I can’t believe it’s already been a year of Texas Brew & BBQ. What started as a way to share our experiences with the rest of the bbq-lovin’, beer drinkin’ Texans, has turned into quite the project.
Thankfully after the first year I’m still just a fan of amazing food, amazing service, amazing stories of the history of business, the hard work it takes to brew beer, package beer, and promote beer.
We don’t get paid for this, and it’s important to note that until we do- we can’t visit everyone. I think from the conversations I’ve had with people I’ve met over the last year- there’s definitely an eagerness to get the word out from business owners. Whether it be a husband and wife team cranking out some amazing barbecue (Hays Co. BBQ, Roegels BBQ), or a local brewery that’s just trying to compete with big beer and put out a delicious product.
When you talk to these people you realize you’re talking to the owners. The main representatives of each business. The people I was able to grow great relationships with are the local joints and breweries, those that really appreciated the help to promote their business.
The barbecue community in Texas is amazing. I first noticed it at a pop-up that Ronnie Killen did in Austin at Foreign & Domestic. It was one of the first events I went to, and when I got there Wayne Mueller from Louie Mueller Barbecue was there helping out Mr. Killen with one of his pits.
I thought, wow- he’s another restaurant owner, but he’s here helping out his colleague. That’s neat. Wayne comes up many times in my memory, who coincidentally was willing to take time out of a really long day to chat with me at the end of Gettin’ Sauced last year. It was the first event we did, and without really knowing anything about what we were doing- gave up his time to chat. He shows no ego, and is willing to give his time to help others.
I’ve seen it time and time again.
I also noticed it at the most recent Houston BBQ festival. Everyone from the festival promoters to the restaurants in attendance were more than eager to share stories, help each other out, and were really happy that we wanted to help share their stories.
My local barbecue spot that I’ve grown to love is Hays Co. BBQ in San Marcos, TX. They have been extremely supportive of this website and they are always willing to take time out to come chat with me and my family. It’s a great operation that starts with business owners Michael and Asenette Hernandez and ends with Jesse Miranda. There are PLENTY of people in between, but those people work extremely hard to provide quality food, a great time, and to make you feel welcome. They sincerely appreciate each customer that walks in the door, and that doesn’t happen at each bbq restaurant I’ve visited, sadly.
With the current trend of needing a line out front, or showing-off that you’ve ‘Sold out’, it’s important to remember to just do the best at what you do. Customers will show up if you’re putting out quality product consistently, you’re appreciative of your customers, and you generally seem like you love what you’re doing.
There are a TON of amazing bbq people I’ve met over the last year that have been supportive of what we’re trying to do. Bryan, Scott,Robert Lerma,Bill Dumas, Robert Sierra, Jimmy, Jess, and Aaron Haley are just a handful.
Breweries are a little different. For one, the main purpose of the brewery is to put out product that people can enjoy from their own homes or at their favorite bars/ restaurants. The owner-to-consumer relationship wasn’t meant to be so personal, but as craft beer popularity continues to grow, more breweries have welcomed their fans into their own home, so to speak.
The beer scene is definitely a lot more clique-y though. Each beer region has those handful of breweries that are just more comfortable interacting with the same group of people. Not really interested in opening up to others. But it’s ok. The main job is to put out quality product, not be forced to chat with their fans. It’s not bad, but it doesn’t let outsiders feel like they can be a part of the community.
There are some amazing beer people though I need to give shout outs to:
The entire group behind Craft Beer Austin, Frank Mancuso from Saint Arnold, the ENTIRE Karbach Brewery and marketing team, Rahr & Sons marketing department, Raffi from Independence Brewery, and the Spune team behind the Untapped Festival.
These people have gone out of their way to either support us and/or allowed us to get information about their products to the public. They’ve also sent us promotional items that we could give away to our fans early on when we were just getting started.
My partner in crime for this site, Chuck, has also been instrumental in getting this project going and has been a huge help getting content and helping me struggle to find my voice in this whole journey. Chuck will also thank a handful of the people that helped get this site off and running:
I’d like to take this opportunity to reflect on my year with Texas Brew and BBQ as well as thank a few folks out there. I remember when Danny brought up the concept of Texas Brew and BBQ to me while catching up at Black Sheep Lodge in Austin. I was immediately drawn to the idea for a few reasons. First, I’m truly a fan of Texas, brew, and BBQ. Secondly, as a small business owner, I loved the thought of helping other business owners reach new audiences and find success. I was also extremely excited about helping Danny see his vision come to fruition.
Since that meeting in Austin I’ve consumed some of the finest brew and BBQ that Texas has to offer and I’ve enjoyed every stop. That’s not to say that everyone out there is doing great things. There are definitely spots and products that outshine others. The truth is, for me, it’s not about the competition. It’s about the journey, the people, and the story.
I want to thank Danny for allowing me to contribute to Texas Brew and BBQ and share in what has been a great experience. I would also like to thank Danielle for her contributions to the site, Caleb Wills for his hand in our launching, and everyone of you that has visited the site and then gone out to taste for yourself.
Lastly, I must thank my wife Lindsay for her love, support and willingness to eat BBQ almost everywhere we go. I’m extremely excited about what this next year will bring, especially my second child due in February.
Eat, drink, and rejoice!
Our format will continue to stay the same. We’re not here to throw people under the bus, so reviews are just not going to happen in the basic sense. We write about who we think are doing a great job, and if not, well we just won’t write anything.
Thanks again to everyone that has helped us along the way. For those who we haven’t had the good fortune to , ahem, meat yet– Looking forward to chattin’.