Michael Gilbert and his wife Stephanie are the new owners of seven The Brass Tap territories, and will have the support of Michael’s experienced brother, Rick, in the opening of their first location in Boynton Beach. The Gilberts also own territories in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Delray Bea.....
Michael joins The Brass Tap with almost 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry. Prior to relocating from Maine to Florida with his family to pursue an opportunity with the craft beer franchise, Michael owned and operated Market Square Restaurant in Paris, Maine. Michael saw great success with his 6000 sq. ft. restaurant; he increased sales by 900 percent and was responsible for providing food to the county jail, which it still does to this day. He sold the restaurant in January 2014 to his other brother.
Rick will be the General Manager of the Boynton Beach location, and will be able to tap into his managerial and franchise experience as the Area Manager as more locations open. For the past 14 years, Rick was the Assistant Vice President of TD Bank in Maine. In addition, for more than 10 years, Rick acted as the General Manager of Arby’s and Orange Julius locations, and spent a few years managing Market Square.
In celebration of the occasion, the trio will host a Grand Opening on Saturday July 19. In addition to live music, Funky Buddha, one of the most popular breweries in Florida, will do a Tap Takeover, where 20 of the bar’s 100 taps will be dedicated to the brewery’s beer. Funky Buddha will also offer 6-8 one-off beers that will be brewed specifically for the event. Due South, another local brewery, will also be attending the event with a few representatives to allow guests to meet the skilled brewers behind the brand.
“It’s like going to a rock concert, and we’re the amphitheater and these brewery rock stars are coming in to meet fans,” Michael explained.
How did you first learn of The Brass Tap?
I was at the gym one night and my friend, who knew I was interested in a new business venture, suggested that I check out The Brass Tap. I looked it up that night and contacted the franchise soon after.
Why did you choose an opportunity with The Brass Tap?
The craft beer industry is booming right now. It’s growing at a rapid pace as more people are moving away from big beer companies. Craft breweries are slowly eating away at the market share, and the industry is only in its infancy now. I thought it would be a fun business to get into, and was really impressed by The Brass Tap concept and corporate team after attending Discovery Day. I had never considered franchising before, but the opportunity came along and fell into my lap.
Why do you think The Brass Tap will do well in Boynton Beach?
We physically went to look at each area within the territory and checked out the demographics, and Boynton Beach seemed like the best market. One of the founders, Steve Slowey, was also instrumental in helping us find the ideal location that we are currently in.
There is nothing like it here—we will be the only craft beer bar in the area with 100 taps and more than 150 bottles available; all the other bars only have around 25 choices. We will have a minimum of 30 local breweries on tap.