By now you have noticed a new set of brews around town, including Bell’s Brewery famous Two Hearted Ale IPA. Bell’s Brewery hosted several Austin events to celebrate their Texas launch that spanned through SXSW week and continues this week with the release of one of their popular seasonal beers Oberon Ale, a wheat ale fermented with their signature yeast.
Hailing from Michigan, Bell’s Brewery was established in 1985 when Larry Bell brewed his first commercial batch out of a 15 gallon soup kettle. The brewery continued expanding through the years and became the first brewery to establish an onsite pub, the Eccentric Café.
To learn more about what we can expect from Bell’s Brewery, I sat down with newly named CEO, Laura Bell to talk about plans for Texas distribution.
First, why Texas?
In terms of what was next it just made sense, we were always planning to come to Texas, it was just a matter of when in terms of our production capability.
I drove from El Paso to San Antonio and Austin this summer and I got a taste for how big the state really is. It was good to see the unique cultures in all of those places – it’s big, but very diverse.
What beers can we expect to see on the shelves here in Texas? Will it mainly be the core beers?
When we launch in a state, we launch our full portfolio and we do our best to launch in all locations from craft bars to bottle shops to your local grocery. Our seasonal Oberon Ale just released this week in Texas and will be available along with a wide rang of our beers.
Note: here’s a link to the 2017 release calendar.
Do your plans include all of Texas or just a specific region?
We have the entire state covered except for dry counties. Our model is that we are not looking to be a flash in the pan for Texas, it’s about slow growth and getting to know our customers. Our plan is to come out and give people an opportunity to try our wide range beers and hopefully we become part of their every day beer drinking.
Anything that you would want the average beer drinker to know about the brewery?
The really cool thing about us is we are independently owed by the Bell family. It allows us to make decisions that are right for the company and allows us to have some fun. We brew a lot of different styles and are focused on balance – the skillful balance between malt and hops to produce an unfiltered beer.
Stay tuned to Craft Beer Austin for a listing of upcoming Austin events.
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