It’s been a few weeks since the big news dropped that seminal can-friendly Colorado brewery Oskar Blues plans to open a brewery and taproom here in Austin, TX in 2016. (Check out our original post for the full press release.)
The brewery, which will be located at 10420 Metric Blvd., will be housed in a 50,000 square foot building with 5,000 square feet devoted to a taproom and live music space which will bear the same name as the brewery’s Colorado and North Carolina taprooms–Tasty Weasel. Initial brewing capacity will be 30,000 bbls a year, with a future build-out capacity that could exceed 100,000 bbls.
After the news broke, we were eager to learn more about why Oskar Blues chose Austin, how the taproom would operate, how the brewery would fit in with the Austin community, and some nerdy logistcs, so we caught up with Oskar Blues Marketing Director Chad Melis via email for a quick Q&A.
Check it out…
Q&A with Oskar Blues Marketing Director Chad Melis
Bitch Beer: Can you tell me a little bit about how the decision to open a brewery/taproom in a third market played out, and why you landed on Austin?
BB: How did you select the space/neighborhood for the brewery and what stage of planning/construction/licensing are you now in to gear up for an April 2016 opening?
BB: What states/territories will the beer brewed in Austin supply?
BB: Texas laws currently pose some unfortunate challenges to being able to operate this taproom the same way you operate your Colorado and North Carolina taprooms since Texas doesn’t allow beer-to-go sales from production breweries (whether that’s cans, growlers, crowlers, etc.) Do you plan to join some of the legislative efforts in Texas to change this, or are you happy to just focus on draft beer in the taproom?
BB: You mention in the press release wanting to stay small and engaged with the communities you sell beer in/like to spend time in. Can you tell me about how you see Oskar Blues fitting into the Austin community and culture, and what it’ll mean to have a facility here?
BB: On that note, any plans to brew taproom exclusives/ TX market exclusives, or collaborate with local breweries and businesses on beers and events?
CM: The Tasty Weasel Taprooms are made to share our space with beer drinkers, complete access. We drink the coffee brewed in the taproom, we have meetings there and it basically serves as our lunchroom and place to hang. Expect to be sitting next to a brewer, taking a tour with them or sharing a beer with us.