If everything’s actually bigger in Texas—the craft beer market is no exception.
Apparently, happy hour is every hour in the Lone Star State, as craft breweries have seen massive expansion in the past few years.
A $4.5 million economic impact, to be exact.
The number of craft breweries in Texas has climbed to 251, according to KVUE, a substantial growth since the 51 counted in 2011. That’s equated to an industry impact of millions of dollars, and has landed Texas as the ninth biggest brewer in the country.
And breweries are catching on.
A Tampa, Florida-based craft beer and entertainment venue, The Brass Tap, has announced plans to more than double its Dallas-Fort Worth presence in the next five to seven years, and later move into the Houston market. Known for its localized brewery offerings and selective menu, The Brass Tap is joining a pretty crowded space, but the owners are prepared for the challenge.
“Dallas is a rapidly growing city and the local craft beer scene reflects that.”
“What makes us unique is that we don’t keep the same beer on tap all the time. Out of 80 taps, we have about 11 that stay all the time,” Franchise owner Sid Patel says. “The rest of them always rotate. So every time you come in, you have something else to try so you can expand your palate.”
Patel will oversee the new units with his partners (and family members), Viral and Karnik Patel. He says he’s currently looking for real estate in upscale locations throughout neighborhood areas such as Frisco, Allen, McKinney, or Murphy. Sid Patel ran a beer and wine shop in McKinney for seven years before opening an Allen-based Brass Tap location three years ago, and plans to use that industry experience for the planned expansion.
“The reason we wanted to open five is because, of course, Dallas is growing really rapidly right now,” Patel says. “We’re going to be very selective about which area we’re going to go into.”
Patel also attributed the growth to his finding that people prefer local, rather than outside-of-Texas breweries. With nearly 50 bars in 22 states across the country, The Brass Tap’s DFW development will garner five new locations to the existing four—the first, in Prosper, to open in March 2019.
“Dallas is a rapidly growing city and the local craft beer scene reflects that,” Jamie Cecil, director of franchise development, says. “With more and more breweries popping up every day, we’re confident that the size of Dallas specifically—and Texas overall, for that matter—presents a great opportunity to cater to craft beer fans with our vast food and beverage offering and unmatched atmosphere.”
Texas is overflowing with craft beer
But why is beer so heavily flowing here, more than any other state? It could be that the tide is changing, or that Texans just like to sit back and have a cold one.
Tom Spilman, executive vice president of the Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas, wrote in an April opinion column in The Dallas Morning News that the thriving market is because of our strong regulatory system. Texas has a three-tier alcohol regulation system, requiring manufacturing, distribution, and retail functions to all be independent—preventing vertical monopolies and allowing smaller brewers to immediately distribute their product.
“Because distributors can’t invest in breweries or pay for distribution rights, they distribute numerous brands,” Spilman writes. “They can’t sell beer for less to similarly situated retailers, creating an equal playing field for all, allowing family-owned retailers to thrive throughout the state.“
Texas also allows craft brewers to large-scale self-distribute and operate on-site tap rooms and bars, one of only a handful of states to permit this. Whatever the reason, local craft beer fans can get excited—and get to tasting—for what’s brewing in Dallas-Fort Worth.
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