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How Tampa Bay Brewing Company is Brewing a Better Future for Coral Reefs 

The owner of Tampa Bay Brewing Company (TBBC), David Doble, reflects on the impactful memories of scuba diving around the world, his personal relationship with the reefs and the coral degradation he has witnessed closer to home. Get to know Doble, as he discusses the relationship between his craft brewery and the urgent mission to save coral reefs, revealing how every individual and company can make a difference. 

David Doble, his wife Windy, and their two daughters enjoying the shore of Caladesi Island, an uninhabited island just outside of Tampa that's only accessible by boat. Photo Courtesy of TBBC

What is your earliest memory of the ocean? 

My earliest memories are intertwined with saltwater. I have faint memories of being carried to a sandbar by my grandfather in Destin when I was 3 years old and searching for sand dollars. My oldest brother Johnny always had a saltwater aquarium in the house. At one point we had an eel that we would hand feed from the top of the aquarium. As I grew up in Northern Europe between the ages of 3 to 10, I would tag along with my brother & father’s British Sub-Aqua Club trips. At age 12, I started scuba diving throughout Florida via shore diving. 


What is your favorite marine creature? 

That is a really tough question! It’s the equivalency of asking what is my favorite beer or favorite child. I love so many different sea creatures. I have a passion for the saltwater environment and always seek to be immersed within it. If I had to choose, it would be the symbiotic relationship of the sea anemone and clown fish. As far as Florida specific marine life, I would lean towards the various sharks that inhabit our waters. Impressive animals to see in the wild. 


Have you experienced a healthy coral reef ecosystem? If so where, and how did it make you feel? 

I would say the healthiest reef that I have experienced is a tie between the Red Sea, out of Jeddah in 1992 or diving the various reefs and walls in Palau in 2008. Both were incredible experiences, and I was honored to witness the layered complexities of a healthy ecosystem. 


Have you seen a badly degraded reef system? How did that make you feel? 

Diving in highly trafficked and unregulated areas such as Saipan, really is a depressing sight. Seeing all the death and grayscale colors of an abused ecosystem is just downright terrible. 

Witnessing the bleaching events in the Florida Keys this past summer was almost unbearable. However, the perseverance of groups such as CRF™ serve as a beacon of hope. Observing a well laid out plan being executed by a highly dedicated team always lends itself to displace the feeling of helplessness. I just wish I was doing more to participate. 


David, Windy, and a few friends on the way to catch some sun and some fish in the Gulf.

Photo Courtesy of TBBC

Why do you, personally, care about coral reefs? 

It is the life blood of our planet, enough said. I am drawn to them, I always have been. I did my first scuba dive at 12 years old with my brother Johnny out of Vero Beach, where we swam a couple hundred yards from shore and dove amongst some incredible coral heads and ledges.  

My brother was also the founder of TBBC and passed away in a house fire in 2003. He lived such an adventurous life and was always looking for ways to help and improve the world we live in. I couldn’t fathom him being buried in a traditional sense, so I suggested we contact Eternal Reefs and cast his ashes into a Reef Ball. Johnny’s Reef Ball is currently resting at an artificial reef site just west of Anna Marie Island, Florida. I often visit him there and know he is happy that his final act is continuing to help the world we live in by providing habitat and marine ecosystem growth potential. 


In your opinion, what are some of the most powerful tools at our disposal that we can apply to the mission to save coral reefs? 

Practical science often struggles because while funding is available for direct conservation efforts, there isn't always enough to promote the value of the work. When the public understands the issues better, it's much easier to gain their support. One unique approach we're exploring at TBBC is using our beer as a tool for broader exposure. I’ve focused on perfecting our craft at TBBC and then supporting conservation efforts financially, but I see potential in aligning our beer directly with the cause. If done thoughtfully, our beer can serve as a platform to educate more people about coral conservation, effectively turning each TBBC beer into an ambassador for reef protection. This approach could complement traditional funding methods and help ensure that both the efforts and their positive impacts are widely recognized. 

Coral Head, Tampa Bay Brewing Company's core West-Coast style IPA, photographed on the Gulf Coast at sunset.

Photo Courtesy of TBBC

What do you think are some of the easiest ways that the average person can join the mission to save coral reefs from extinction? 

Engaging and empowering supporters with information to be a more informed consumer: reef safe sunblock, mindful use of plastic, respectful boat anchoring, etc. 


Do you think there is hope for our coral reefs? Why? 

I am nervous of the threat level but meeting with CRF™’s members and hearing the ambitious plan presented with conviction was energizing. The work CRF™ is performing is truly inspiring, it makes me want to do better in my own daily activities. I can only hope that I can garner more success in my area of expertise, so I provide more financial support for CRF™’s mission. 


Compiled by:

Chelsea Co, Digital Marketing Coordinator

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The passion and dedication this brewery owner has for protecting coral reefs is truly inspiring. It's great to see businesses finding creative ways to raise awareness and support important conservation efforts. I wonder if they've ever considered hosting an omegle-style video chat where people could learn more about the reef restoration work and how they can get involved. Every little bit helps when it comes to saving these vital ecosystems.


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