Hulk Hogan Tends Bar, Praises Jim Allen at Tampa Hard Rock Beer Reveal

TAMPA – Hulk Hogan grew up in Tampa, became an international pro wrestling superstar, reality show actor, and now, a purveyor of a new beer bearing his image on every can.

Jim Allen was born and raised in New Jersey and spent a career in the casino industry.

Their paths intersected in Florida, where Hogan, 70, still lives and Allen oversees the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s Hard Rock International empire. This empire includes a virtual monopoly on gambling in the nation’s third-most populous state and when the Seminoles ceremoniously unveiled their craps and roulette tables for the first time at Seminole Hard Rock Tampa in December, Hogan was among a clutch of local celebrities affixed table-side.

At the debut of Hogan’s Real American beer brand at the Tampa casino, Hogan called Allen, 64, “like the Nasty Boys would say, ‘my brother from another mother.’”

“He’s been a friend forever,” Hogan said. “He’s helped me throughout my career with promotions, with life direction and decisions. … I’m a few older than him [but] he was always like a big brother.”

“Jim Allen is definitely brother Jim Allen.”

Hogan Hops Into Beer Ring As Others Tap Out

Hulk Hogan Hard Rock
Photo: Brant James

Hogan chose beer as a new venture in a trying time for the brewing industry. But his concoction isn’t about pleasing beer nerds, he said, rather creating something every American can sip while hashing out all the differences in a country he called “so divided and so torn up right now.”

That said, Hogan admitted that a lambasted Bud Light social media campaign that led to a massive sales drop left “a wide-open lane, pretty much a baseball right down the center.”

Backing the Brew in Tampa

Hogan’s initial promotional blitz centered around Fox News programs and he says he’s aiming for a “Middle America, NASCAR, wrestling, country/western, mom, apple pie, Babe Ruth, purple mountains majesty, everything America stood for” demographic. It’s set to be available at all Hard Rock properties and in 17 states.

After stopping for pictures and hugs with former world heavyweight boxing champion Riddick Bowe — who was apparently just hanging out at the Hard Rock this day — Hogan was swarmed as he sidled up behind a bar on the casino floor. He spent nearly an hour spreading the word on Real American, chatting with the rapt crowd and tossing out free cans of the brew.

He couldn’t help indulging in a disapproving scowl when one patron ordered Bud Light.

Ironically, the barfly consensus on Real American was pretty much Bud Light with a little zing at the end. Brother.

As long as they try it, Hogan contends.

“I’m hoping curiosity kills the cat,” he said. “Not everybody’s going to agree that this is the greatest beer ever made, but if I can get them to crack it open with the intent of, ‘Hey, sit and have a conversation ….’ Mission accomplished.”

Hogan said everybody who’s tried the beer has liked it so far.

“I’m betting on this beer to be something that’ll be a mainstay and appeal to everyone,” he added. “So I’m not thinking negatively here. I’m thinking very positively because what you think about, you bring about. I’m really thinking that this is going to be something that warms the heart of America.”

About the Author
Brant James

Brant James

Lead Writer
Brant James is a lead writer who covers the sports betting industry and legislation at Gaming Today. An alum of the Tampa Bay Times,, espnW,, and USA Today, he's covered motorsports and the NHL as beats. He also once made a tail-hook landing on an aircraft carrier with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and rode to the top of Mt. Washington with Travis Pastrana. John Tortorella has yelled at him numerous times.

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