Flix Brewhouse to double capacity of brewery, bring beers to Austin

Flix Brewhouse, in Round Rock, has created more than 200 beers since opening in 2011. Although they've been mostly on draft at the theater, a brewhouse expansion will distribute some of them into Austin.
Flix Brewhouse, in Round Rock, has created more than 200 beers since opening in 2011. Although they’ve been mostly on draft at the theater, a brewhouse expansion will distribute some of them into Austin.

When Flix Brewhouse opened in Round Rock the summer of 2011, it was an experiment — a previously unheard-of combination movie theater and microbrewery. Sort of like the Alamo Drafthouse, except that the beer at Flix was and still is made in-house.

Needless to say, it’s proved to be a success. There are now a few additional Flix Brewhouses across the country, including two upcoming locations in Texas: one in Denton County and another in Sugar Land. And there are now big changes coming to the original Flix. With the upgrade to a 7-barrel system in June, the brewpub plans to double brewing capacity — allowing Flix to distribute into Austin.

Although very few bars will receive Flix beers on draft, that’s nonetheless a boon for Flix and head brewer Justin Rizza, who still hears groans from Austinites about how far of a drive north his brewery is.

Flix Brewhouse's head brewer, Justin Rizza, is excited to have more room to grow his sour beer program.
Flix Brewhouse’s head brewer, Justin Rizza, is excited to have more room to grow his sour beer program.

“I want to have tap takeovers and introduce Austin to what Round Rock has to offer. Maybe inspire people to drive up here for a change,” he said.

He’s hoping the taste of Flix’s mainstay brews, like the

Having a bigger brewhouse will allow Rizza to produce a lot more specialty beers, including lagers, sours and other barrel-aged offerings. These are the beers that take up time and space to make, and now he’s got the room for them.

“We’ve done a couple bourbon barrel-aged beers, but I’m kind of more intrigued or inspired by the sour beers of Belgium,” Rizza said. “Most of the barrels I have are red wine barrels from Becker Vineyards. What I’ve been doing mostly is having the beer fermented clean, then transferred into the barrels with different blends of wild yeast and bacteria.”

The rotating Flix Funkhouse line where these funky beers come on has been building a following over time, Rizza said.

Plus, he’ll be able to make more beers that are based off movies. In December, when “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” first blasted into theaters, Flix Brewhouse released four “Star Wars” tribute beers; last month, when the theater was playing “Purple Rain” following Prince’s untimely death, Rizza put together a Little Red IPA. They tend to be hits, he said.

Even once the brewhouse is expanded, it’ll still be a little smaller than the ones at newer Flix locations. But that’s OK with Rizza, who has learned to make the most of a small space.

“I want to participate in Texas Craft Brewers Fest for the first time,” he said. “Business is on an up slope and not stopping. While we’ll be focusing production on keeping the tap wall filled here, we’ll send off core beers or seasonals as we can to take over the taps at the great multi-tap craft beer bars of Austin.”

Flix Brewhouse to add new Texas locations

The Round Rock-based cinema and dine-in microbrewery Flix Brewhouse is expanding into other cities in Texas, as well as other locations in the Southwest and Midwest.

Photo by Jay Janner / American-Statesman. The dine-in cinema and brewery Flix Brewhouse is adding two additional locations in Texas this year and next.
Photo by Jay Janner / American-Statesman. The dine-in cinema and brewery Flix Brewhouse is adding two additional locations in Texas this year and next.

Next to open in addition to new locations in Des Moines, Iowa, and Carmel, Indiana is a Flix Brewhouse in Little Elm, a town in Denton County. And in 2017, Flix will open its third Texas concept in Sugar Land, just south of Houston. An Albuquerque, New Mexico, location is slated to open later this year.

In Little Elm, expect much of the same features that have made the Round Rock Flix Brewhouse so appealing: “unobtrusive, in-theater service from a complete cooked-to-order menu that will be tailored to local tastes” as well as up to 30 regional and local craft beers and “a dozen signature beers brewed on-premises in a state-of-the-art seven-barrel brewery,” according to a press release.

The in-house brewery has long been Flix Brewhouse’s claim to fame, ever since opening in 2011 with the promise that it was the

Little Elm’s Flix Brewhouse will continue some of the Round Rock traditions, such as a pro-Am homebrew competition, brewmaster dinners and on-site Beer 101 brewing and tasting seminars.

“Being able to play a part in the growth of the craft beer scene in the Dallas area with our dine-in cinema brewery will make Main Marketplace the ‘go to’ entertainment destination for family outings and date night alike,” Matt Silvers, senior vice president of real estate for the theater chain, said in the press release. “The Flix Brewhouse brand will be a fantastic fit in Little Elm.”

The new Flix Brewhouse will be located at the northwest corner of Main Street and FM 423 in Little Elm. For more information, visit www.flixbrewhouse.com.

This post has been corrected to reflect that Walt Powell was co-founder at Flix Brewhouse.

Flix Brewhouse creates “Star Wars” tribute beers

While you’re watching — for your first, fourth or seventh time — the newest “Star Wars” flick over the holidays, wouldn’t it be fun to have a “Star Wars”-themed beer in hand?

The Force is strong with the Flix Brewhouse beers this week, four of which are "Spaceballs"-themed in honor of the new "Star Wars" movie.
The Force is strong with the Flix Brewhouse beers this week, four of which are “Spaceballs”-themed in honor of the new “Star Wars” movie.

Yeah, that’s what the brewing team at Flix Brewhouse thought. The Round Rock movie theater and brewery now has three new beers on tap, as well as a cask, in honor of “the franchise that has meant so much to all of (the Flix team) as huge fans,” according to a publicist. Each of the three Flix Brewhouse locations are offering these beers as one-offs until they run out.

But the beers aren’t exactly “Star Wars”-related. Instead, their names have to do with “Spaceballs,” the 1987 comedy that is widely regarded as the best of the “Star Wars” parodies out there.

(This exchange is just one of the reasons why. Dark Helmet: “I am your father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate.” Lone Starr: “What’s that make us?” Dark Helmet: “Absolutely nothing! Which is what you are about to become.”)

This weekend, try one of these four options before they’re gone:

  • Dark Helmet Imperial Stout: A rich, full-bodied imperial stout. Quite a behemoth at 10.5% ABV.
  • Ludicrous Speed IPA: Dank, fruity and citrusy IPA brewed with Caliente hops. 7.2% ABV
  • Druish Wedding Farmhouse Ale: An American famhouse ale brewed with hibiscus and peach. 6.0% ABV
  • Cask: Mega Maid: Flix’s seasonal Kill Shot Scotch Ale with juniper and blackberries added. 9.2% ABV

These join the tap wall of Flix’s mainstay beers brewed by head brewer Justin Rizza. For more information, visit www.flixbrewhouse.com.