San Antonio area taps new craft beer breweries
The Boerne area has its fill of brewpubs with the likes of Cibolo Creek, Tusculum, Dodging Duck, and Boerne Brewery. But local craft beer fans are now pouring into two new area breweries, one of which has reopened with a bigger taproom.
Elsewhere around San Antonio, a Northeast Side brewer is gathering momentum in building a facility, and a fourth brewer keeps making beer while searching for a permanent home.
Kinematic Brewing is back with a new location off Interstate 10 en route to Comfort. It originally opened in a business park east of Boerne in 2015, but closed in 2018 to build a larger standalone brewhouse and taproom that now boasts five tap lines, and indoor and outdoor seating. The new Kinematic also has lots of space for lawn games, food trucks, roaming around with the family dog, or watching a band perform on a small stage.
“I think we were prompted to make the move out of our previous location simply due to the fact that we just outgrew that space and the fact that it never provided us the opportunity to create an outdoor/destination-type atmosphere, which is something we always envisioned being a part of our story,” says Jon Beaumont, brewer and co-owner.
Set to reopen in 2020, Kinematic was sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic. But the prolonged closure gave Beaumont and his crew time to make sure everything was right with the new facility.
“It definitely threw us and everyone else for a curve, but we were determined to get up and running and do what we love to do,” Beaumont says.
Barrelman Brewing is a newbie in the Hill Country microbrew scene. The owners are Fred and Andrea Locke, both of whom were born and raised in the United States with Filipino roots that inspire the brewery’s name, a popular souvenir from the Philippines.
Tucked inside a small business park off I-10 between Boerne and Comfort, Barrelman has five original beers on tap alongside a handful of guest beers from across Texas and around the country.
The taproom is small and cozy, but holds a fair amount of mainly indoor bench seating and is pet-friendly. Hungry patrons can choose from light bites such as bratwurst on a pretzel or Hawaiian bun baked by San Antonio’s Chicago Bagel & Deli. If that’s not up your alley, visitors may enjoy charcuterie.
On the other side of San Antonio, the owners of Gather Brewing Co. in Universal City are making progress with their brewery and taproom.
In late June, the owners said brew tanks, glass, and front panels were installed, and the privacy fence was going up.
Gather has been hosting pop-up events onsite, offering free beer and selling merchandise to the public in the meantime.
“It’s starting to come together,” owners posted on Gather’s Facebook page.
Viva Brewery continues to produce brews with help from Austin’s Celis Brewing, distributing to multiple retailers and nearly 130 local bars and restaurants.
COVID-19 and other circumstances slowed Viva’s search for a brick-and-mortar location, with the original plan for an East Side site falling through. But founder Michael Johnson and brewer Bobby Jones are not deterred. Working with Celis to produce beers for a growing fan base gets Viva’s brand out to customers while the company seeks a suitable locale.
“It was a wise decision, the way we structured our business,” Jones says.
Aside from its four core beers, Viva has been distributing a summer seasonal, Ale Camino, and plans to do a fall seasonal, Viva Los Muertos.
“It’s a unique deal for us,” Johnson says of the fall beer.