Saturday, January 21, 2023

Hemisphere closing brewery in Rockwall

Image credit: Hemisphere Brewing Co.

Hemisphere Brewing Co. has announced it will close in January, the brewery's run coming to an end after nearly six years of operation in Rockwall.

Founded by Ruben Garcia and Brandon Mullins, Hemisphere opened in March 2017. The debut occurred, coincidentally enough, roughly six years after the pair kicked-off the project in 2011. Mullins would later leave the company in 2020, but Garcia carried on and eventually brought on a new partner in 2022.

On the Hemisphere name, it represented the idea of exploring beer styles from hemispheres around the world. From those forays, the brewery's Belgian grisette was a personal favorite, with other popular recipes including Shiver Blueberry Wheat and Black Sacrament Imperial Stout.

In October 2020, the company expanded its offerings outside the realm of beer with the addition of HBC Hard Red Cola. The product was a high-ABV beverage inspired by Big Red, a beloved soft drink with origins in Waco, Texas.

According to a social media post, Garcia decided not to renew the lease on the facility because of the difficulties of running a small brewery in an unsustainable market, and a desire to pursue new opportunities.

Friday, January 13, 2023

Glen Echo working to open brewery in Wylie

Preliminary renderings showing potential design concepts (Glen Echo Brewing).

A new brewery is in the works for the City of Wylie, after the town's city council approved a special use permit this week allowing Glen Echo Brewing to be established on a property located at 106 N. Birmingham St.

Founders Steve and Debbie Schoenekase originally targeted another nearby city for their brewery, but shifted the focus to Wylie around the summer of last year. And, according to Debbie, things are on the fast track now that they've got the initial approvals out of the way.

"The Wylie Economic Development Corporation, the planning department, and the city manager's office have supported our vision from the beginning," says Schoenekase. "Working with Wylie is refreshing!"

Once up and running, Glen Echo will occupy an existing structure comprising just over 4000 square feet. The building itself lies on a 0.21 acre plat, with plans calling for an outdoor patio space to be built out front. Then in the back, a concrete slab lining the building would be used as a potential parking spot for a food truck.

Glen Echo will operate within the confines of the city's Downtown Historic District, which is fitting given the couple's plan to integrate a bit of their own family history in the theme of the place. The brewery's name is drawn from Glen Echo Dairy, a business run by Steve's great-grandfather in Illinois during the early 1900s. Plus, the original font and orange color from the dairy's logo will be carried over into Glen Echo's design motif.

Regarding production plans, the company will utilize a 10-barrel brewhouse fabricated by Deutsche Beverage Technology. Debbie expects the brewery to have 10-12 beers on tap once Glen Echo is fully operational.

"We will brew traditional ales and lagers like a Czech pilsner, German hefeweizen, bock, märzen, English brown ale, and chocolate milk stout-- in honor of the family dairy farm," says Schoenekase. "In addition, we will brew some trendier IPAs and seltzers, and for the non-alcoholic option, we do make a flavorful root beer."

As for project timelines, construction should start in March, with the majority of work involving a remodel of the interior. From there, if all goes well, Glen Echo Brewing will look to open sometime this summer.