SBJ/Jan. 13-19, 2014/In Depth

Ovations to give brewing a try

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Ovations Food Services is getting into the business of brewing its own beer in South Florida.

The Tampa-based concessions firm is developing its first brewery at Jungle Island, a tropical theme park in Miami.

“We’re going to brew our beer and open our own ale house,” said Doug Drewes, Ovations’ executive vice president. “It comes under the zoo category. The theme park is near Miami Beach, at the port, near AmericanAirlines Arena.”

Ovations’ client is Iconic Attractions Group, which took over management of the 10-year-old park in June. The company runs the building and is the vendor’s partner in the project, Drewes said.

Ovations has a beer-making partner it can’t yet identify, Drewes said. Project costs are to be determined. “We’re in conceptual design now,” he said. “We hope to start construction in the next six months and complete it by the end of the year.”

The ale house theme will be tied to the park’s name, which will most likely undergo a change in title, Drewes said. The business plan is to develop a destination for both tourists and local residents in Greater Miami.

In the future, Ovations officials believe they could partner with teams to develop microbreweries at arenas and stadiums. Coors Field opened with a microbrewery in 1995 but it is run by the Blue Moon Brewery, a subsidiary of MillerCoors (see related story). Aramark, the ballpark’s food provider, operates the Sandlot restaurant where Blue Moon is brewed but it has no responsibility for making those beers, company officials said.

“Back in the day, it was the Budweiser Brewhouse, a mock image of a Bud brewery selling Bud beers,” Drewes said. “Now it’s evolving into the real thing.”

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