Brew Hub, a company led by a team of beer industry executives and craft brewing experts, is introducing Keybilly Island Ale – a craft beer brewed with authentic, world-renowned Key lime juice. Keybilly Island Ale is the first beer in Brew Hub’s Craft Collection, a series of distinct craft beers the company plans to brew. Additional Brew Hub Craft Collection beers will be announced in the coming months.
The original concept for Keybilly Island Ale was developed by home brewer Pat Kennedy in Islamorada, Florida. Kennedy grew up in Fort Lauderdale but always spent weekends with his family in the Florida Keys. Kennedy moved to Islamorada in 2009 and soon began trying to brew a beer that would perfectly suit the island lifestyle.
After years of experimentation, Kennedy developed the perfect recipe for Keybilly Island Ale. The beer is a light amber ale brewed with American two-row barley, white wheat and Hallertau and Tettanger hops. Kennedy also adds just a hint of world-renowned Key lime juice to make Keybilly crisp, clean and perfectly suited to island life.
Kennedy began entering home brew contests, and in 2013 he began winning awards. In 2014 Keybilly Island Ale won three of four awards, including Best Overall Homebrew, Most Unique Brew, and the People’s Choice Award at the Brew on the Bay craft beer festival in Key Largo, Florida. After winning the awards Kennedy approached Brew Hub about brewing Keybilly and making it available to consumers throughout Florida.
“Pat Kennedy is a passionate home brewer, and Keybilly Island Ale really took us by surprise,” said Tim Schoen, founder and CEO of Brew Hub. “The beer has a nice amber hue and a medium body, and it has just the slightest hint of Key lime which makes it really stand out among craft beers. We’re thrilled to have a partnership with Pat, and we’re really excited to make Keybilly Island Ale available throughout the state.”
“Partnering with Brew Hub is a dream come true for a home brewer,” said Kennedy. “I’ve been working for years to get the Keybilly recipe perfected, and now beer drinkers from all over are going to get a chance to taste Keybilly, which is really exciting.”
Keybilly is a slang term people in the Florida Keys use to refer to anyone who embraces the island lifestyle.
Keybilly Island Ale is 5.4 percent alcohol by volume (ABV) and will be available initially throughout South Florida in 12-ounce cans (six-packs) and on draft. Keybilly will be priced comparably to other premium craft beers, and it will be available beginning this month in bars, restaurants, grocery and convenience stores. The brand will be distributed throughout South Florida by Gold Coast Beverage Distributors. Brew Hub plans to expand Keybilly distribution to Tampa and Orlando later this year. Keybilly also will be available on draft in the tasting room at Brew Hub’s Lakeland, Florida, brewery.
Brew Hub opened its first craft brewery in Lakeland, Florida, in August. The Lakeland brewery is the first of a network of new, state-of-the-art craft breweries the company plans to build throughout the country. Brew Hub announced in September that the company will build its second craft brewery in St. Louis. Construction of the St. Louis brewery is expected to begin in April.
Brew Hub currently has partnerships with several award-winning craft brewers including Cigar City Brewing, Orange Blossom Pilsner, Green Man Brewing and BJ’s Restaurants and recently announced a new partnership with GolfBeer Brewing Company. Brew Hub partner brews beer for all five companies at its brewery in Lakeland, Florida. The company was founded by CEO Tim Schoen and Brew Hub President, Jerry Mullane. Brew Hub’s financial sponsor is a private investment firm, The Yucaipa Companies.
In addition to Lakeland, Florida, and St. Louis, Brew Hub plans to open at least three more breweries over the next five years. Specific markets will be determined based on demand, but the company is considering strategic locations in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Texas and on the West Coast. This network of Brew Hub facilities will allow craft brewers from across the country to enter new markets.