The Brass Tap, a Tampa-based craft beer bar chain, will be opening two Southwest Florida franchise locations. The first opened at Estero’s Coconut Point Mall just after the Christmas holiday. Coconut Point’s Brass Tap will be the first stand-alone bar at the regional mall. The second local Brass Tap will open in Naples in February at the Gateway Shoppes at North Bay in North Naples.

The Brass Tap Naples FloridaThe Brass Tap, which has 17 locations in Florida, Arizona, Michigan and New York, believes the time is right to tap into the Southwest Florida market, spokeswoman Erin Sheerin said. The Estero bar, which will have 111 seats inside and 40 seats outside, sits next to the Hollywood Theater.

“We thought this area would be great, especially with Hertz coming to Estero,” Sheerin said. “South Florida’s craft beer scene is booming. A few years back, it wasn’t. But now it is an attraction. And we’re at the epicenter of the growth.”

With big-beer heavyweights such as Bud Light and Coors Light experiencing a sales decline, The Brass Tap has increased its number of national stores.

The company has been expanding its menu, offering a range of flatbreads, chicken wings, pretzel pizzas and other appetizers, some that feature beer in the recipes, such as the Sam Adams Beer Cheese Dip.

The Estero and Naples franchises will have about 3,000-square-foot buildings. Each eatery will offer beer, wine and cigars along with a full menu. The Coconut Point and Naples locations plan to have somewhere between 75 and 80 taps.