Local fans of craft beer have good reason to get hopped up, as two new breweries are set to open in the coming days and another heads into the new year with major league plans.
Man Overboard Brewing
The soft opening of Man Overboard Brewing is slated for Black Friday, November 26, giving San Antonians a chance to follow the Thanksgiving holiday in the best way: with beer! The microbrewery’s grand opening is set for the following week, on Saturday, December 4.
Located at 1203 Camden St., just a short distance from the Pearl development, Man Overboard will be the newest downtown-area brewery. It’s owned and operated U.S. Navy veteran Ron Merriman, wife Cindy, son Justin, and daughter-in-law Irene.
According to the Merrimans, Man Overboard will launch with eight beers on tap, including two Belgian golden ales, an IPA, a wheat brew, and a Kolsch.
The concept for Man Overboard had been brewing in Ron Merriman’s mind for 15 years, and this year, he was finally ready to take the idea “to the next level,” he says, adding that Man Overboard can now be kindred spirits with other area beer purveyors. “I also wanted to come to downtown so people can walk to other breweries.”
In addition to its tipsier offerings, Man Overboard will also feature a house-made root beer, an onsite food truck every day, and games for children. Ron Merriman says there are also plans to build a patio that will be ready to host beer sippers next spring.
Gather Brewing Co.
Universal City’s Gather Brewing Co. — which owners Mike and Rachel Voeller had originally planned to open this summer but settled for offering beer-slinging pop-up events onsite in the meantime — is finally set to open to the public on Saturday, December 11.
The Voellers used Gather’s social media sites to chronicle the much-anticipated project, which involved converting a former bar into one of the newest breweries on the far Northeast Side.
“We have worked so hard and dreamt about this day for so long,” they said in a recent post. “We’ve had the best support our family could have ever asked for … and it’s finally ready.”
Gather, located at 210 E. Aviation Blvd., will feature a patio — a great place for beer lovers to, um, gather — as well as a children’s play area and a smattering of food items. There are plans to introduce weekend brunch in the near future.
There’s no word on the official beer menu, but it’s fair to expect some of the popular offerings from the brewery’s pop-ups: Kolsch, steam lager, saison, and a barrel-aged Tripel ale.
Free Roam Brewing Company
In nearby Boerne, the owners of Free Roam Brewing Co. have been hard at work converting the former Boerne Liberty Stable on Main Street to the new ale- and lager-focused brew spot.
Free Roam is the creation of former Major League Baseball player Jeremy Affeldt, Brandon Phillips, and Jaron Shepherd. Phillips and Shepherd previously led San Francisco’s 21st Amendment Brewery, which was a personal favorite for Affeldt when he pitched for the San Francisco Giants.
Followers of Free Roam’s social media can check out the ongoing construction progress on the microbrewery that, upon completion, will offer American light lagers, West Coast and hazy IPAs, hefeweizens, porters, and stouts.
While the beer will certainly be a main attraction, that’s not all the owners are after with Free Roam.
“We at Free Roam Brewing Company aren’t just a brewery,” read a recent social media post. “We are a destination with history, personal memories, and community built.”
To that end, expect Free Roam — located at 325 S. Main St., just a short walk from three other downtown Boerne breweries — to feature a beer garden space, a podcast studio, brewery merchandise, and, of course, some baseball-inspired décor, including a stylized bat and ball rack over the massive fireplace.