Beer is about fun and people have their own opinions of what is fun and what isn’t. Big Brewers are all about making the fun and excitement of events and gatherings bigger and better and less about the beer itself while craft beer is all about the beer. “How can I make my brew bolder, tastier, and more unique than the other guy?”, is the motivating question craft brewers ask themselves, except sometimes they might like the other guy’s brew more than their own. That’s the communal fun and pride that goes into the craft beer industry and culture.
Southwest of Houston just two miles away from the grave of Deaf Smith, a Texas History legend considered by Stephen F. Austin to be “more brave and honest than any other”, sits a small brewery on the verge of commercial distribution. Like the small Texas Army of the early 1800s, this small brewery packs a big punch, only instead of firepower and muskets, with their rich and unfiltered brews and love for Texas History. This is quite a unique spin on craft brewery inspiration and branding.
Texian Brewing Company is one of the very latest breweries to establish their place in the Houston craft beer market. I had the chance to visit Joshua Haley, Founder of Texian, on-site to tell Tap Houston what Texian is all about. Haley exemplifies your regular old hum-drum beer drinker with no real taste for craft beer turned craft beer lover. That love of taste spawned an interest in home brewing. Interest became a passion. Finally, his passion drove him to leave a well-paying career behind to pursue a dream.
Every brewery has a theme behind their brand. Haley has taken it, not only to a new level, but back in time. “Texian” was a name used for immigrants from the US and other countries to the Tejas and Coahuila areas of Mexico before the Texas Revolution. Haley joked that his goal is for his “brand to spread to other states so they’ll be forced to learn a bit of seventh grade Texas History”.
Like every brewing company, Texian is working to make the best brews possible. They aren’t brewing beer only they like, but sessionable recipes and styles that appeal to the craft beer masses while staying true to Haley’s imagination and individuality. Haley says, “Hell, anyone can make a ‘Belly Button Lint IPA’ but who’s gonna drink it if you’re the only one that likes it?” But the brewery isn’t just about the beer. Texian is built for community.
In the coming months tours will begin and greater distribution will follow. Texas was built by the people and so too will Texian Brewing Company. Ballot boxes will be found each Saturday during tours in which visitors can share their ideas and opinions. Local organizations will be welcome to be a part of the tour festivities as well so as to inspire growth in the local economy. Another goal is to eventually, not only distribute spent grain to local farmers and ranchers, but also participate in local livestock auctions to fund ag scholarships. There, Haley plans to buy champion livestock for dinners to pair with Texian beer much like his first at Rockwell Tavern & Grill the day after San Jacinto Day to celebrate the victory of over Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto 177 years ago.
Tiffany Richie, co-owner with Melinda Mayes, of Rockwell Tavern & Grill in Cypress, Texas was the first to reach out to Josh Haley after tasting only two Texian styles. Together they planned a fantastic menu that paired with Haley’s brews, not only to the taste, but in theme as well. Each dish was carefully and creatively planned to compliment each other on the palate and commemorate Texas History.
You’ll find the following quote when you visit Texian’s website:
“Texas is a state of mind. Texas is an obsession. Above all, Texas is a nation in every sense of the word” – John Steinbeck
It’s not just a clever usage of a great American, Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winning author’s quote. It expressively represents the passion Haley has for the dream he is making reality. Texian isn’t meant to be just another Texas craft brewery. It’s meant to become a future piece of Texas History and culture.