As many of you know, breweries are in development and being planned all over the DFW Metroplex. I’m going to start on, let’s call it the south side of the Metroplex, with Cedar Creek Brewery in Kemp.
Cedar Creek Brewery was founded by Jim Elliot and Damon Lewis. Jim had made the decision to open a brewery, so he made his way to a North Texas Homebrewers Association meeting looking for someone to open a brewery with him. He ended up talking with Damon at that meeting and a few weeks later, in October of 2010, the two moved forward on their plans. Their website lists Damon as the Brewmaster and Jim as Sales.
From that point, research and groundwork was the name of the game. They took a trip out to San Francisco for the 2011 Craft Brewers Conference and took full advantage of the information available. I’m sure they drank quite a bit of good beer as well, or as Damon put it: “man that was a blast”. That counts as research and development in this industry.
The business plan was developed and then the search for capital began. Unfortunately, a Small Business Loan from a bank was not in the cards and Cedar Creek Brewery began seeking private investments. Due to money being less than the ideal amount (is any amount enough when it comes to beer?), the pair decided to source used dairy tanks to be converted into a brewery.
At this point, Cedar Creek Brewery has obtained approval at the Federal level through the Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and are currently awaiting Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) approval. They hope to be selling beer in May and plan to offer 3 styles to start and will begin brewing specialty releases in the Fall of 2012. Their main focus will be session beers, while the specialty releases will be not so session appropriate (depending on your tolerance I guess). Damon has 3 styles they will start with after getting TABC approval:
German Smoked Alt 5.1%ABV
American Pale Ale 5.1%ABV
Rye Cream Ale 4.6%ABV
Cedar Creek Brewery is committed to serving their local community and is about 5 miles north of Cedar Creek Lake (map). Once they open, they will be hosting weekly tours each Saturday which will include food to be made available from local resturaunts. They are even exploring the possibility of having local farmers grow hops and grains for their brewing processes. The brewery also plans on using cans instead of bottles for both environmental reasons as well as being “lake friendly” (no glass!). They also support local animal shelters, so if you don’t buy their beer, it’s like punching a puppy.
May is not that far away, so I’ll be keeping in touch with Jim and Damon to find out how things are going. Sounds like a trip to the lake is in order!