In a ceremony on Dec. 12, Keel Farms announced its brewing company officially has a new name.
Keel Farms has gone back to its roots.
On Dec. 12, the community was invited out to Keel & Curley Winery, 5210 Thonotosassa Road, for a special ceremony in which president Clay Keel announced the Plant City brewery formerly known as Two Henrys Brewing officially has a new name. With a dramatic unveiling of the signage behind him, the new name was revealed. From here on out, guests will be able to enjoy wine from Keel & Curley Winery and beer and cider from Keel Farms Agrarian Ale + Cider.
The rebranding came after a long discussion on the very core of Keel Farms. It focuses “keenly on the agrarian quality of Keel Farms’ handcrafted creations as they are cultivated ‘of the land,’” according to a news release.
“So my father, Joe Keel, started here,” Clay Keel said.. Thank you, dad, for everything that you’ve done for all of us here and for me and the family. This is going back to the roots. This is the company he started here almost 40 years ago. It’s Keel Farms. We aren’t really creating anything, I basically stole it back from him, 25 to 30 years ago when he was a blueberry farmer. We’re headed back there and the word ‘agrarian’ isn’t a super common word. We might have learned it in history class, maybe, but basically it just means ‘of the farm.’ And our products are ‘of the farm.’”
For years, Keel Farms has prided itself on its brand of transparent agriculture. Many of the events held at the farm, including the Blueberry Festival and Peach Festival, feature extensive u-picks where attendees can head onto the farm themselves and walk away with fresh treats for the whole family. Many of the recipes from the kitchen’s menu include eggs from Keel’s free-range hens, vegetables and fruits grown right there on the farm, adding a whole new layer to farm-to-table dining.
But Keel Farms wanted to further its push for awareness on its sustainable wine, cider and beer making practices. The new logo was designed to reflect its commitment and connection to the land.
They chose the word ‘agrarian’ because Clay Keel said it perfectly sums up the way the farm creates its products.
“You can see our beers. We’ve got a new honey ale which is, you know, from local honey and bees in the area,” he said. “We’ve got a new farmhouse saison, it’s local ginger and lemon so that’s exactly what we’re doing. Same thing on the cider. We’re using local strawberries, local lime going into our cider to be the fruit flavoring. Just like we’ve done in the wine for 20 years, we’re doing the same thing in the beer and the cider. We’re using this brand to represent this.”
In 2003, Joe Keel was hesitant to waste any of the berries that grew in the fields but were aesthetically unfit for sale. As a result, he ended up experimenting with wine making. Eventually he dedicated parts of the farm to fruit growing so he could further his wine concoctions and soon the Keel & Curley Winery was born. From there it was a small hop over toward making beer, ale, lager and hard cider.
“We’ve always used our farm-fresh ingredients to add to the complexity of the flavors, and people love it,” Clay Keel said. “Local residents appreciate that the ingredients are grown right here on our farm or are locally sourced and that they’re produced and packaged right here. They know us, they know this place, and they feel connected. Out-of-state visitors love drinking varieties of things that are brewed here and that grow in Florida at unique times of the year.”
With the abundance of festivals, holiday events, charity events and special events held at Keel & Curley, it’s never hurting for customers. In fact, a loyal fanbase frequents the establishment and many go out of their way to grab a bite to eat or a cold beer on the patio. The Keel name has weaved its way into Plant City’s narrative and is a staple within the local community.
“Our principles are here on the wall. The quality and sustainability and community. If we’re not making a quality product then I don’t know what we’re doing. That’s what gets me up in the morning, making sure that I make a product that I’m really proud of, and all of my team feels the same way as well. Sustainability, we want to use our 35 acres in a way that keeps it productive and healthy and gives to our planet and keeps our planet healthy. And of course, community. It’s everybody in this room, bringing everybody together in what we do. And growing our community through bringing jobs and bringing commerce to Plant City, but then also giving back and giving back to those that are less fortunate through the business and through what we do on a day-to-day basis.”
For more information
Visit keelfarms.com or call 813-752-3892.