Pedernales Brewing Texas Craft Brewery Profile
Location: 97 Hitchin Post Trail Fredericksburg, TX 78624
Deep in the heart of the Texas wine country, Lee Hereford saw a new trend emerging. As the founder of Wimberley Valley Wineries, he was well aware of the potential for businesses that can provide a relaxing atmosphere and a product that is pleasing to the palate.
Lee had moved from the wine industry to the publication industry in 2004 when he bought the rights to the magazine Travel Host San Antonio. It was through his publication that he saw more and more microbreweries opening and doing well. As microbreweries began to dot the landscape around his home in Fredericksburg, where he has lived for the past 30 years, he decided in 2009 the timing was right to create a brewery of his own.
After three years of perfecting his beers and building a place to serve the public, on April 18, 2012, Pedernales Brewing Company was officially born.
Just recently I had the honor of touring Pedernales Brewing facility’s expansive production area where 20 gleaming tanks and other state-of-the-art equipment stand impressively. As we strolled through the facility, Lee enthusiastically talked to me about the company’s history and its products.
Lee’s energy and upbeat personality bring to life a huge collection of awards and accolades, which are prominently displayed on the walls of the brewery.
The brewery employs 16 full time workers including Brewmaster Peter McFarlane who holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the Northern Arizona State University and a Diploma in Brewing Science from the Siebel Institute of Technology. Others work in areas from bottling and kegging to administrative personnel and other marketing specialists in different parts of the state. Lee himself is a marketing specialist and holds a marketing degree.
Pedernales Brewing has a great selection of beers with many awards and recognitions internationally. You can get a tasting of 4 half pints of your choice for $10 and the souvenir glass is for you to keep.
LOBO TEXAS LAGER : ABV 5%, IBU’s 22, a pre-prohibition style America Lager, made with German hops and yeast, this is a crisp, clean and refreshing drink to either enjoy by itself or pair with any meal. This beer has earned many awards, among them Gold Bend, OR 2016, Gold Ensenada, MX 2015, Best of show, Ensenada MX 2015, silver Bend, OR 2015 and Silver in Mexico City.
LOBO NEGRO: ABV 5.6% IBU’s 26, German Style Black Lager that is made to Reinheitsgebot standards with an aroma of coffee and cocoa and a very smooth finish. It has won awards of Gold, Mexico City, MX 2014, Best of Show, Mexico City, MX 2014, Silver in Denver, CO 2014, Gold in Los Angeles, CA 2015, Gold in Lewisville, TX 2015 and Gold in Denver, CO 2015.
LOBO HEFE: ABV 5.2% IBU’s 14, Peter McFarland’s private recipe made of 50/50 blend of malted wheat and barley, subtle aromas of clove, apricot and banana, has won awards of Gold in Lewisville, TX 2014 and 2015.
LOBO KRISTALL WEIZEN: (my personal favorite) ABV 5% IBU’s 14, This is a filtered hefeweizen crystal clear crisp, so refreshing and beautiful in golden color, foamy on the top and with notes of citrus, banana and clove. Awards include the Gold medal at the 2015 US Open Beer Championship and Silver in 2014 at the Best Little Brewfest in Texas.
LOBO LITO: Lee described this beer not as if it was a lighter beer but instead a lighter version of their regular lager the LOBO Texas Lager. It is perfect as an introductory beer, easy to drink, extremely refreshing and perfect for hot Texas weather. This beer won the 2014 Silver medal in Mexico.
ROBERT EARL KEEN: ABV 5% IBU’s 17, Lager made with noble German hops and local Hill Country Honey and well water. 100% malted barley and a strain of lager yeast and a touch of honey that creates a medium finish with a kiss of honey. Awards: Silver at Los Angeles CA 2015 and Denver, CO in 2015 as well.
PEDERNALES CLASSIC INDIA PALE ALE: ABV 6% IBU’s 52, Traditional English IPA that has a soft hop and aroma with full body and a smooth finish, lovely copper-amber color and a delicate aroma of hops and flowers, this beer got Gold in Los Angeles CA, 2015, Gold in Lewisville TX, 2015 and Silver in Bend, OR in 2015.
MIDNIGHT PORTER: ABV 5.5 % IBU’s 22 This specialty beer is so incredibly delicious, silky black in color and consistency with a nice tan foamy head and strong notes of sweet chocolate and caramel.
OKTOBERFEST: ABV 6% IBU’s 20, Beer with a deep amber color, mild hop profile and notes of sweet caramel malts. It is smooth to drink without overpowering flavors that leaves you appreciating it and wanting more. This beer won a Gold medal in the 2015 US Open Beer Championship, Silver in Los Angeles CA, 2015, Silver in Best of Craft Beer Awards and Bronze in Best Little Brewfest in Texas in 2015.
TEXAS HOP BOMB: ABV 7.5% IBU’s 80, Smash IPA, one in a series of a project for this year 2016, made to explore the depth and range one can reach in a beer by using only one hop and one malt selection. They chose Pilsen malt for this beer creating notes to the palate and the nose of orange, pear, lemon and lime. This beer comes only in bomber size of 22 oz.
In one of the many competitions – these are not unusual numbers – there were 5,951 brewers, 6,813 beers entered and 92 different beer categories. Despite a full field of competitors, Pedernales Brewing stands tall with all of the awards they have received!
The facility is big and located on 19 beautiful acres with plenty of parking for more than 200 vehicles. At this time, they are open to the public for tastings and tours Wednesday to Saturday from 1-5 p.m. and will be extending their hours for the summer starting in June. The brewery is easily spotted from the road as they have a huge beer bottle of Lobo Lager at the entrance of the property. Don’t be intimidated by it; they have smaller versions inside.
The production area is filled with state-of-the-art equipment including 9-40bbl, 5-80bbl, 1-40bbl bright tank, 2-80bbl bright tanks and 3-80bbl lagerin tanks and their very own canning system. The term “bbl” refers to the unit of volume for alcohol equal to189 liters or 49.9 U.S. gallons equaling 376 lbs.
There’s plenty of space to bring friends and kids, and well-behaved dogs are always welcome. As a matter of fact, you might get to see “Ellie” the 10-year-old labrador brewery dog.
During Special events, they sometimes have food trucks, but you are always welcome to bring your own food.
Plans and Contributions
Pedernales has teamed up with “Cervezeria Albur” (Albur Brewery-craft beer) from Monterrey, Mexico, and they have collaborated in the making of a beer recently released and one soon to come. These beers will be of a very limited edition (one 40-barrel batch) and will be sold in bomber size only.
Pedernales Beer is sold in most prestigious establishments where beer is sold and throughout the Texas. They have a hosted a few events and are looking forward to continuing their production with the more than 250 investors who have contributed approximately $8.5 million into the operation.
With new recipes on the horizon and a following that continues to grow, you can bet Pedernales Brewing Company will be around for a long time.