Thursday, May 30, 2024

Monster Energy closing Deep Ellum taproom and brewery in Dallas

Image credit: Deep Ellum Brewing Co.

After more than 12 years in business, Deep Ellum Brewing Co. is closing its doors in the Dallas neighborhood for which it was named.

Founded by John Reardon, Scott Frieling and Jim Piel, Deep Ellum debuted in November 2011, and in doing so, it became the first new brewery to open in the City of Dallas since the late 1990s. The company's opening day manifesto was centered around a bold and unapologetic attitude geared towards "Total Beer Domination."

Over the years, the brand and its popularity grew to the point where Deep Ellum attracted the interest of outside buyers, and eventually a decision was made to sell the company to CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective in 2018. That relationship soon soured, however, leading Reardon to sue CANarchy in mid-2020 for a failure to make payments based on the original terms of the agreement. His association with the Collective was terminated soon after.

In the midst of all this, Deep Ellum launched a second location dubbed as Funkytown Fermatorium in Fort Worth, which opened in March 2019. Due to mitigating factors that venture folded a year later, its closure essentially coinciding with the aforementioned lawsuit.

Meanwhile, Deep Ellum continued to operate, though CANarchy as a whole was acquired by Monster Energy in January 2022. That event notwithstanding, moves made by Monster concerning other CANarchy brands in subsequent months perhaps foreshadowed today's news.

A social media post suggests the production of Deep Ellum's beers will be moved to other facilities remaining under the Monster umbrella:

"After 12+ amazing years of brewing and serving our beers in Deep Ellum, we've made the difficult decision to close our taproom and brewhouse. From the great folks who've worked here to those who've joined us for a pint or a show, we'd like to thank everyone that's been a part of our journey.

Rest assured - the Deep Ellum story is not over. Our beers will remain available throughout Texas, and we look forward to sharing them with our fans for many years to come.

While our hearts are heavy with this news today, our love for Deep Ellum will always run deep."

Saturday, May 25, 2024

A look at 2023 North Texas production numbers

Click to enlarge.

This is an update of the annual breakdown of brewery sizes in North Texas, with 2023 production data added as reported to the Brewers Association and published in the May/June 2024 issue of The New Brewer.

Note, not all brewing companies provide their numbers (assumptions are made for a couple of "Large" tier breweries based on past history), while some report statistics combining multiple locations. Data also includes production from breweries that closed during the course of 2023. As a result, the number of entities represented in the chart is not equal to the total number of breweries open and operating at any given time.

Inside the numbers:

The large-size brewery tier in North Texas, based on production (shown alphabetically):
  • Community Beer Co. of Dallas.
  • Deep Ellum Brewing Co. of Dallas.
  • Manhattan Project Beer Co. of Dallas.
  • Martin House Brewing Co. of Fort Worth.
  • Revolver Brewing of Granbury.
Tier movement
  • Advancing from "Mid-Size" to "Large" tier: Manhattan Project Beer Co. of Dallas.
  • Advancing from "Very Small" to "Small" tier: Fort Brewery & Pizza of Fort Worth, Second Rodeo Brewing Co. of Fort Worth (includes data from Beard Science Sour House of The Colony), and Union Bear Brewing Co. of Denton/Plano.
Year-to-year production change
  • Overall production in North Texas was down roughly 9% for those reporting in 2022 and 2023. This value is influenced somewhat by numerous "Small" tier breweries showing significant drops, though in some cases this involves cuts occurring prior to closing a second location or closing permanently.
  • Comparison: Craft beer volume was down 1% nationally in 2023, according to the Brewers Association.
Significant year-to-year production gains (based on those reporting in 2022 and 2023)
  • For the second year in a row, Manhattan Project had the largest reported year-to-year gain in raw barrels produced locally for 2023. In fact, sales of the brewery's beers have more than tripled since 2019.
  • The largest year-to-year percentage gains for brewing companies with production greater than 1000 barrels were realized by 3 Nations Brewing Co. of Anna/Carrolton, Celestial Beerworks of Dallas (two locations), Fort Brewery & Pizza of Fort Worth, and Second Rodeo/Beard Science of Fort Worth/The Colony.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Guild's grant program now open for aspiring Texas craft brewers

Image credits: Texas Crafty Brewers Guild, Method Architecture.

Continuing an initiative started in 2021, the Texas Craft Brewers Guild is accepting applications for a grant program to support aspiring Texas craft brewery owners. Grantees will receive one year of free membership (a $300 value) in the Guild, the trade association for independent craft breweries in Texas. The grant program is funded by Method Architecture, a Texas-based firm that is also a longtime member of the Guild. 

“Becoming a Guild member in the earliest phases of a brewery project can prevent wasted time, expenses, headaches and heartaches down the road, so the benefits of membership are very real,” says Meg Ellis, deputy director of the Guild. “And from an industry perspective, this grant program goes a long way toward making our industry more inclusive, creating an on-ramp for entrepreneurs who might not otherwise see themselves reflected in our membership.”

According to a press release, Brewery in Planning member benefits include accessing the Guild’s library of recorded and live online educational resources, attending monthly member meetups and annual conferences, connecting with nearly 250 veteran brewery owners and more than 70 in-planning peers statewide, and networking with hundreds of vendors who will be critical to their success as brewers and business owners.

Deidre and Will Amaya, the husband-and-wife team who recently opened Bay Area Brewing Company in Rockport, Texas, were grant recipients in the 2023-2024 cycle. 

“The Brewery in Planning Grant is not just a monetary award. To us it was a lot more,” reflects Deidre. “We [used] the recognition as an opportunity to build our brand and grow our community following as we sought crowd funding and being taken seriously in a lucrative coastal real estate market.”

Entering the craft brewing industry is difficult, and start up costs continue to climb along with rising costs of ingredients, equipment, staffing, and the continued logistics challenges that started during the COVID-19 pandemic. Studies have demonstrated that people of color, women, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and entrepreneurs outside of metropolitan areas experience barriers to credit, capital, and other business support.

“We know the barrier to entry for starting a new business can be tough, especially for minority business owners,” said Jackie Rye, partner at Method Architecture and project lead for breweries including True Anomaly Brewing of Houston and Bear King Brewing of Marble Falls. “Our hope is that the grants allow these entrepreneurs to focus on what they do best and fully embrace the resources available within the craft beer community.”

In the program’s inaugural year, around thirty applications were submitted representing every corner of the Lone Star State, including projects in Prosper, Tyler, College Station, Missouri City, and Allen, demonstrating the reach and appeal of craft beer businesses for residents in rural, suburban, and urban communities alike.  To date, 18 grants have been awarded. This year, the organization aims to award five more grants.

Applications must be submitted by May 31, 2024. Eligibility criteria, award timeline, and the application form can be found at