There aren't many options for taking home fresh beer in San Antonio, and few other options exist in the rest of Texas. This luxury is typically saved for brewpubs, such as Freetail Brewing and Blue Star Brewing. In many parts of the U.S. local breweries can serve their on tap choices for customers to take home and imbibe from large half gallon growlers.
There does exists some beer-centric businesses in Texas with a multitude of craft beers on tap, such as Austin's Whip-In, where patrons can bring in a growler, fill it with their favorite tap or grab a few bottles if they wish and head home. Soon, such a place is finally coming to San Antonio.
Enter Big Hops Growler Station. This new bottle shop plans to open around mid-February and is located on Broadway near local favorite, Taco Garage. Owner and co-founder Rob Martindale plans to open up with over 200 bottles of craft beer, wine, and at least 30 taps of beer and cider on draft. For those wanting something non-alcoholic, Rob and his wife also plan to have several craft sodas available to fill those growlers.
Recently I spoke to Rob about Big Hops beginnings and his vision down the road: “I’ve owned several businesses in the past, but this time around I wanted it to truly be a family business. A business that we were passionate about and really enjoy. I decided a year ago to open a business again, but knew it would be centered around our love of craft beer.”
After researching various types of craft beer related businesses, he saw the popularity of growler stations on the East Coast. At the time there was nothing like it in Texas, so he dived right in. After pouring in some of his own capital and obtaining a small business loan (SBA), construction is well underway with a tentative opening this February. Martindale is working with area distributors and breweries in order to round out his lineup of taps and bottles.
The coolers are ordered, draft systems are being researched, and the legalities of this type of business have been hammered out. Now it’s time to get those taps flowing. Look out San Antonio, here comes the Big Hops Growler Station!
This Saturday, January 26th from noon to 5pm, Austin based Jester King Craft Brewery celebrates their second anniversary in style. Hosted by their neighbor Stanley’s Farmhouse Pizza and will feature 16 of their beers, the most featured to date. The party will be kept “small”, at around 750 participants, and will also promote crafts from local area businesses and down home music in addition to their fabulous beer.
The event is already sold out, so if you’ve already purchased a ticket, prepare yourself for a great afternoon of craft beer, pizza, music and community.
Mark February 9, 2013 on your calendars boys and girls. San Antonio's newest microbrewery, Branchline Brewing Co, will be having its grand opening celebration at the brewery from 2-4pm. The guys at Branchline have been busy these last couple of weeks delivering kegs of their “Evil Owl Amber” and “Woodcutter Rye IPA” to area restaurants and bars, such as Boneshakers, Flying Saucer and Pizza Italia. A few of these locations have already been running through their initial kegs.
Branchline Brewing Co. was co-founded by longtime homebrewer Jason Ard and his wife Laura, with brewing operations headed up by brewer extraordinaire, Les Locke. Check your local restaurant or watering hole for these guys and support local craft!