With the vision to create the “Ultimate Craft Beer Bar,” Jeff Martin introduced The Brass Tap to Wesley Chapel, Florida in 2008. This bar boasted 60 taps and 200 varieties of local, national and international beers served in an upbeat, high-energy and casual environment. It wasn’t long until The Brass Tap became the neighborhood spot for beer lovers throughout the Tampa Bay area.
Fueled by the ever-growing demand for unique craft brews, The Brass Tap made the decision to start franchising in mid-2012. Now, with 39 locations currently open and 60 in development, The Brass Tap is well positioned to expand throughout the U.S.—and they’re targeting Phoenix, Arizona as the next major hub for development.
“It’s an exciting time for craft beer in Arizona. Not only does Phoenix have more and more local bars offering craft brews from around the country, there’s an abundance of breweries popping up all over town,” said Peter Petrosian, the Chief Development Officer at The Brass Tap. “Bringing The Brass Tap to Phoenix will give craft beer aficionados another reason to celebrate the unique flavors and local brews being produced in the region.”
With only one location currently in nearby Mesa, Arizona, Phoenix is an untapped territory for The Brass Tap. According to Petrosian, The Brass Tap recognized a lot of potential in the area—after analyzing as many as 80 locations in the greater Phoenix region, the brand’s development team found that the city’s young demographics and prime real estate options made it the perfect fit.
“We’re looking at a city with a large population of millennials and young professionals—that is by far one of our key target audiences. In a lot of ways, that generation is really helping to drive the craft beer craze we’re seeing right now,” Petrosian added.
Jessie Rowe is a three-year franchisee for The Brass Tap, and in 2014, he brought Mesa, Arizona its first taste of the brand’s extensive craft beer selection. Located just 20 miles east of Phoenix, Mesa has come to reflect the bright prospects for The Brass Tap throughout the greater Phoenix area and beyond. When Rowe first opened The Brass Tap, he was among one of the first true craft beer bars to break ground in the area. But over the years, as the area became home to more breweries, demand for bars like The Brass Tap grew—and so did the appreciation for Rowe’s business. In fact, just last year, his The Brass Tap location was recognized by the Arizona Society of Home Brewers as the best craft beer spot in Eastern Arizona.
“People love craft beer in Arizona—it’s easily one of the fastest-growing states for craft beer breweries. But, Arizona still hasn’t caught up to places like California, Washington and Oregon, which means there’s still plenty more room to grow—both for the industry as a whole and for The Brass Tap,” Rowe said. “I believe that if folks in Arizona haven’t heard of The Brass Tap yet, they will very soon.”
Because of the vast potential in Phoenix, The Brass Tap is looking for multi-unit franchisees to help expand the brand throughout the city in a more effective way.
“Phoenix is a really hot market for us right now. The right multi-unit franchisee would be an important asset in building out the Phoenix market,” Petrosian said. “There’s room for a multi-unit developer to come in and open up as many as three to four locations—that really says a lot about our potential here. We also have a lot of franchisees that have already made the decision to reinvest in the brand, and that says a lot about the kind of unparalleled opportunity we offer to our franchisees, too.”
As The Brass Tap continues to grow, the popularity of the craft beer industry is enticing prospective franchisees to back the brand—but it isn’t the only thing. The Brass Tap is a unique franchising opportunity because it gives franchisees the ability the mold their business into a unique community staple. While it’s important that each location establishes a number of uniform, system-wide menu items and beer offerings, franchisees are afforded the opportunity to plug into regional craft breweries and menu items that help provide customers the local vibe they crave. That’s why, as The Brass Tap begins its expansion throughout Arizona, customers can expect to find as many as half of the beers on tap to come directly from the community.
“The Brass Tap’s mission is to fit within the aesthetics of the community and provide a world class entertainment destination that is a complement to our neighbors,” Petrosian said. “Our goal is to offer Phoenix the kind of social gathering place they deserve—and we believe The Brass Tap has the potential to become just that.”