Houston’s burgeoning craft beer scene continues to impress the city’s craft beer lovers and they appreciate having plenty of locally brewed beer and several craft breweries located within a short drive from home. The number of breweries/brewpubs in the area is one the rise and one that is only a short time from its official opening day is Town in City Brewing, a craft brewery set to open in the Heights. Here are some quick facts:
Brewery: Town in City
Location: West Cavalcade, Houston Heights area
Founders: Justin Engle, Steve Macalello
Expected Opening Date: Spring, 2013
Town in City has been in the making for some time and many Houston area craft beer fans are already aware of the brewery, at least in name, and have been following the brewery’s progress via Facebook or Twitter. Some have even sampled a few of its beers at the 2012 Bikesport Cyclocross or at other local events. Engle and Macalello have been working hard to open the brewery and were originally aiming for an opening day in early 2013, but various issues continue to force delays.
I asked co- founder Justin Engle about the issues and he pointed out several legal and other problems that continue to interfere with business commencement. On the positive side, Town in City received its alcohol permit from the City of Houston in the fall of 2012 and Brewer’s permit from the TABC a short time later. These are important early steps to the establishment of any brewing operation and things looked like they were headed in the right direction at the end of 2012. But then, other issues arose, including a dispute with the Houston Permit Center, which insisted that the building be positioned 25 feet back from the street. That particular problem appears to be partially resolved for now, but other issues surrounding parking, inspections, and other concerns will need to be ironed out before the business can open its doors to the public.
Engle has stated that his vision is to create a somewhat different type of brewing establishment; one that is bike- friendly and that includes such extras as a 1,300 square foot gated garden for guests to enjoy their beer in a more natural setting. The brewery will have the usual tasting room and standard accompaniments, but the plan is to offer a more neighborhood- oriented brewery that locals can call their own.
Once the legal matters and other issues are resolved, Town in City Brewing will open for business and the Houston area can add yet another brewery to the local count. There is no doubt that the stacks of paperwork, the countless inspections, and the endless legal hurdles have convinced many budding commercial brewers to scrap their plans completely but Engle and Macalello continue to work diligently and continue to press forward toward opening day.
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