Southern Brewing Company (1934 - 1963)
City: Tampa, Florida Capacity: 90,000 annual barrels
Shortly after the repeal of prohibition, the Southern Brewing Company opened at 700 East Zack Street in 1934. Of interesting note, its brewing operations, which churned out 3,600 pints an hour, could be observed from the street through its large glass windows. For years, its Silver Bar Ale was a popular drink in taverns all across the region. During the 1940s, Southern brewed roughly 90,000 barrels a year, which is comparable to some of Florida’s largest craft brewers today.
In 1956, Detroit-based International Breweries Inc. (IBI), acquired the downtown Tampa brewery. In 1959 and 1961, Schlitz and Anheuser-Busch opened breweries in Tampa, driving down prices and saturating the local market. As a response, IBI purchased the recently closed Tampa Florida Brewery’s copyright name “Tropical” in hopes of gaining a larger share of the local beer market. However, competition from Schlitz and Anheuser-Busch proved too much. Unable to compete, IBI ceased operations in Tampa for good in 1963.