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Major beer win: Long-anticipated brewpub finally cleared to begin building — a true beer garden is coming

A major beer win: Long-anticipated brewpub finally cleared to build

City Acre Brewing Co
City Acre Brewing Co looks set to open in the spring of 2015.  City Acre Brewing Co/Facebook
Darla, City Acre Brewing, October 2012, owners, Matt Schlabach, Meredith Borders
Owners Matt Schlabach and Meredith Borders have been working on the project for over two years.  Photo by Joanna Mok/Flickr
City Acre Brewing Co
Darla, City Acre Brewing, October 2012, owners, Matt Schlabach, Meredith Borders

Beer nerds rejoice! City Acre Brewing Co., the long-delayed brewpub has received the City of Houston's approval to begin construction.

Located about 10 minutes north of downtown off US 59, City Acre will serve a mixture of beer brewed on-site along with food based on ingredients grown in a massive garden.

"Now that we finally got all the permits, we're ready to mobilize," owner Matt Schlabach tells CultureMap. Along with his wife Meredith Borders, Schlabach has been pushing through the difficult permitting process associated with converting a house into a restaurant. He says that the projects various architects and engineers told him they couldn't recall another project that needed as many attachments to satisfy regulators.

"It is an ambitious project, but not as ambitious as trying to build a high rise," Schlabach notes. "We're special in that way." While the construction probably won't be complete until 2015, City Acre does hope to begin hosting events next spring.

 "It is an ambitious project, but not as ambitious as trying to build a high rise. We're special in that way." 

The single biggest project to be completed will be building a quarter-acre parking lot on the site, followed by plumbing and structural changes. 

City Acre held a series of tasting events back in 2012 but has been laying low for awhile. "It was a no news situation," Schlabach concedes.

As the permitting approvals seemed increasingly likely, they've started to reemerge. Chef Peter Knaus is currently working at Revival Market, and he's been incorporating City Acre beer into some of the dishes there. Knaus has also been working part-time as a butcher for Black Hill Ranch and has been using his time to meet with local suppliers who'll provide ingredients for his menus.

The menus will rotate every three to four weeks, with as much produce as possible will come from the pub's garden. Currently, the trio have been playing around with German-style food like sausages and pickles, but Schlabach notes that City Acre won't "stick to a particular style" when it comes to food. 

When brewing has become fully operational, Schlabach expects to have a rotating group of five beers: A dark (porter/stout), a light (blonde/pilsner), an IPA, a seasonal and something with a high alcohol content (barleywine, imperial stout). In addition to the City Acre beers, 20 taps will feature a mix of Texas options with a Houston focus. 

Merging the city's current craft beer boom with diners' interest in eating local — sounds like a concept that can't open quickly enough.