One of the surprise outcomes from the Texas Craft Beer Survey was the list of upcoming and new Texas craft breweries that consumers and brewers are excited about opening in 2020.
New Texas Breweries for 2020
The list of new Texas craft breweries for 2020 is based only on write-ins in the “most excited for next 12 months” category. There was very little analysis required to compile this list – overall, 27 upcoming Texas craft breweries or new brewery concepts were mentioned in the survey but each of the breweries listed below received at least 10 write-ins from consumers or 5 from brewers.
This list is different to the Best New Breweries of 2019 list – which was based on substantial consumer and brewer input on breweries that had opened in the past 12 months – and took into account overall consumer reputation and experience category, reputation for producing best beer and the most excited for next 12 months category.
We reached out to 6 independent craft brewing projects from the list of upcoming (or very recently opened) breweries that Texas consumers and brewers are excited about for 2020:
Local Group Brewing Houston
Opening: (soft!) target January 2020
Local Group Brewing—a 7,500 square foot brewpub—will soon serve as the newest watering hole in Hardy Yards in the Near Northside, which is a stones’ throw from Downtown Houston and Saint Arnold Brewing Company.
Head brewer James “Huggy Bear” Wolfe will work up to filling the brewpub’s twenty-plus taps, eight of which will be connected directly to ten-barrel serving tanks for optimal beer freshness, and others which will serve non-beer options like Texas wine and cold brew coffee.
With a fully equipped, on-site kitchen helmed by Executive Chef Jeff Samoska, as much importance will be placed on the culinary operations as the brewing. Visitors can expect lots of ingredients sourced from the Lone Star state.
Background: The Local Group Brewing name came from a Cosmos episode in which Neil deGrasse Tyson explained earth’s cosmic address, including the local group of galaxies. Team Local Group loves the dichotomy of investing in and brewing beer for a small area in the grand scheme of the massive universe. Since inception, the brand has enlisted the help of Texas partners including Method Architecture, GSD Construction, Field of Study Design, FMW | FabLab and more to bring the brewpub to life.
As long-time coworkers, Todd Donewar and Michael Steeves shared an interest in all things beer. They enjoyed hanging out together, trying new brews at home and at the local pubs. Eventually, the two started home-brewing, and in 2016, they brewed up a plan: They would start their own brewpub. They envisioned a place where friends, family, and pets alike could hang out, drink great beer, and eat good food.
While Todd and Michael’s homebrews were very drinkable, they decided to up their game and put out a call for a head brewer with experience, talent, and creativity. James “Huggy Bear” Wolfe was working as a brewer for Southern Star and had similar visions of a new, local brewpub. Huggy heard the call, and then there were three.
Meanwhile Brewing Austin
Opening: Spring 2020
With a number of years of production and brewing experience garnered at Breakside Brewery in Oregon, industry pros Will Jaquiss and Nao Ohdera will lead the production team at Meanwhile Brewing due to open in Spring 2020 in South East Austin.
The duo plan to use their recipe design and production expertise to develop a wide variety of beer. While they’ll be primarily focused on their draught offering, which will be available in their taproom and in a few select locations around town, they will complement their efforts with monthly specialty can releases.
The team ambitiously hope to brew a total of 50 different beers in their first year and while the focus will primarily be on sessionable, hoppy ales, Meanwhile will offer a wide selection of beer; ranging from the new and experimental to the trusted and traditional.
Background: Located in SE Austin, Meanwhile Brewing Company will be a 15 bbl brewery and taproom. The founder is Will Jaquiss, former senior research & development brewer at Breakside Brewery. The 3.7 acres grounds will be a hub for gathering, playing, and creating community.
Plans for the property include a playground; bocce court; outdoor soccer snooker/pool court, other misc. outdoor games; a small recreational/soccer field, a mini “hammock forest”, and a small stage. The event room, soccer field, and entire brewery will be open to rent upon request and enough advanced notice.
Odd Muse Brewing Company Farmers Branch, Dallas/Fort Worth
Opened: December 2019
Whereas Dallas/Fort Worth boasts a number of established craft breweries that consumers are excited about for next year, ODD Muse, which opened in December, also made the list of best new Texas craft breweries for 2020.
The name ‘ODD Muse’ has multiple meanings for owner Bobby Diaz. It’s a direct representation of his own personal inspiration; his daughter’s Olivia and Daniella Diaz (ODD). It’s also a nod to the idea that inspiration can come from pretty strange places and can be unconventional, abnormal and unexpected – and ODD Muse encourage everyone to recognize and embrace it.
Diaz assures beer fans that they can expect a variety of well done beers to please all pallets. “We currently have a blonde, heffe, hazy pale ale, hazy IPA, hazy double IPA, and a Russian Imperial Stout on tap with several more in the works. Our taproom is a family friendly environment to experience new beers with friends. As far as future beers go, we love to brew hazies and stouts, but also like refreshing lagers. Expect plenty of those. We have barrels on the way, so barrel aged beers are definitely coming as well. You can pretty much expect a continuation of beers across the spectrum from us. We brew what we like and we think everyone else will like it too.”
Background: ODD Muse was founded by Husband and wife, Bobby and Nickie Diaz and longtime friend Charles Roffino. Bobby is an alumni of the American Brewer’s Guild and has 13 years of brewing experience. Charles brings a strong background in bar/restaurant sales, along with client relations and knowledge of the Dallas/Fort Worth hospitality market.
Urban South Brewery HTX Houston
Opening: Early 2020
Urban South – HTX is opening its doors in Sawyer Yards with the intent of producing “boundary-pushing craft beers in a whimsical & bright taproom atmosphere.” Taproom and Marketing Manager Marin Slanina explains “With can releases and 30 draft taps, there is much room for all kinds of creativity and flavors. Events and yard parties will occur often with great beverages and offerings for all.”
Houstonites are already excited for what Urban South will bring to the city and this helped identify them as one of the best new Texas craft breweries for 2020. Urban South will neighbor a number of established craft breweries including Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co, and Holler Brewing Co. who were both ranked in the Hopalytics Top 100 Texas Craft Brewery Rankings.
The background: Urban South opened its doors in New Orleans almost 4 years ago and is paving the way in distribution sales for craft beer in Louisiana. The brewery has become one of the largest independent craft brewers in Louisiana and consumers have responded well to their innovative styles as well as driving huge sales of thier Holy Roller New England IPA.
With their success and growth, Urban South founders Jacob Landry & Kyle Huling decided that opening a second location, dedicated to the taproom experience and experimental brews, would be the next step in their story – and Texans are lucky the brewery chose Houston as their second home.
Hopsquad Brewing Austin
Opened: December 2019
Hopsquad opened recently in North Austin and have received a significant amount of interest in their first week, which could have been expected based on them being named one of the best new Texas Craft Breweries for 2020. The brewery serves a mirad of beers, not limited to any region, style or trend and will have five core beers available year-round including a Hazy Pale Ale, Roggenbier, Saison, IPA and Pilsner. The Hopsquad team will also offer a range of seasonal brews including a Dark Cascadian Ale, Watermelon Mint Summer Ale and a Copper Ale.
Hopsquad’s motto is “anything goes” – and so the team also plan on brewing an array of eclectic and interesting one-off beers that will be available in their taproom with crowlers to take home.
Visitors to Hopsquad will take advantage of their partnership with Tsuke Honten – a hybrid of Japanese street fare and reservation-only Omakase (course menu) experience. The to-go menu can be ordered while enjoying beer inside or outside of the brewery, and will consist of classic street dishes like takoyaki and chicken wings. Tsuke Honten will be open whenever Hopsquad is open.
Background: As owners, cousins Alex and Cesar Limon set out to express themselves through their brewing: ” ‘Anything goes’ will always be our calling” explains Alex “and we will never be afraid to experiment or to try new ingredients and techniques to keep our customers eager to see what we’ll come up with next. We won’t limit ourselves to a certain style, coast, or country.”
Hopsquad was created out of care and passion for beer and as a way for the cousins to express their distinct voice through malts, hops and yeast.
“We wanted every beer we had produced for Hopsquad to be its own character and have its own personality just like its distinct taste.” Limon continues “Initially we thought about naming every character a superhero, but these weren’t the people we admired. We respected physicians, scholars, artists & craftsman – specialist & experts in their respective trades. So the squad was born: a small group of beers dedicated to the sole effort of making every beer drinking experience a pleasurable one.
Toasty Bros Brewing Denton, Dallas/Fort Worth
Opening: late 2020 but beer available now across D/FW
Toasty Bros. are currently operating as an alternating proprietorship at Hop And Sting Brewery in Grapevine, TX. Owners Brian Tiensvold (Toast) and wife Leah have been almost exclusively selling their beer in Denton.
Toast explains how their current set-up is helping them establish the Toasty Bros. brand “We are becoming known as a local neighborhood Mom and Pop brewing operation; wife and husband, Denton residents supplying quality craft beer for our community to enjoy. I brew and distribute the beer while Leah runs marketing, sales, and manages our legal paperwork.”
The partnership with Hop and Sting allows the couple time to search for the perfect place to open in Denton while still growing the Toasty Bros. brand and create a following of people who enjoy the beer, including their Random Number Generator DIPA. They are currently looking for a location to open in Denton and are hoping to find a physical space by the end of 2020.
Dallas/Fort Worth beer drinkers can expect something a little different than your typical brew pub…or bakery, or art studio – as the plan is for the location to be a hybrid of those three things.
Background: Toast and Leah started homebrewing 9 years ago, which quickly turned into passion that they looked to combine with their dream of opening a small art studio and coffee house.
Leah is an expert baker and so the couple have ideas of a combined bakery-brewpub-art studio, which they feel is a perfect fit for the college-town and growing Denton craft beer scene. The space will offer a selection of art supplies and canvas that can be purchased as well as some “free to share” community art supplies. The vision is for a creative space where people can hang out, make things, and get inspired.
Toasty Bros. have a detailed map on their website showing consumers where they can find their beer, as well as their up-to-date brew and event schedule. There are also links to Toast’s art sites – he is a local artist and every piece of art sold goes towards funding the Toasty Bros. project.
Read about the Best New Breweries in Texas that opened in 2019
Read about the Texas Craft Brewery Rankings by metro