Article Authored by:
Member Keystone Civic Association Board of Directors
I had the pleasure of interviewing David Doble and his mother, Victoria Doble, both managing partners of the Tampa Bay Brewing Company. Victoria is married to Retired Lt Colonel John Doble and David is one of four sons. If you’re not familiar with Tampa Bay Brewing Company, let me introduce you to a premier family owned restaurant with onsite breweries at two locations. Tampa Bay Brewing Company also known as “TBBC” is an award-winning IPA (Indian Pale Ale) and APA (American Pale Ale) beer recipient many times over in the beer industry. An interesting part of this company, although globally known for their hand-crafted beer, the restaurant has been featured on several food channels including Diners, Drive In and Divers hosted by Guy Fieri. The food channel featured Victoria’s famous homemade entrees and dessert recipes offered on TBBC’s very tasty menu. There is something for everyone, including kids, on the TBBC menu. David Doble said “Beer was our focus in the beginning, the food was never our focus, and now it is one of our main staples in the restaurants growth and personality. The amazing menu is created and updated constantly by Victoria Doble. Victoria creates the recipes with input from her husband, John and consults with their award-winning head Chef, affectionately called “Chef John”.
Back to the Beer! I asked David Doble to tell me “What is interesting that we don’t know about your company’s history, how did it all begin?” David laughed and said let’s start here…Tampa Bay Brewing Company now has two locations. The first is in Ybor City and the second location on the boarder of Keystone-Odessa just inside Westchase. The very first location was a small store front selling brewery supplies that was opened in 1993 located on Waters Avenue in a strip mall. The business name was “Brew Shack” and sold home brewing supplies. In 1995 “the TBBC Team” decided to rent another small space located at 1812 15th Street in Ybor City. They outgrew this location quickly and started their search for the ideal Brew pub venue with room to grow the brewery and restaurant. The perfect location was found, and Tampa Bay Brewing Company put roots down at 1600 E 8th Avenue in Ybor City. As the business grew quickly, David said, “we worked on the IPA and APA beer, but our food was lacking so that’s where mom joined in with her home style cooking recipes on a small menu that took off so well the food became a huge part of the business.” So, in 2013 together this family TBBC team would break ground on their second location located at 13837 Monroes Business Park. The team would call this their Flagship location. David said, “The two locations are very different in customers, menu and location, but the same in excellent beer selection and delicious specialty foods only found at TBBC”. I noted some of the IPA and APA beers have interesting names. IPA standing for Indian Pale Ale and APA meaning American Pale Ale. David said, the best-selling beer is their specialty beer named “Reef Donkey”. David told us with a big smile and being an avid fisherman, he wanted a beer that would reflect on his diving and serious boating hobby. That’s where the name “Reef Donkey” was born. “Reef Donkey” is a slang name for the Amberjack Fish. The now famous “Reef Donkey Beer” sells on an international market on many drink menus including Disney Springs in Orlando. The next interesting name was “Old Elephant Foot”. David said this was a thought after admiring a wastepaper basket that was shaped like a big elephant foot in “Mark” (his brother’s) dorm room. After thinking about the Indian Pale Ale and the unique Elephant wastepaper basket, there again was born another Indian Pale Ale best seller “Old Elephant Foot”. There is an interesting story behind the list of beer names and how each one was chosen. On this breezy afternoon, while sitting at the TBBC open concept two-hundred-year-old cypress tree handmade bar, I sampled several sips of the varieties of beers which were delicious.
When it comes to the food ingredients purchased for the restaurant, you will not meet a tougher buyer than Victoria Doble. If you are bringing your food sales to her restaurant you better bring the best to this tough lady born in Liverpool, England. Victoria has a passion for many types of food. She credits her fine-tuned cooking and recipe skills to the challenges of being a traveling military wife and mother cooking for her family learning the different cultures of the world. Her husband, Retired Lt Colonel John Doble is also a managing partner in this fascinating family beer and restaurant business. Victoria said, the pride of all her recipes on the menu is the “Fish n Chips”. Victoria remarked she buys only “Icelandic Cod” direct fresh frozen on the boats. So, the fish tastes completely fresh and never frozen. Victoria also beams when she talks about the French Baguette bread they serve. Vicki says it is the freshest “French Bread” out of New Jersey. Now let’s get to the melt in your mouth variety of steaks. Vicki says the fresh meat cuts come in individually, only so many at a time. The Chef is constantly ordering to keep fresh steaks available. So, I can honestly say I have personally tried them all and I cannot pick a favorite! When you order that fantastic steak, the credit goes to Chef John for the absolute cooking perfection!
The Doble Family calls the Tampa Bay Brewing Company Westchase location their flagship restaurant because it truly has the complete family stamp on it with a huge brewery working 24 hours a day to produce all the beer to fill an overwhelming amount of global orders. So, what about the difference between the two locations. David said, “Ybor has an electric crowd and all the events that occur in downtown Tampa come right to Ybor City. TBBC Ybor is always a busy location. David then came up with another little-known fact about TBBC Westchase and how their “BAD A** BEER FEST” began and was named. Into 2013 TBBC began a festival that has become a global gathering for beer brewers all over the world. Every November TBBC host on their property a “BAD A** Beer Fest” with international companies serving their beers. The companies travel as far as Sweden to share in presenting a Global Brand of their craft beers with many more companies traveling from Europe to participate in this event. How did this event get its unique name? David said he continually said when referring to the event, “This is a Bad A** Beer fest”. So, one day while planning the event, David said, let’s just call it “Bad Ass Beer Fest”. There you go, the name stuck like hops to barley. The festival has been one of the most successful events to date not only for the beer industry but a great event for TBBC and the Keystone-Odessa Community. Oh, now how could I forget the best wine on Tap in our Keystone Community. When you order TBBC wine or beer on tap, there is absolutely no oxygenation that has gotten to the beer or wine you are drinking. That means you are getting the absolute freshest wine or beer right then, right there! If you want to have a sample the next great beer specialty item or specialty recipe on the TBBC menu, David, Vicki and John all invite you to come by the Westchase TBBC location. Be sure you mention you saw this article in the Keystone Online Newsletter and get a free sample of an IPA or APA beer or a sample of the wine on tap. You can see the TBBC menu and reviews online at https://www.tbbc.beer/home
It was a great honor to author this article. I want to thank the Dobles’ for the special time they spent with me to give a glimpse into a very special restaurant and its history in the Keystone Community.
We must Always pledge A true commitment to preserve our Keystone-Odessa Community and protect our Rural Lifestyle.