Rogness Brewing, like many of Austin’s breweries, had humble homebrewing beginnings — the owners, husband and wife team Forrest and Diane Rogness, once owned the Austin Homebrew Supply Store — but the Pflugerville-area brewery has come far in the three years since.
After initially releasing two beers in 22 oz. bombers, a porter and Belgian golden ale, Rogness quickly filled out their year-round beer list and currently has up to nine different brews at area bars and bottle shops (Vinton, a blonde ale, and Taxon, a Texas brown ale, are draft-only). The brewery is celebrating their three-year anniversary Saturday with a party that will offer up to 3 beers and a souvenir mason jar glass for $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Commemorate the milestone by enjoying the sudsy offerings, which include last kegs of Holiday, Iapetus Stout, Sophina and more.
Plus, read this Q&A with Jon Airheart, the brewery’s PR director and sales representative.
How have you noticed Austin’s beer scene change in the time since you’ve been opened?
It is a very different scene and continues to evolve. So many cans on shelves. So many new breweries. And many of them with lots of money and talent behind them. The roots of my beer education are steeped in Black Star Co-op’s history. As a founding member, I consider myself part of the Black Star alumni. As a result, I’m particularly looking forward to Blue Owl Brewing and 4th Tap opening soon. And the Brewtorium brewpub a little further down the road.
What are some of the changes Rogness has gone through in the past three years?
Quite a few personnel changes for sure. Various people having babies and/or career changes, etc. It will probably surprise many to know that since early November, we have been running a lean operation of just 2 full-timers alongside our owners Forrest and Diane. So whether you see us at an outside event or in the taproom at the brewery, you’ll probably be talking to the head brewer or an owner. It’s a great personal touch, actually, and
can be rewarding. One thing that hasn’t changed since the beginning is that we still package all our beer by hand, 4 bombers at a time.
14 total beers that people can try at the anniversary party is impressive. Any special releases that people should know about?
Definitely excited for people to try the new Doppelsticke we teamed up with Mark Schoppe for. It’s essentially a double altbier brewed with German hops, German malts, and a German ale yeast. But we fermented at
lager temperatures for a cleaner profile. Mark is great guy and a very talented homebrewer. He won the Ninkasi award at the National Homebrewer’s Conference in 2012 and won the Lone Star Circuit Homebrewer of the Year in 2011, 2012, and 2014. This beer will be available in bottles and kegs in early June. It’s a pretty high gravity beer and will age very nicely.
Three years of the brewery is a great milestone to reach. What’s next for Rogness?
I think we’re releasing exceptional new beers lately, including Taxon (Texas brown ale) and this new doppelsticke. We’ve brewed up a tart pineapple ale called Sophina that is being received very well. We used the sour mash technique, not bacteria. That beer will soon be more widely available, and we have a few other things up our sleeve along the same lines.