Tom has always had a love of beer. He grew up collecting beer cans as a kid! While attending Boston University, Tom was inspired by Sam Adams and began home brewing, naming his first brew “Fairfield 7” after his street address. After college, he moved to San Francisco and in 2003 he moved to St. Pete when he started home brewing again. During this time, Tom financed over 100 microbreweries with his finance company eLease ,located next door, which enabled him to learn more about the business side of the industry and become passionate about opening a brewery.
In 2010 laws in St. Pete banned the manufacturing of malt beverages. Tom did not want to wait until the laws were passed, so he had the first recipe contracted with another brewery for sales and distribution in St. Pete.
In 2012, a change by the city council allowed businesses zoned as microbrewery to create and sell their craft beer. This was good news for local St. Pete beer lovers. This opened the door for St. Pete to become a microbrew destination.
Professional brewer Jon McCracken moved to St. Petersburg, Florida with the hopes of opening a brewery. Jon began as home brewer in 1999. He loved every aspect about brewing, the brewing process, the chance for creativity, the art of creation, oh and that brewing smell! Jon found such a love for brewing that he decided to take brewing from his small home stove and make it into a career.
Jon graduated from the American Brewer’s Guild in 2007. He started his brewing career in Burlington, Vermont as head brewer at 3Needs Brewery. A move to the west coast of California, allowed Jon to work at El Toro Brewing Company and Hermitage Brewing Company. A move from California to St. Pete opened another opportunity to work at Tampa Bay Brewing Company.
While enjoying a beer at the Ale and the Witch, bartender Vickie Moran wrote down Tom Williams’ contact information, as Jon was in search of a local brewery job. Jon kept that card for over a year, and made contact with Tom in 2013, when Tom and Michele had just found a building for the brewery.
Tom, Michele, Jon and Aida, met and St. Pete Brewing Company was born. The St. Pete Brewing Company family is excited to bring locally brewed beer to the residents and guests of St. Petersburg, Florida. We are glad you are a part of our journey!