Five years ago, longtime local residents and business owners Jamie Ratcliff and his wife, Kelly, opened Bullfrog Creek Brewing Co. in an abandoned gas station in the heart of the Bloomingdale community.
Well today, that little gas station in the Erindale Plaza is a 3,000 sq. ft. center core of activity, events, members, fresh brews, live music, charitable events, markets and all embraced within a fun, family-friendly atmosphere.
And credit has to be given to a business that not only survived the 2020 shutdown and pandemic but is also constantly evolving its business model, even making to-go cases of beer, cider and root beer and offering curbside delivery.
As Valrico’s first brewery, Ratcliff, a proud veteran, is also proud of the business they have created, and he said, “We love this community and we love to drink our beer with friends and family. Community is everything to us and we love to give back.”
And give back they do. Ratcliff estimates that over the five years and hundreds of music bingo events, local nonprofits have raised more than $400,000 thanks in part to a generous program where Bullfrog provides the equipment and the preregistered charity provides the audience, the sales team and the prizes.
Bullfrog is a fully working brewery and pub under the supervision of head brewer Nicholas DiGioia and general manager Alex Volovar. Iconic local brews include Buckhorn Baltic Porter, Bloomingdale Brown, Alafia Wheat and the newest addition, Pizza Rock IPA.
“Our team is passionate about beer and the art of brewing,” said Ratcliff. “We believe in using only the finest ingredients to create unique and delicious beers that are sure to satisfy the taste buds of even the most discerning craft beer enthusiasts.” Over the five years, Bullfrog has created 386 beers, served 6.4 million ounces of beer and had 340 beers gifted to visiting veterans.
In addition to the best local brews, Bullfrog Creek has a full-time dedicated food truck serving pub favorites, such as burgers, fries, wings and more, directed by head chef Cormac McCarthy.
Bullfrog Creek opened to the public in March 2018 and is dedicated to crafting high-quality, innovative beers for beer lovers in the community. It is located at 3632 Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico. Hours are Monday through Thursday, 12 Noon-10 p.m.; Friday through Saturday, 12 Noon-11 p.m.; and Sunday, 12 Noon-8 p.m. Visit www.bullfrogcreekbrewing.com for a full listing of upcoming events.