Banned brewery gets to come home to Houston: Changes in beer laws trigger a brash craft revolution
The Petrol Station owner Ben Fullelove will bring Brash Brewing Company to Houston this year. He's secured a 13,000 square-foot warehouse, a 30 barrel brewhouse and canning equipment to launch the project with a goal of delivering beer around town between April and June.
"I've been working on it for awhile," Fullelove tells CultureMap. He says that the growth of Houston's craft beer scene, particularly Karbach's recent decision to spend $15 million and double its brewing capacity, "made me feel more comfortable" with the decision to move Brash to Houston.
"Now is an exciting time for Houston. Things are ramping up. More people are coming on the scene."
Originally, Fullelove started Brash as a contract brewing company in Massachusetts, but changes to Texas beer laws allow him to obtain a brewpub license and maintain his interest in Petrol Station, the Oak Forest bar that's become a hotspot in Houston's burgeoning craft enthusiasm. Fullelove tells CultureMap that he consulted with Jeff Stuffing from Austin's Jester King Brewery and Scott Metzger from San Antonio's Freetail Brewery before he brought Brash home.
He credits Gregg Berman of Clown Shoes brewery with helping him get Brash off the ground by reaching out to breweries and vouching for Fullelove's commitment. "Every homebrewer wants to be a contract brewer. Gregg put his reputation on the line for me," Fullelove says.
Brash will release three year-round beers in cans along with limited releases in 22 ounce bottles. They include Vulgar Display of Power, a Russian Imperial Stout with 14 percent ABV, Imp IPA and a chocolate milk stout. They all meet Fullelove's criteria of releasing beers that he wants to drink. So far, the reaction has been positive. "I travel a bunch. Everybody (I've talked to) seems to dig it a lot," he says.
"Now is an exciting time for Houston," Fullelove muses. "Things are ramping up. More people are coming on the scene. That's what you want."
Rather than craft brewers fighting each other for shelf space at stores like Spec's, Fullelove says he wants to see the total space allocated to craft increase at the expense of macro brews.