Best New Breweries of 2019
The Texas Craft Beer Report’s list of best new breweries of 2019 introduces new beer-makers from across the State.
Each of the breweries on the Best New Breweries of 2019 list received votes from consumers and craft brewing industry professionals in 3 categories: “Reputation for Producing the Best Beer”, “Consumer Reputation and Taproom Experience” and “Excited for the next 12 months.”
The breweries on the list are diverse in their size, approach and beer styles, but have all been able to produce high-quality beer out of the gate. “We’ve worked hard to be a quality first brewery, servicing the taproom foremost.” Said Michael Duckworth, CEO of True Anomaly Brewing Company in Houston. “We’ve released over 35 unique beers in the approximate 8 months we’ve been open, the vast majority of which are relatively unknown styles in the Houston market. Bringing quality beers in styles a bit more unfamiliar has garnered us some buzz, and we hope to continue pushing the limits this next year as we delve even further into our wild and sour program.”
True Anomaly Brewing Company were already being highlighted by consumers in Austin and Dallas/Fort Worth in the Texas Craft Beer Survey – something not easy to do in year one of operation.
New breweries able to establish themselves in competitive markets
Similarly to True Anomaly, Nomadic Beerworks in Austin are already gaining accolades for their beer in a highly competitive market. Dan Tryanski is a Co-Founder of Nomadic Beerworks “Our brew system was designed so that we could release a constantly rotating assortment of beers. This keeps our tap list dynamic and changing. With all of this variation, we get to be very creative. We often take risks on flavors and styles in order to produce beers that give people something to talk about.”
This approach might have been seen as risky, but Dan and his brother Bryce moved to Austin with extensive brewing experience and have been able to release award-winning beer in their first year – with their Peak Season IPA winning “best new beer” in the 2019 Austin Beer Guide “Best of 2019” awards.
In a competitive Austin market, 12 Fox Beer Co are another brewery making noise – as much for their tap-room experience as their high-quality beer. Located in Dripping Springs just outside of Austin, 12 Fox have been able to quickly establish themselves amongst both locals and consumers further afield. “We like to think that our biggest contribution to the beer industry for consumers would be that we created a destination brewery that is focused on family, Veterans, quality brews and community.” says owner Stacey Hogge “We want all of our Hill Country neighbors to feel like they have a location that is inviting and gives them a sense of community.” Head Brewer Aaron Luelling emphasizes the need for combining great beer with a welcoming atmosphere “I believe we give the consumer an experience outside of beer while they are here.”
In crowded Texas metro markets, many of the breweries who have made an impact just after opening have understood the importance of first impressions with craft beer drinkers. “If someone walks into a brewery for the first time and tries a beer that isn’t delicious, how can we expect that person to keep coming back?” asks Molly Reynolds, co-owner of Celestial Beerworks in Dallas. “We try to keep that in mind when we are brewing and never let a beer touch the lips of the public unless it is exactly the beer that we intended.” Celestial have already developed an excited local consumer base despite being only a few miles from established breweries such as Peticolas Brewing and Community Beer Company. Co-owner Matt Reynolds is looking forward to building on their success in 2020, “Our goal is to constantly improve the quality of our beers, as we are always trying to push ourselves to be better brewers. Expect to see more collaborations and many super fresh IPAs!”
Tall City Brewing Co first movers in Midland-Odessa
Unlike breweries opening in dense beer-drinking metro centers with plentiful consumers looking for a new beer experience, Tall City Brewing was one of the first breweries to open in Midland – something which brought opportunities and challenges “We are the only brewery in the area with a taproom and combine that with the booming area of Midland/Odessa it has created a great opportunity for us.” says Jeff Thomas, owner of Tall City Brewing. “This has allowed us to build a one-of-a-kind facility that locals have been itching for.”
Like 12 Fox Beer Co., Tall City has prioritized building relationships within the community. Thomas continues “We have strived to create a welcoming atmosphere that’s kid-friendly and community-oriented. Many young families and professionals reside here and it has quickly become a destination for them after work and on the weekends.”
Licensing delays common complaint from new brewery owners
Many of the breweries on the best new craft breweries list were happy to have simply opened in 2019 and know all too well the delays caused by licensing and approval issues.
“Obviously opening a brewery in 2019 was ripe with hurdles.” says Trenten Relles, General Manager of Central District Brewing in downtown Austin. “We had to deal with what felt like the longest government shut down in history and delays in our TTB Approval.” Central District had actual potholes in the road cause potential delays but have still seen great response from consumers “Our street being closed down for a year for redevelopment hasn’t helped! But I think it speaks to the styles of beers we produce and constant development within our taproom that we have had an impact.” Central District Brewing capped a great first year by winning a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver in October.
Along with the focus on beer, establishing themselves in the community and their shared frustrations by licensing delays, each brewery has had one thing in common when we asked them about the highlights of opening a brewery in 2019 – “The most rewarding thing was opening weekend” says Grant Guidry, Co-Owner of Bear King Brewing in Marble Falls. “Seeing the place filled with people who were excited to be there, having a good time. People who weren’t just ourselves, or builders, but friends, neighbors, locals who had all been waiting, finally enjoying themselves.”
See the full Texas Craft Brewery Rankings
Read about the Texas Craft Brewery Rankings by Metro
Read about the Texas Craft Beer Survey respondents