Just five months after securing their lease in downtown Lewisville, the Cobra Brewing Company will open its doors to the public for the first time on Saturday, December 21.
Located at 146 Whatley Avenue, the brewery is less than a five minute walk from Main Street and the Old Town district, an area targeted by the city for long-term economic development. Like similar endeavors in other cities, many of the projects being considered are built around the idea of creating a community destination for the citizens of Lewisville. Talking to Neil MacCuish and his father-in-law Bill Shaw, partners in the brewery with their wives Danielle and Sharon, you get the feeling they have similar goals in mind for their family partnership.
MacCuish hopes to create an atmosphere at the brewery where there's more to do than stand around and drink beer. To that end, he and his partners have set up pool tables inside (they'll also have darts and cornhole come tour time), and are contemplating how best use an expansive outdoor space that may be larger than the brewery itself. It's fenced in, with ample room for table setups and food truck parking, along with a spot wired for bands to lay out and plug in their gear. For cold days, Shaw mentioned that a heated outdoor canopy is something they are planning to have on hand as well.
For the launch, Cobra will have a total of six beers on tap. MacCuish indicated that's also the number they'll have in their portfolio at any given time on into the future. They'll be split between two year-round offerings, two seasonals and two brewery exclusives. On opening day the lineup will read as follows, but expect a Strawberry Ale to get rotated in around Valentine's Day:
Year-round: Anti-Venom Amber Ale, Hoppy Dazed IPA
Seasonal: Jack Froth Winter Ale, Drunkin Pumkin - Pumpkin Ale, Nitemare Before Xmas - Pumpkin Stout
Brewery Exclusives: Blonde Bomber Hop Series I and 2 (homegrown single hop ales brewed with Cascade and Tettnanger hops, respectively).
As the above implies, we can expect a good bit of style variety in the brewery's offerings. Samples I tried included Hoppy Dazed and the Blonde Bomber with Cascade. Both brews were hop-forward, but balanced and quite easy to drink. Right now, only the year-round brews have label approval, meaning they'll be the first to roll out to accounts around the Metroplex.
Moving forward, MacCuish says he hopes to upgrade from his 5 bbl system built around re-purposed equipment to at least a 20 bbl setup before considering packaging. When the time comes, he's leaning towards canning as his preferred option. Another thing else he's considered is the fact that current laws don't allow you to purchase beer at the brewery for off-site consumption, something he sees as an important incentive for visitors. To get around this, Cobra is working with the Square One Cafe in Old Town to make growlers available (pending the restaurant's license approval) of every beer on tap at the brewery.
Tickets for the grand opening are on sale now on Eventbrite. Your admission price of $10 gets you a Cobra pint glass and three samples. Food will be available from the aforementioned Square One Cafe, with live music provided by The Enablers.