Texas microbrew trend spreads into Hays County

WIMBERLEY, Texas (KXAN/COMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER) — The demand for craft beer in Austin has become so popular that the trend is now spreading to Hays County.

One microbrewery that initially intended to fill pints for a few friends, is now planning to fill barrels instead.

Middleton Brewery brew master Dennis Middleton never knew retirement would keep him so busy. “I came here to retire and make a little beer and enjoy myself,” said Middleton. “It turns out I gotta make beer all the time.”

His little pub has become so successful that they’re moving to a larger facility next month. They’ll then produce 20 times the volume they brew today.

“People will fall in love with that, and they’ll come here, and they’ll run us dry,” said Clayton Rahmburg, a Middleton Brewery employee. “So our objective is to go somewhere where we can brew enough.”

The thirst for microbrews has grown over the last few years. According to the Texas Craft Brewing Guild, the number of licensed brewers jumped from 35 to 78 between 2007 and 2011. Hays County is one of the state’s hotspots, partly because operating costs are lower.

“Between here and San Antonio, that’s going to be another area of big growth,” said Charles Vallhonrat of the Texas Craft Brewing Guild, on account of the plentiful commuter traffic between the two cities.

And that’s great news for Middleton…sort of.

“Now apparently they want me to make a lot more beer…so that’s what I’m going to do.” said Middleton. That means Middleton’s retirement will just have to wait.

In addition to Middleton Brewery’s expansion, Bomber Brewery plans to open its doors in Kyle this July. A third brewery called Aquabrew plans to open in downtown San Marcos early next year.

Read more about this on the Community Impact Newspaper website.

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