Monday, November 11, 2019

Embrace Curiosity

Welcome to our blog! 

We embarked upon quite a journey from homebrewing in our kitchen seven years ago to brewing delicious, interesting beers for you in our Pantego brewery today.  We invite you to scroll through our ENTIRE blog and learn about everything it took to turn our favorite hobby into a full-time endeavor.  Stay tuned, because rumor has it our founders are writing a book about their experience...

In the mean time, we can't wait to serve you some delicious Texas Craft Beer in our brewery and taproom in Pantego, Texas.  We are proud to host lots of monthly community events where you can experience everything our corner of Texas has to offer, like the Pantego Farmers Market and St. Barnabas On Tap.  We also have a great weekly schedule like Tacos 'n Tunes-days, Embrace Curiosity Showcase Open Mic Wednesdays, and Trivia Thursdays where you can truly feel the heartbeat of the brewery.

Because when it all comes down to it, we opened this brewery because of you.  That's right, you beautiful, unique, interesting person.  As we built what we thought our brewery should be, you showed us what a marvelous community we can all be a part of by collaborating with each other.  This culture has become such a part of the brewery that we've written a new Mission Statement:

"To share uncommonly outstanding experiences through craft beer by fostering fellowship, growth, and community engagement."

So feel free to take a stroll through our history and learn what it's like to make your passion your profession.  Or stop by our unique facility and share an uncommonly outstanding experience with your favorite people.  Embrace your curiosity, and raise a glass!

If you'd like to reserve the Hoffman Living Room or the entire brewery for your next party, fill out this form for private event rentals.  We'll reply with a detailed quote and answer any questions you might have about celebrating your momentous occasion at New Main Brewing Company.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Any day now...

I know I've been saying it for a while, and you're probably getting sick of hearing it. We're STILL waiting on our TTB license to come in before we can start brewing. Trust me when I say there is no one more frustrated that I can't serve you our beer than me. That said, we're not just sitting around with nothing to do. The last 3 months have been very busy. More on that below, but first...

Upcoming New Main Brewing Events!

We've also been busy booking entertainment and organizing fun events for you all to enjoy at New Main! Here's just a few coming up in the next few days and weeks:

Friday, May 18th

Outstanding live music featuring some great covers and medleys of your favorite songs. Turkish Texans Food Truck will be on hand with an excellent menu featuring hot dogs, gyros, and some creative combinations!

Saturday, May 19th

Live music, crawfish, a bouncy house, and a chance to be an extra in a BIG Review TV spot featuring New Main Brewing! You can only purchase crawfish through tickets sold on the Facebook event page (so we know how much to order), so order yours before the deadline - noon Friday, May 18th!

Sunday, May 20th

Grab your mat and get ready to laugh your worries away while several goats (and piggies!) help you with your yoga session. Tickets for this event are also available through the Facebook event page, so grab yours now!

Friday, May 25th

Brian Breckenridge has put together a cast of comics that are sure to keep you in stitches. This intimate club-style show will fill the Conversation Room with laughter, and you don't want to miss it!

You can find all of our many upcoming events as well as news and updates on our Facebook page, here.

Now on to the wordy part!

With Mr. David Gill managing the Taphouse, I've been able to switch my attention to preparing our equipment and recipes for production. As soon as we get the green light, you won't see me for a few weeks because I'll be chained to the brewhouse churning out just as much beer as humanly possible. Just imagine an 80s montage with me in a headband & muscle shirt, the boil kettle steaming artfully in the background, a needless scene with me jogging on a beach, and Survivor belting out Eye of the Tiger. Yeah, that's totally what it's going to be like. Maybe no beach.

The plan is still to begin brewing on our pilot system as often as we can manage so that there is at least one New Main beer on our wall at any given time. We will also begin testing some of our one-off treatments of each beer every now and then to showcase how each beer can change with the addition of different ingredients. By the end of the year, we hope to have our 5 barrel brewhouse set up and running in the back corner of the Taphouse (behind the community signature walls), and New Main Beer flowing freely into your glasses.

We've heard a lot recently from the craft beer fans in DFW that they are eager to try our beer, but not quite so eager to arrive at the Taphouse only to find other breweries and cideries decorating our tap list. Again, I feel you guys. I wanted to open a brewery, not a taproom, but bills gotta be paid while we wait for our license. Every pint of Texas beer or cider you drink between now and then just helps us get that much closer to serving our beer to you. The sooner we can get brewing, the sooner New Main Brewing can be what we always wanted it to be. I said it before: Never lose your dream, but let it change shape a little.

Most often, those who have not tried our beer in the last 2 years of tasting events ask us, "What's your signature beer or style going to be?" I love this question because people expect an answer like hoppy, or sour, or strong beers. My answer is always this: 

Our signature style is education.

With craft beer only at about 13% of the total US Beer volume, we still have many hearts & minds (and taste buds) to win over. There are still a lot of thirsty folks out there laboring under the delusion that American Light Lager is somehow a whole other species from craft beer, when in reality it's just one of hundreds of styles of the same drink. If you like American Light Lager, I can point you to several DFW breweries who are making excellent examples of the style. 

But we encourage you to branch out and see what other styles you might like as well. No reason to limit yourself to one item at a buffet! New Main will offer five common craft beer styles: Wheat beer, Pale Ale, IPA, Porter, and Stout. Each is brewed according to style guidelines so you know what to expect before your first sip. Where it gets interesting is when we start releasing special versions of these five recipes with unique ingredients like hatch chiles, lavender, rosewood, etc. Each beer will have different treatments that accentuate the Main style, but ultimately create an all New beer.

Whether you're trying craft beer for the first time or studying for your Master Cicerone certification, New Main Brewing is the place to come and enjoy everything craft beer has to offer. Great tasting beverages, thoughtful discussion, stories of adventure and hilarity, or just the simple pleasure of reading your favorite book in our Conversation Room with a pint of your New Main beer. We're building this brewery for you to find whatever your New Main may be. 


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Still Building This Brewery - April 16th, 2018

It's been so long since I had time to write a blog post that I nearly forgot my login. I definitely didn't have to guess through my security questions, which I also forgot the answers to. And I totally didn't have to have a temporary password emailed to me, after which I then had to correctly type in some wavy letters and numbers through a Captcha. Psh, yeah I'm a regular hackerman.

But enough of that silliness! We've been open for nearly 2 months now! It has been great seeing all of you day by day, week by week come in and support us in the Taphouse as we get our little brewery off the ground. True, it's a little confusing that we're not able to serve our own beer just yet, though we did collaborate with our friends at Dirty Job Brewing a few weeks ago. Anyways, here's a Frequently Asked Questions feature for those of y'all just now finding New Main Brewing:

  • When will you be serving your beer?
    • Short answer - soon. Long answer - We applied for our last bit of licensing in March, and we expect to have our licensing in the next few weeks. Fingers crossed!

  • Will you keep other beer and cider on your wall when you do have your beer?
    • Yes! We love the diversity our 20 taps afford us, and we know you do, too. Plus, if we're unable to brew enough of our beer to serve, we'll have plenty of backup taps to tide y'all over.

  • When will we be able to buy your beer at other Pantego, Dalworthington Gardens, and Arlington bars and restaurants?
    • This may take a while. The minute we start distributing beer out of our brewery, Texas beer laws get a little weirder and more complicated. We fully intend to self distribute once we are brewing enough beer to be able to send out in the world. Let's call it a year or two.

  • Where's all your brewery equipment and tanks?
    • Once the wait for our TTB license is over, we will begin brewing on what will become our pilot system, making small batches of our beer as often as I have the time. Our big equipment will take a little longer to acquire and install, but it will be located in the northwest corner of the Taphouse - behind the Community Signature walls.

  • How can we help you get brewing sooner?
    • Great question! We are selling VIP Name Plates that adorn our bartop right in front of our tap wall. There are two levels, silver and gold. Silver name plates are $100 and gold name plates are $150. The dollars from your VIP Name Plate go directly into our brewing equipment fund, so the sooner our bartop is completely covered in our Community's names, the sooner we can get our full brewery churning out award-winning New Main beer! (Tell your bartender you want to help New Main get brewing the next time you're in the taproom!) 

  • Can we rent the brewery for private events?
    • Heck yeah you can! We have several private events booked over the next few months including birthday parties, anniversaries, wedding receptions, company parties, and a bunch more! Whatever your gathering may need, we have the space and the beer to make it memorable. Depending on the size of your party, you can rent out the Conversation Room or the entire Brewery! Just email to get on our calendar.

The past 2 months have been a whirlwind of activity for us, and we're having a great time building New Main Brewing Company. Even after the past two and a half years of building New Main, we still get folks in the Taphouse telling us they didn't know we were here! The biggest help each of you can be to us right now is to share this post and tag your friends and family members. The more folks we reach, the sooner we get to do the really fun stuff like brewing big ol' batches of Pantego Porter!

Let's make it interesting. Each person that shares this post from our New Main Brewing Company Facebook page will be entered into a drawing for a FREE RENTAL OF THE CONVERSATION ROOM!!! You read that right, share the Facebook post for a chance to rent the Conversation Room for up to 50 people for F-R-E-E! We will announce the winners at our big Cinco de Mayo party on (you guessed it) May 5th. Help us spread the news that Pantego has its very own brewery! Cheers!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Built a Brewery: February 14, 2018


We did it.

We BUILT the brewery.

As of this post, it has been 1 year, 8 months, and 22 days since we announced that we were going to open our brewery. In that time, the dream of New Main changed shape as we realized the monumental effort that goes into starting this business. From the first excited moments to this milestone in our history, we are enormously proud and truly humbled to be able to share this victory with all of you.

On Tuesday, February 13th we received our Certificate of Occupancy and passed our initial health inspection, allowing us to open our doors for the first time. We poured our first pints for the friends and neighbors who believed in us and supported us over the last 2 years in a small, private opening party. I'd love to say the first pints of beer were New Main Brew, but I'm incredibly heartened to say instead that the first liquid to issue forth from New Main came from the people that inspired us to do this. For the time being, we are operating our taphouse as a craft beverage bar serving the finest Texas beverages until we can acquire and assemble our own brewing equipment. You can see what all we have in store for you by looking us up on the Digital Pour app right now!

There are countless people directly responsible for sustaining us through our efforts to build New Main, and it would be folly to try to name everyone individually. However, we would not have taken the first step down this path if not for Wade & Sean of Division Brewing opening their home and brewery to us while we were just craft beer fans and bloggers. They taught us how to take pride in what we create, how to mean everything we do, and how to stay firmly connected to the community that is built around a well-crafted pint of beer. We are proud to serve Division Brewing's finest at New Main.

We are thankful for the New Main fans that have followed us on our journey building this brewery, and we can't wait to meet your friends and family. We are officially in soft-opening mode starting Thursday, February 15th, and we are planning our Grand Opening Saturday, February 24th. Our hours of operation will be as follows:

Mon-Wed: Closed
Thursday:  4pm-10pm
Friday: 4pm-10pm
Saturday: 1pm-10pm
Sunday: 1pm-7pm

We'll make a few posts on social media to make sure you know where to park so you won't get towed. We also encourage all of you to designate a driver, take a ride-share through Uber or Lyft, or if you're close enough, take a stroll through Pantego and come on foot. Nothing beats a nice evening walk to your local brewpub!

If you're in the neighborhood, stop in for a pint and see what we've been working on for yourself. Please bear with us as we get our feet wet learning how to run the taphouse, and I promise you we'll work our tails off to build your New Main hangout. Cheers!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Building a Brewery: January 24, 2018

Oh crud, I've gone and done it again. I went nearly a whole MONTH without telling y'all about our progress! Bad brewer, bad brewer. As always, the lack of news doesn't mean that there is nothing to talk about. On the contrary, there's so much happening that I haven't had a moment to frantically scribble them out for y'all. Buckle in, there's a lot to talk (and get excited) about!

We're thiiiiiiiiiiiiiis close to finishing all of our major renovation items in the brewery. I am pleased to report that our fire sprinkler system is nearly complete, with only a few fittings and inspections left to check off the list. We are also up and running with our new cooler and CO2 equipment, and I'm working on hooking up all our beer and gas lines. The bar is fully built, and we're currently installing shelving underneath for storing beer glasses. We have hot water at the bar, which believe it or not was a somewhat difficult task to accomplish. The conversation room is fully furnished, and we're looking for some nifty signs and artwork to hang in there to make it more homey. We bought and built some bar height tables for seating underneath our string lights, you know, to set the mood. We finished fencing in the back yard fully, and we have a few finishing touches left on the deck. The Mirral is finished and looking mighty fine, thanks to Amanda spending countless hours adding all the right touches. And I'm sure we've done a bunch of other stuff that I've managed to block out of my memory thanks to stress and sleep deprivation!

I was looking through my brew journal the other day (it's manly if it's a journal about beer), and I realized it has been since April of 2017 since I've brewed my own beer. Sad face emoji. In order to rectify this crime, I will be taking a break from the world of sawdust and industrial adhesives to brew up some Pantego Porter with our friend AJ this weekend. This brew sesh will not only mean some of our own real live beer will be
in the world again, but we will also have the honor and privilege to christen the Hoffman Conversation Room, which is dedicated to AJ's father's memory. We are also building up our collection of fine Texas Craft beers for our opening events. I'd love to tease our lineup, but I think pictures speak louder than words. Keep an eye on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts for hints as to what we have in store for you. There may already be a couple hints out there...

Enough already! When is the opening?!
Unfortunately, it's not quite up to me. That is to say I'm doing everything in my power to make it as soon as possible, but we have various agencies and governing bodies that have to inspect and approve our facility before we can invite the general public in for a pint. I can tell you when I'd like the opening to be: September of last year. That's when I was emotionally ready to fling wide our doors and commence to pours, but alas the real world works a bit differently. I will say this: February 2018 is going to be an important month in the history of New Main Brewing. Again, like share, and subscribe to our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds so you'll be the first to know when our opening weekend will be.

Folks, I cannot tell you how much your readership and support has meant to all of us at New Main Brewing. From a humble home brewer's blog to budding entrepreneurs, we wouldn't be anywhere without the community that has formed around us. We love running into y'all at other breweries in DFW, chatting over email and Facebook, and reading your comments on our Instagram posts. When we've had a long day of hard work at the brewery, those little things help us wake up the next morning to keep doing it for another day. We can't wait to pour your first New Main brew.

Podcast Alert!

Don't forget, you can hear weekly updates on the brewery by subscribing and listening to our unofficial podcast, Casually Lit. Jason, Rohde, Chris, and David belly up to the microphones each week to talk about everything craft beer and entertainment. We bring on guests in the local craft beer scene who are all doing some pretty awesome things in our community. You'll laugh, you'll learn, and hopefully, you'll get a little Casually Lit. It's not a podcast, it's a show!

And, for a sneak peek of the New Main taproom, make sure to watch our #CasualFriday videos where we take one craft beer and review it from the comfort of our brewery. This week we sampled Land Yacht IPA from Armadillo Ale Works in Denton. See what we had to say!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Building a Brewery: December 27, 2017

We have a nice, big, juicy update for y'all this week. But first, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year! I hope Santa brought each of y'all the perfect present, and I hope you have your shiny new list of New Year's resolutions scrawled out and ready to display prominently, if not passive-aggressively at eye-level on the fridge. First at the top of our list is opening our taproom and events venue AS SOON AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE. 

To that end, the holidays were no excuse for us to take a load off and stop chipping away at the to-do list for our opening. We even drafted our friends and family into helping us with some work on the taproom. We added another coat of gold paint to our mirror mural... our mirral? We also began building the actual counter and bartop over which countless pints, growlers, crowlers, flights, and tasters will be shared with you fine people. 

There is still plenty left to do to finalize these items, but we certainly appreciated several extra sets of hands pushing us a few steps closer to our dream.

Do y'all remember when I set out on this blogging journey over a year ago and said we'd share everything with y'all, good and bad, uplifting and down-bringing, warts and all? 

Wart time.

We bought a walk-in cooler from a fella on Craigslist about 6 months ago, and we've been impatiently waiting to hook it up while our contractors worked on some interior improvements necessary for its installation. Once we got the all clear from contractors and inspectors, we excitedly assembled the box, like Christmas morning in reverse. With no small amount of effort, hard work, and swears sweat, we were finally ready to wire it up and get it cold. Our good friend Ron gave me a crash course in electrical work, and we were ready to recharge the fridge unit and cool that baby down. We even used old fence pickets to give the facade an artsy up-cycled look.

We called some fridge techs to come out and breathe life into the empty shell. You ever heard that bad news comes in threes? One: the unit runs on an extremely expensive, out of date refrigerant that is also far less efficient than the current, cheaper refrigerant. Two: with all the holes drilled for wiring, mounting, and the reach-in doors, (forget about the panels that refused to latch together for a proper seal) the condenser and fan would be working overtime just to maintain the proper temperature, IF it even passed inspection. Three: WHEN, not if, the unit failed every couple of weeks, it would be somewhere around $1,000 to "fix" it, and the techs could not warranty any work they did given its age and likelihood to continue crapping out on us. Yay, small business ownership!

So after some quick mafs, I figured it would be cheaper in the long run to replace the box entirely rather than try to limp to our grand opening with the pile of crap we bought from a stranger on the internet. (Insert cliche about getting what you pay for). We began searching desperately for anyone who could get us a cooler in the next 2 weeks, becoming "those people" who don't care that it's Christmas and New Year's soon, and that the company is operating on a skeleton crew, Sheryl, we need it yesterday, by God! No less than 16 conversations and quotes later, we found someone who could get us a running box by New Years. The box arrives tomorrow, and we're going to bust ass to get it running by January 1 so we can start grabbing the finest beverages available for our opening.

To help us recover from our walk-in woes, we were also joined by some new friends of the brewery, Dirk and Alexa for some much-needed brewery cleaning and sign installation. We rented a 30 cubic yard dumpster to throw away pretty much every pile of refuse that builds up after a year of renovation. Toilets, sinks, boxes, sawdust, old fences, you name it. The dumpster arrived at 11am and was full before 3pm the same day. We shed blood, sweat, and tears getting the building cleared out, and I don't mean that symbolically. Alexa stepped on a nail while hauling fence panels to the dumpster (did you know tetanus shots are good for 10 years? Yay!), everyone was sweating profusely in the 80 degree December-in-Texas afternoon, and I'll admit I shed a few tears of joy after we mounted our sign out front of our building.

There's no rest for the weary, and no shortage of axioms and cliches in the beer blogging world. We still have a lot of work to do to open our doors and officially welcome you to the New Main Taproom and Events Center. Each passing day of hard work and dedication by us, our loyal friends and helpers, and each of you sharing our story with friends and family brings us all closer to that first foamy pint. We hope your holidays are safe, warm, and restful. See y'all again real soon!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Building a Brewery: December 5, 2017

It's beginning to look a lot like a taproom! The past few weeks have been monumentally productive for New Main Brewing. We have been working on furnishing our conversation room, completing some major plumbing and mechanical work, building new signage to help bring people in off the street, and getting ready to start building up our beer stock.


Social Media & Signage

For those of y'all following our social media, you know that we just reached 1,000 likes on Facebook. That is a huge deal for us! We are so thankful to each and every one of you who mentioned New Main Brewing to a friend or coworker, and we look forward to a thousand more people to meet in the future. You may have also noticed on social media all of the photos on social media of us swinging hammers and toiling tirelessly inside our space. Our main sign will be placed over the existing sign in front of our building (because up-cycling), and should be easily seen and read from Pioneer Parkway - Spur 303. We will be staining and sealing all of the wood to keep it weather-proof, then we will install that bad boy very soon. Expect lots more photos from artistic angles and such.

Taproom Improvements

We have also been working on a creative solution to there being mirrors on almost every vertical surface in our building. We're planning a simple mural to cover a good portion of these mirrors, which should make the taproom feel more like a taproom and less like Zumba class - not that there's anything wrong with that. We have also been replacing some lighting fixtures in the conversation room to bring a little warmth and comfort to the place. We spent the last few weeks scouring DFW and Facebook Marketplace for inexpensive but tasteful furniture for an eclectic mix of pieces that will make your beer drinking experience richer. As a bonus, I've meet even more folks excited to come see us once we open (and maybe sit in their old chairs for nostalgia's sake).

T.A.B.C. & B.E.E.R.

We are also proud to announce that our TABC licensing came through! We are now authorized to purchase beer, cider, kombucha, coffee, or whatever beverage you would like to see issuing from one of our 20 taps. We assembled our cold room this past weekend, and with a few connections here and there, soon we should have her cold and ready to start amassing a great selection of Texas craft beverages. We have a handful of suggestions so far, but we'd love to hear more about what y'all are excited to try. We need you to tell us what you want to drink, so email and let us know what we need to track down. 

New Main Studios

New Main Brewing has also become the new home to our beer-centric podcast, Casually Lit. Casually Lit is basically a weekly bottle share where our friends Jason, Rohde, Chris and I share five or so independent brews and chat about what's moving and shaking in the Craft Beer scene. We discuss things like proper aging of beer, the latest trends in new beer styles, and we bring on guests from across the spectrum of beer experience - from your average macro beer drinker to actual professional brewers and beer journalists. If you enjoy the types of conversations overheard at any given brewery tour or taproom, then you should love our show as much as we love bringing it to you. Fair warning, we discuss adult topics with adult language, so it might not be great for the kiddos.

With the help of some great friends, we have been transforming this great big shell into our new home (just like a nautilus). We still have a large amount of work to do, but there is most certainly a light at the end of the tunnel. The number one question on all of your minds, I'm sure, is "When are y'all going to open?!" The best answer I can give you is "Not soon enough," but I can say with finality that we are weeks away from a couple soft opening events. 

We will likely have our Grand Opening in January 2018, but we have not set a date yet. Join our mailing list to be included when we send our invites out for the upcoming events in our newly remodeled taproom, and you'll be the first to know when we are ready to fling our doors wide and serve the finest beverages Texas has to offer. Cheers!