Last week New Braunfels Brewing Company founder Kelly Meyer sold the brewery to new owners after 10 years in operation. I caught up with Kelly to find out what’s next for the brewery.
Why did you decide to sell the brewery?
It’s just time.
When I found myself inspired to start a brewery in 2011, the industry was vastly different. While I’m well aware that change is a part of life, I’m just not inspired to produce the styles of beers people line up for in 2021. And I’m exhausted competing for shelf and tap space with products I’d never put in my face.
Basically, I’m not the brewer that NBBCo needs today and it’s time to pass the torch to someone with the right mix of passion and business acumen.
I’ve built a line of beers I’d put up against any mixed culture beer. So I’m proud to leave the brewery at a time when the beer I leave behind tells the story of success in the bottle. Even if that hasn’t translated to success on the shelf.
What can you tell us about the new owners?
That they have big plans and the grit to make it a reality. They were in the planning stage of building their own brewery on 11 acres in Canyon Lake. When the opportunity to take over an existing brewery only a few miles from that location came available, it just made sense to grab it.
What can loyal fans of the brewery expect next?
In the short term, nothing will change. I’ve left full tanks, full barrels, and a diverse selection of beers in bottles. The new owners took over all the beers, labels, and artwork and will be set for quite a while maintaining and learning my systems. They’re interviewing for brewers now and with the new vision of that brewer new products, ideas and spaces will be coming. They definitely want to expand our tasting room, flirt with adding a food component, and build The New Braunfels Brewing Company into the local brewery I no longer have the energy for.
What is on the horizon for you?
I’ve got an opportunity in land sales for my day job. I’ll continue to fuel my passion for beer and business with my media projects.
How NOT To Start A Damn Brewery is a book I published in August outlining some of the big mistakes I made since founding my brewery. A few weeks after I released the book I released a podcast by the same name. In it, I’m interviewing other brewery owners who’ve struggled to find some profitability in an industry Hell-bent on hiding it from us. After 15 interviews I realize how imperative the voice of this podcast is to balance the ‘unicorns and rainbows’ story all of us heard when we started our breweries. I’ve also got a few more books to write and look forward to getting those thoughts on paper.
I’ll miss creating new and interesting beers but it’s time for me to sit on this side of the bar for a while.