Pottsville-based beer maker Yuengling is moving into the hospitality industry, with plans to expand its Tampa, Fla., brewing facility to include a hotel, among other possible amenities.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, Yuengling has filed plans with Tampa’s zoning board for a 140,000-square-foot hotel with 150 rooms, as well as a 12,700-square-foot restaurant, to be added to its Florida brewery. Other potential additions include a museum, beer garden, microbrewery, conference center, and gift shop.
The company temporarily discontinued tours at the facility last month. A notice on the brewery’s website noted that the company is “planning a major project to improve” the Tampa brewery.
“We are currently in the early stages of the zoning process and are exploring a variety of options for our Tampa campus,” Yuengling chief administrative officer Wendy Yuengling told the Tampa Bay Times. She added that those options “could include any of the ideas listed” in the company’s zoning application, but the final plan may not involve all the proposed additions.
URBN Tampa Bay, which describes itself as an advocacy group for “better urban development” in the city, highlighted Yuengling’s plans in a Facebook post earlier this month, writing that the company is “moving forward with a large mixed-use development” at their Tampa location. According to the Tampa Bay Times, potential additions would be situated to the north and west of the brewery, but will not change the production facility itself. A zoning hearing is scheduled for Sept. 12.
The goal, Wendy Yuengling said in a statement to Tampa’s WTSP earlier this month, is to “offer visitors an enhanced brewery hospitality experience” and to up the company’s “presence in the local community.”
Yuengling has operated the 350,000-square-foot Tampa facility, its only brewery outside Pennsylvania, since 1999. Previously, the location belonged to Stroh Brewing Company.
The company’s move to include a hotel and other hospitality elements at its brewery is part of a recent trend in the craft-beer world. Dogfish Head opened its Dogfish Inn in Lewes, Del., in 2014, while New Belgium Brewery got in on the hotel game with its Source Hotel in Denver, Colo., last year, as did BrewDog with its Doghouse hotel in Columbus, Ohio.
Yuengling is considered America’s largest craft brewery, and has been since 2014, according to the Brewers Association. The company is also considered somewhat controversial due to owner Dick Yuengling’s support for President Donald Trump, as well as his reputation as a union buster that goes back to 2006.
This year, the company celebrates its 190th year in business; it is the oldest operating brewery in America.