Photos and story BY SEAN LEROUX
NNB Student Reporter
ST. PETERSBURG — It all started with beer-battered fish.
While brainstorming about how to improve a seafood dish at St. Petersburg’s Bella Brava restaurant, head chef Ty Weaver decided to batter the fish in beer he brewed himself. It was not long before the restaurant was offering small batches of its own beer to customers.
Weaver soon left his position to become head brewer at 3 Daughters Brewing, which he helped Mike and Leigh Harting, the owners of Bella Brava, open in December 2013. Located in an 18,000-square-foot warehouse at 222 22nd St. S., 3 Daughters is one of several craft beer breweries that have recently popped up in the city’s Warehouse Arts District, with a couple more set to open in coming months.
3 Daughters caught on quickly. A five-minute drive from downtown, it has become a favorite haunt for many of the city’s beer enthusiasts.
A tall grain silo sits behind the brewery. 3 Daughters is one of the area’s few breweries with an on-site silo.
The brewery opened with four fermenters, the equipment that gives beer its alcohol content and carbonation. As business increased, the Hartings bought two more fermenters and await another.
A recently acquired canning machine means the Hartings can distribute their beer to stores throughout neighboring counties. They hope to distribute statewide by the end of the year.
3 Daughters’ distinctive green and yellow cans are now in liquor stores, Publix supermarkets and select gas stations.
Although their canning system is relatively new, the Hartings have distributed kegs of their beer locally for months. Breweries generally have at least one or two guest taps from other breweries, so the Hartings’ brews can be found at many bars and breweries around the bay area.
3 Daughters has an in-house lab to ensure its beers are precisely brewed. The Hartings and two other local brewers – Green Bench and Cigar City Brewing – offer internships to biology students at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. The interns’ responsibilities include taking samples of yeast cultures and checking pH balances.
The brewing area is visible to guests, who can see how complex the brewing process is. The rapidly expanding brewery may get cramped with the continuing addition of new fermenters and canning equipment.
3 Daughters has a variety of games and entertainment – a live entertainment stage, shuffleboard, chess, darts, cornhole, fooseball and ring toss.
If you like souvenirs, you’ve come to the right place. 3 Daughters offers pint glasses, T-shirts, hats, hand-made beer soaps and even growlers if you like the beer enough to take some home.