Made in Tampa Bay: Rum company caters to your inner pirate

Image 1 of 6

For as long as anyone can remember, Tampa has been the place for anyone trying to live the pirate life.

That's why a Tampa transplant, and pirate at heart, decided it was time the Bay Area had its own version of a pirate's favorite spirit.

Sam Meyers owns Tampa Bay Rum Company. He's a chiropractor by day and now, a rum maker by night.

Meyers gave Tampa its very own rum and he gave us an inside look at how it's made.

“I am biased, I think it’s pretty amazing,” Meyers said.

After years of visiting Tampa's pirate-populated area during the Gasparilla festivals, Meyers decided to move to the Bay Area, but soon realized something was missing.

“I couldn’t believe it, it blew my mind, nobody had made a Gasparilla rum,” Meyers said. 

He says the secret to making a top-shelf rum is using the highest grade sugar cane molasses.

Once the team at Tampa Bay Rum Company pinned down their recipe, they were off and running. Now they produce an array of rum flavors - and they are always working to come up with new ones.

For instance, Gaspar’s Spiced Rum is a mixture of different spices, while their Coconut Rum is a creamy, vanilla coconut flavor.

Head distiller Marvin Abountiolas said it takes more than 12 hours to make a batch of rum.

“I like doing it, I like going back in my lab and figuring out cool flavors for us,” he explained.

The Tampa Bay Rum company is located in Ybor City and offers tours and tastings Wednesday through Sunday.