This Sunday I had the chance to check out the progress of construction at Karbach Brewing here in Houston; the marketing guy, David, invited us in to check out the brewery space and chat with him about Karbach’s beers, brewing equipment, tours and everything else related to getting a brewery up and running.
Right now they are getting their 30 barrel system set-up and are about two weeks away from completing construction. They still need some electrical work to be completed and to finish up their glycol system. They currently have four 30 barrel fermenters, four 60 barrel fermenters, one 60 barrel brite tank and two 30 barrel brite tanks. It is quite a site to see! I haven’t seen that much equipment for a new brewery ever, but with the team they have behind Karbach, I think it was definitely the right move. Another interesting aspect of their soon-to-be production, that you don’t normally see, is inside the cold room. There is a space for where they will be cold-filtering their beers, this process helps with the overall clarity of a beer.
Back in April, Ronnie Crocker (of the Chronicle and the Beer, TX Blog) did an interview with these guys, highlighting the new Brewmaster (who can be called that because of his classic training) Eric Warner. Houston has been waiting with baited breath since then; bringing in a name like that starts Karbach off with higher expectations than most start-up breweries, but after speaking with David, they are confident in their recipes and the talent they have at Karbach to succeed in the Houston market.
They will be self-distributing their 5 beers until it is no longer feasible to do so, but the Karbach team has distribution experience so they are counting on that to make the process go smoothly. They will be canning 3 of the 5 beers: Weisse Versa Wheat, Sympathy for the Lager and the Hopadillo IPA, while the planned Imperial Porter and Double IPA will be draft only. They also plan on having seasonals that will be draft and large format bottles, that they will hand bottle. From the get-go they want to have a barrel program, hoping to put part of their first batch of the planned imperial porter in barrels for aging. I love seeing programs like that especially from a start-up; while breweries have to produce beers that will pay the bills, from a beer nerd perspective we also want great limited releases and barrel aged products, it keeps us guessing and engaged!
They expect their website to be up and running with more information soon, but the best way to keep up to date with Karbach’s progress is through their Facebook and Twitter. They have a target date in early September for the initial release of their beers, hopefully that will stick as I know Houston is ready for more local beer in the market.
Thanks again to David for having us out to the brewery, I’ll definitely be back when their tours are up and running!