EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - Craft beers are exploding in popularity across the U.S.
In fact, the Craft Beer Association says that there are more than 5,000 small and independent craft breweries operating in the states. That is compared to only 50 in 1980, according to SmartAsset.com. And according to the Brewers Association, Texas produced 1,165,579 barrels of craft beer in 2016, ranking seventh out of the fifty states. That's 1.9 gallons per adult of legal drinking age in Texas. They also say that the craft beer industry had a $3.7 million impact on the Texas economy in 2016.
New breweries cropping up in East Texas are adding to that number, with creative new brews that lend them a regional flair. These breweries, as you'll see, consider contributing to the communities surrounding them an important part of what they do, as well.
Athens Brewing Company - This brewery in Henderson County is owned by the folks at Tara Winery and Vineyard. They offer their great beers on tap, and say there is always something new always in the fermenter!
This brewery, like others in East Texas, considers itself family-friendly, offering things for kids to drink and providing some fun activities, as well. For instance, they offer a kids (and kids at heart) fingerprinting table on Saturday and Sunday during the day. They also offer a restaurant menu.
Head Brewers: Brittany Pierce & A.J. Campbell
Manager: William Pierce
Athens Brewing Company is located at 101 E. Tyler Street. Their number is 903-952-7493.
ETX Brewing Company - The newest brewery in Tyler. It's located downtown, where a growing number of young-adult-aimed businesses are migrating, to get away from some of the retail and commercial feel of the South Broadway area. According to their Facebook page, brothers Brian and Matt have been brewing collectively for 20 years. Through this passion for creativity, they turned their focus from a hobby and an outlet, into a plan to pursue a dream. ETX Brewing Co. says they are a production brewery and taproom, representing a business that has a focus to help the community.
ETX Brewing Co. is located at 221 S. Broadway in downtown Tyler. Their number is 903-630-7720.
True Vine Brewing Company - Founded in 2011, True Vine was the first brewery to open in East Texas. More than just Tyler's 1st craft brewery, though, True Vine says they strive to create true, authentic community through love and integrity in all that they do. From artistically driven beers to Back Yard events, they say their goal is to produce their craft beers with excellence. Each specialty handcrafted beer at True Vine represents depth of concept and flavor and is meant to be enjoyed around a table with old friends and new, the owners say.
True Vine is located at 219 S. Englewood in Tyler. Their phone number is (903) 600-0124.
Oil Horse Brewing Company - Oil Horse's owners say they are the first micro-brewery in Longview. They are located at 101 W. Tyler Street.
John Oglesbee and Jack Buttram are the brewmasters. Their beers can be found at area restaurants such as BJ's Brewhouse, Buffalo Wildwings and Rotolo's in Longview. Call 903- 241-4450 for more information.
None of these breweries are open all week long. Make sure to call to find out which nights and what hours they'll be there before you drive.