A lot has been going on in San Antonio the last 18 months. Reports of brewpubs, breweries and establishments focusing on craft beer have been filling the newspapers and blogs creating temptation for their readers. One such brewpub opening down at the Pearl complex later this year, is The Granary ‘Cue & Brew.
The brainchild of brothers Alex and Tim Rattray, the brewpub brings back brewing to the Pearl a little more than a decade after the famed and historic Brewery ceased operations after more than a hundred years. The Granary will join a complex that has helped to revitalize the old brewery area into a vogue shopping and dining area in San Antonio. Heading up the kitchen is Tim Rattray, who is no stranger to restaurants, having been directly involved with the opening of Il Sogno and Sandbar on E. Grayson St. Alex, who gained a love of beer after spending time in England, began homebrewing a couple of years ago and will take on the task of brewmaster.
The brewpub moves into the former family home of Ernest Charles Mueller, who arrived from Germany in 1890 to take over as chief copper at the Pearl, said Rattay. Mueller was brought over by his friend, and former Anhieser co-worker Ignatz Hrovat, the brewmaster at the Pearl. The Mueller house was the central meeting place for the family, having been a central meeting place for the family over the years. The home stayed in the Mueller family until 2004 when it was sold to the Pearl complex.
After pitching their idea for a brewpub to the Pearl Brewery LLC, the Rattray brothers were shown several properties as possible locations. They eventually settled on the Mueller house, not knowing at the time the location’s historical connection. Tim and Alex recently received approval from the city of San Antonio’s Historic and Design Review Commission and should have their lease in order in a few weeks. Plans were to open by mid-year, but will likely be towards the latter part of 2012 at this time.
Plans are to have a 7 bbl brew house in the restaurant, with a Blonde Ale, Saison, IPA and Brown Ale to start off, and seasonal brews throughout the year available to tempt the palates of patrons. The brewpub plans for around 8 offerings on tap, some of wich will be guest brews from other Texas breweries.
For those also coming for the ‘cue, the Rattray brothers are bringing in a 1,000 lb BBQ pit made in Mesquite, Texas to lovingly prepare the meat. Come on by at lunch and you’ll find more traditional BBQ fare with a typical counter service available, as well as your meat by the pound. Come back in the evening and you’ll find a more full-service approach, with wait staff, food pairings and a more relaxed feel with BBQ styles from around the world, with the option to still get your meat by the pound. Why the different approaches? Tim advises that they wanted to make lunch efficient and accessible for those on the go, but have a relaxed, elegant option for the dinner crowd.
Both the beer and the ‘cue is all artisan in approach said Tim and Alex, getting as many local ingredients as possible. The meat will be sourced from ranches that humanely raise their animals, something Tim says has become a passion of his in recent years. Tim went on to say that they will approach the brewpub in the best way, taking care of their customers and employees and only sourcing ingredients from those who have the same philosophy. A recent blog post on the brewpubs website sums it all up “We are a globally inspired barbecue restaurant, rooted in Southern hospitality, hand-crafting our own beer.”
Up and Coming
Ranger Creek Brewing and Distilling’s monthly open house is this Saturday from 2-5pm. “This Open House we’ll be celebrating Texas Independence Day! Come hang out and help us wish Happy Birthday to Texas! We’ll have samples of our beer and bourbon, cool vendors, and music. Food will be available for purchase. $5 gets you the standard souvenir pint glass filled up 3 times. For $2 more you can add a bourbon evaluation, which will take place on the hour at 3:00 and 4:00. If you already have your own Ranger Creek pint glass, bring it with you and you can just pay $3 for tickets. Please bring your ID and your willingness to hang out over a few beers.” Also in the works, is the soon to be released, ‘Lucky Ol’ Sun, a Belgian Golden Ale inspired brew cooked up by brewmaster Rob Landerman!
Bake, Broil and Brew, the San Antonio based kitchen incubator, features monthly brewing classes for those interested in learning how to brew their own beer at home. Classes run $65 and gets you a four hour class, plus when you return a few weeks later, you’ll walk home with 4 growlers (1/2 gallon each) of the beer you helped brew. Classes witl be taught by Dan Gomez, Paul Ford and myself. The next scheduled class is March 24, and will be taught by yours truly. Details forthcoming from Bake, Broil and Brew.
Stone Brewing Company’s latest collaboration beer, TBA, or Texas Brown Ale, is crafted with love by the Escondido based brewery, along with Bear Republic of Haldsburg, CA, and the Pittsburgh, PA based Fathead’s Brewery. A bit of a misnomer in name, the Texas Brown Ale is a hopped up version of an English Brown Ale and was born from the efforts Northern California homebrewers in the 1980’s. It gained notoriety at a Houston homebrewing competition, from which the American Homebrewers Association later coined the name. The brew is up for TABC label approval and should be hitting Texas soon.