David Hulama, co-founder of Round Rock brewery Bluebonnet Beer Co., doesn’t think Austin is anywhere near a saturation point when it comes to local breweries.
“You look at other cities that have a lot more developed craft beer cultures, like Denver or Seattle or Bend (in Oregon) and you see how much ground we have to make up, how far we can go. There’s a lot of room to expand,” he said at a recent interview.
This year, we’re certainly trying to cover that ground — nearly a dozen have opened or expect to open later this year, and countless more are still in the planning stages. They’re dotted all over the greater Austin area, located both within the city’s core and outside of it in the suburbs and neighboring towns. They’re there because of a big demand for local brews.
Tomorrow’s Austin360 cover story takes a closer look at four of them — selected because they’re either open or so, so close to opening — with an accompanying short sidebar of others you should expect to see later this year.
I’m including the full list of all those breweries here.
Bindlestick Brewing: In Leander, co-owners Matt Bigler and Dan Kernek intend to resurrect pre-Prohibition ales and lagers, starting with a pale ale and an amber, from “a time when each town had a different beer that highlighted local ingredients,” according to Bindlestick’s website.
Bluebonnet Beer Co.: Husband-and-wife team David and Clare Hulama started up this tiny brewing operation in Round Rock after he passed the University of California Davis Master Brewers Program, and the itch to brew on a larger scale just wouldn’t go away.
Blue Owl Brewing: Founded by Black Star Co-op alums Jeff Young and Suzy Shaffer, this East Austin brewery is focusing exclusively on sour mash beers when it opens later this spring.
Bull Creek Brewing: Demand quickly overwhelmed Erick Matthys’ brewery in Liberty Hill — Bull Creek brewed small batches for more than a year — but he’s hoping to open it again, this time with a bigger brewhouse, for tours in April.
Last Stand Brewing: Three avid homebrewers, Kerry and Mandi Richardson and Kerry’s former coworker Mignonne Gros, have opened their Dripping Springs brewery in the same business park as Revolution Spirits and Argus Cidery.
Orf Brewing: Focusing on so-called “hybrid ales,” this eponymous brewery from Chris Orf has found a warehouse home in Southeast Austin, not far from Independence Brewing. Orf’s got his fingers crossed for a summertime opening.
Red Horn Coffee House and Brewing Co.: Both coffee and beer lovers alike are sure to swarm this brewpub once it opens in Cedar Park in the next couple weeks. Co-founders Chad Misner and Jon Lamb wanted to create an all-in-one hang out for people in their neck of the woods.
Rentsch Brewing: This Georgetown-based brewing operation from father-and-son team David and Andrew Rentschler will stick to brewing according to Reinheitsgebot, or German purity law, but they won’t be producing only German-style brews. They hope to open later this spring.
Strange Land Brewery: Adam Blumenshein and Tim Klatt, also producers of pickles and sake, brew old world styles of beer in a building behind the Hat Creek Burger Co. in West Lake Hills.
Zilker Brewing: Brothers Forrest and Patrick Clark and their co-founder Marco Rodriguez have set up shop on some prime real estate on East Sixth Street, right across from the Grackle. They’re in the process of building out the brewery now, so they won’t be open for another few months.