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Texas Craft Beer: A Look Back At 2014 And Beyond: The beer scene has absolutely exploded over the last couple of years for Texas. Breweries are getting approvals to open every week throughout the state. Here is a quick breakdown of what all has happened over the last two years for the Texas beer scene.

We will begin with just some numbers.

Current total TABC brewpub licenses in Texas:  84
Brewpub licenses approved this year in 2014:  25
Brewpub licenses approved in 2013:  11
Brewpub licenses approved in 2012:  4

Newcomers this year (note: not all have opened, but have TABC approval to do so):

Aquabrew – San Marcos
B-52 Brewing – Conroe
Blue Owl Brewing – Austin
Brash – Houston
Cedar Creek Brewing – Seven Points
Copperhead Brewery – Conroe
Dead Beach Brewery – El Paso
Freetail Brewing #2 – San Antonio
Galveston Island Brewing – Galveston
Horny Toad Brewing – Rowena
Kinematic Brewing – Boerne
Last Stand Brewing – Austin
NXNW #2 – Austin
Oasis Texas Brewing – Austin
On Rotation Brewhouse – Dallas
Pappy Slokum Brewing – Abilene
Pecan Point Brewing – Texarkana
Red Horn Coffee House and Brewing – Cedar Park
Small Brewpub – Dallas
Solid Rock Brewing – Spicewood
Southerleigh Fine Foods and Brewery – San Antonio
Sun Brewing Company – El Paso
Texas Beer Refinery – Dickinson
The Collective Brewing Project – Ft. Worth
Whole Foods Brewing – Houston

Last Stand Brewing

I believe this will be a big trend going forward. Thanks to the new law changes last year, I think most new breweries will  likely go the route of a brewpub license. It allows them to sell beer to take home as well as allowing them to distribute. This law changed in 2013 and I believe the numbers show this increase due to the law change. Either way, this year has had more than 6 times as many brewpubs approved than just 2 years ago.

Current total TABC Brewery Licenses:  85
Brewery licenses approved this year in 2014:  18
Brewery licenses approved in 2013:  17
Brewery licenses approved in 2012:  15

Newcomers this year (note: not all have opened, but have TABC approval to do so):

11 Below Brewing – Houston
8th Wonder – Houston
Alamo Beer Company – San Antonio
Audacity Brew House – Denton
Bearded Eel Craft Brewery – Ft. Worth
Big Thicket Brewery – Lufkin
Bindlestick Brewing – Leander
Bitter Sisters Brewing – Addison
Bluebonnet Beer Company – Round Rock
Four Bullets Brewery – Richardson
Galveston Bay Beer Company – Texas City
Lazy Beach Brewing – Corpus Christi
Nine-Band Brewing – Allen
Old Omen Brewery – Tyler
Panther Island Brewing – Ft. Worth
Seguin Brewing Company – Seguin
Strange Land Brewery – Austin
Texas Ale Project – Dallas

Bindlestick Brewing Co

Brewery licenses seem to be staying at a relatively steady increase. As mentioned above, I believe this is due to more getting brewpub licenses instead. Either way, averaging 1.5 new breweries in Texas per month is not something to look down on. Just looking at the brewpub/brewery license approvals over the last couple of years, we have almost Doubled the amount of breweries in Texas in just two years!

Current Total Beer Distribution Approvals:  312
Approved in 2014:  86
Approved in 2013:  73

This section is harder to put in numbers. Simply put, this is the rough number of breweries that are able to sell in Texas currently. Now, I say these are rough numbers due to a lot of the ones approved each year had been already approved in previous years. So, saying 84 breweries approved this year does not mean that there were 84 new ones coming into the Texas markets, more of that they had something changed on their approval and had to be re-approved. Along with that, some of these approvals cover multiple breweries that brew at one location. Either way, based on all of the new breweries that have hit our shelves this year, I was expecting a much bigger jump from 2013.

Austin Area:  This is an increase of 3 breweries and 5 brewpubs in the last year. Here is a breakdown at where they all stand.

Bindlestick Brewing – It looks like they will start brewing any day now. So, we can hope to see them at your local beer joint in the very near future.

Bluebonnet Beer Company – Along with a lot of other local area breweries, they opened their doors officially on 12/19 for their first official taproom hours. Expect more regular taproom hours at the beginning of next year. If you are up in Round Rock, it looks like you can have a new happy hour location.

Blue Owl Brewing – They are finally getting everything together on the east side of Austin, They will be canning their sour mashed based beers. From all that I have heard, it is looking more towards the end of February or the beginning of March before we start seeing them around town. I know I am not the only one who cannot wait to have some of their beers.

Blue Owl Brewing image

Last Stand Brewing – They recently opened up their taproom for limited visits which is located just off of Fitzhugh Road near Jester King. Expect more normalized taproom hours starting in January. They do have a great location and outdoor patio for those who do get to go out there and visit.

Strange Land Brewery

NXNW #2 – They opened back in November and are in full operational mode. Expect the same great food that you get from the north location as well as a wide variety of NXNW beers on tap.

Oasis Texas Brewing – As many probably already know, they specialize in session beers. But, if you have seen their cans of Lake Monster, you know that not all of them are sessionable. They opened their doors officially back in late summer. Be sure to swing by as they have arguably the best views of any brewery in Texas.

Red Horn Coffee House and Brewery – Their original projections were aiming to be open by the end of 2014. That time frame is likely going to be pushed back to January and February of 2015. Either way, it will be great to have a place that far north to enjoy some beers.

Solid Rock Brewery – They have been in bottle shops in town since early summer. More recently, they have started opening their taproom hours on Saturdays.

Strange Land Brewery – They recently started brewing their beer in the last month or two. The first location that you could have tried it was at Jester King over the weekend. As with a lot of other breweries, expect them to start showing up around Austin at the beginning of 2015.

Now, a look into the future of Texas breweries. I do not see our progress slowing down any time soon. The number of breweries that are currently looking at opening in Texas is increasing at a crazy pace. I keep a document with all of the breweries that are trying to open around Texas and it has easily passed 100 new ones in the works (who knows how many get to the point of making beers, though). To say the least, we have a lot to look forward to.

At this pace it seems like 2015 will be even better than 2014 for Texas Craft Beer!

Thanks for reading:

Texas Craft Beer: A Look Back At 2014 And Beyond

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