|Image credit: Front Burner Restaurants|
Many of the questions surrounding the planned brewery addition to the Twin Peaks franchise in North Irving were answered in a recent article published by Nation's Restaurant News. Though, considering recent changes in legislation, one had to wonder how the eventual Irving brewpub might go about servicing additional locations with their in-house brews. To gain insight into this, and to get an idea of the size and scope of the new venture, I got in touch with Master Brewer Tom Janik for details.
While he confirmed that distribution to other Texas locations is in the cards, he notes that it doesn't come without certain restrictions. Senate Bill 515 allows brewpubs to self-distribute up to 1000 barrels provided they only sell their own products. In other words, for the brewpub to be able to sell directly to retailers (including other Twin Peaks locations) they would no longer be able to carry outside brands. Since this isn't how the restaurant wants to operate, Janik concedes that "distributing our own beer will never be an option for us." Besides that, he expects to brew anywhere from 6000-8000 barrels in the first year, which would put them well above the cap for self-distribution. The end result is that wholesalers will have to be used to shuttle beer to other sites.
Regarding the capacity estimate, in order to meet their production goals the Twin Peaks operation will necessarily dwarf many area production breweries. A 30 bbl brewing system designed by Specific Mechanical will include six 60 bbl fermenters. This equipment will be used to brew double batches of their Dirty Blonde, Knotty Brunette and a new creation to be called Ginger's Ale. Up until now, the first two on that list have been brewed by Franconia in McKinney. Naturally, once the brewery is operational (tentatively scheduled to happen by year's end), this will no longer be the case.
One of the reasons to take on the brewery project was to have more control over the aforementioned brews. Twin Peaks operates using a scratch kitchen model, meaning all of their food is prepared on-site. Given that approach, Janik points out that "it was only a matter of time before we moved that into our beverage program as well." He goes on to say that their beer "will have the same strict expectations as our food, which includes being fully made from scratch, using the best ingredients possible, and executing at high quality standards."
As for what the future holds, the short-term plan is to brew only the three beers, with demand and customer feedback guiding future brewery output.
*Originally published on Examiner.com