Freetail Brewing Co. is now able to sell its beer for wholesale distribution for the first time, thanks to recent changes to the state’s alcoholic beverage code. To that end, the brewpub has partnered with the nation’s second largest beer distributor, Silver Eagle Distributors, which has operations in Houston, San Antonio and surrounding areas. Silver Eagle will be the exclusive wholesaler of Freetail products for a roll-out that will initially include the San Antonio metro area and surrounding counties.
“This is a historic moment for our company,” said Freetail founder and CEO Scott Metzger. “We are honored to not only be partnering with one of the country’s premier distributors, but also with an organization that stood beside us in the fight to loosen restrictions on small craft breweries in Texas.”
What made this possible is that, during the 2013 regular session of the Texas Legislature, SB 515 was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. The bill made it legal for brewpubs like Freetail to sell their beer to wholesalers, who in turn can sell to retail license holders, such as grocery stores, restaurants, bars and package stores. Such sales had been previously outlawed.
“Freetail Brewing Co. has been a favorite of San Antonians since opening its doors in 2008,” says John Nau, president and CEO of Silver Eagle Distributors. “All of us at Silver Eagle are very excited to partner with a business like Freetail that has such a passion for both beer and the local community. We look forward to expanding the brewery’s reach outside of its brewpub so that local residents can also enjoy Freetail in the comfort of their own home or favorite bar.”
In order to meet the market demand for Freetail beer, the company is constructing a 30,000-square-foot brewery at 2000 S. Presa St. When complete, the facility will have an initial capacity of 6,000 barrels a year and is expandable up to 60,000 barrels a year. The company has stated its goal is to be “San Antonio’s beer” and to first expand its presence at home.
“A lot of breweries start out and expand to as many markets as possible. We want to do the opposite by focusing on our hometown and become the first thing people think of when it comes to craft beer in San Antonio,” Metzger said.
Though the San Antonio market will be the primary focus starting out, the company still has eyes on other markets in the future. “Houston, we hear you,” said Metzger, referencing a failed bid to open a Freetail location in Houston in 2011. “While we may not be opening a physical location there, our partnership with Silver Eagle is especially exciting because it gives us the potential to expand to the Houston market when the time is right.”
The initial roll-out, slated for mid-summer, will include draft and 22-ounce bombers. Cans are projected to be available as early as this fall. The brewery currently has four year-round beers plus a variety of seasonal and limited editions available throughout the year.
Ranger Creek dinner set for April 5
Passed pinchos, including pork belly “chicarrones” and smoked venison sausage paired with Ranger Creek Texas Bourbon will be served before Spring Berry Brined Quail Legs and Brazos Valley Edam Croquette with la Bestia Amiable. Curried Coconut Goat Ragout with sweet pea shoots and the Oatmeal Pale Ale precede Center Cut Coffee-Rubbed Beef Ribs with Speckled Hen Beans and Mesquite Smoked Porter. Dessert is Chocolate and Spring Figs with Chocolate Pâté and Small Batch No. 8.
The price is $45 a person plus tax and tip. For reservations, call 210-558-2439.
Look for Beer Week updates
The San Antonio Beer Week website is now set up for this year’s festival, which is set for May 10-18. The week is beginning with a party at Branchline Brewery from noon to 7 p.m. May 10.
For more updates, click here.