wine on tap, a food truck-style kitchen (6-8 items), games and potentially, an outdoor beer garden.
Clarke and Mishra have hired head brewer Cody Guyer and his wife Sam, who will be the tap room manager. The couple just moved here from Iowa last week, and both also will be part owners of the endeavor.
Cody Guyer started his brewing career with a home kit he received from his sister for his 26th birthday, and since has worked as an assistant brewer in Iowa for Millstream Brewing Co. (located in Amana) and Barn Town Brewing in West Des Moines.
Cody says while DBAA will offer a few flagship styles, he is the experimental type and plans of brewing an assortment of revolving “fun-type” beers. “Whatever I feel like brewing at the time,” he says.
Cody will also pursue collaborations with other breweries, where ideas are exchanged via emails and implemented in a team process. While in Iowa, he worked on “collabs” with Mikerphone Brewing in Chicago, Wren House Brewing in Phoenix, Watermark Brewing in Stevensville, MI, and Pulpit Rock Brewing in Decorah, IA.
“It’s a great way to learn what other breweries around the country are doing,” he says.
As for what DBAA will be doing, Cody says just wait.
“It’s going to exciting,” he says. “I can’t wait to get started.”