If you have been paying attention to growing businesses in the DFW area, one type of business has been rapidly growing and becoming a part of our lives: breweries. Not even three years ago there was hardly anything at all. Rahr & Sons in Ft. Worth had been well established, but that was pretty much it. Today there are almost two dozen breweries across DFW from Granbury to McKinney, and in the near future, Addison.
Bitter Sisters Brewing Company will be the first brewery operating in Addison and the North Dallas Corridor. The location, which is located on Surveyor Blvd. just north of Belt Line Rd., is currently getting a makeover before the beer begins pouring. A remodeling process is currently underway which will include offices for the brewery staff, a large tasting room and the production room, complete with a mash tun and fermenters.
Matt Ehinger, owner and brewmaster at Bitter Sisters Brewing Company, started brewing his own beer at home in 1993. The Oklahoma University graduate also worked in a brew pub and a part time job at a local restaurant that served a variety of craft beer. After using his industrial engineering degree from OU to work in semi conductor manufacturing for the past decade, his passion still remained with beer before he and his family got together to start Bitter Sisters Brewing Company.
“Our name really says what we are,” says Ehinger. “We’re sisters and a brother along with our family. Hence Bitter Sisters Brewing Company.”
Ehinger tells me that even though there will be only two employees on staff when Bitter Sisters Brewing Company begins making beer, his entire family plans on coming together to help out. From volunteering at the brewery for tours and events to helping pour beer in the tap room, it truly will be a family affair.
A large tap room will be available for patrons who want to enjoy a glass of beer at the source, which is thanks to a new Texas state law. Until last year, breweries in Texas could not actually sell beer on site, you would have to go to a restaurant, liquor store or grocery store to find it. To enjoy any beer at a brewery, guests would have to purchase a tour of the facility and included in that tour would be three or four beer tastings, but once you ran out of tastings, that was it. Plus these tours usually only happened once a week. The new law now allows breweries to have tap rooms where they can sell beer by the glass to patrons who want to try more beer. The tap room can also be open more hours and days during the week, perfect for stopping by for a glass of local craft beer after work.
“We were following the law very closely,” says Ehinger. “We are one of the first breweries that will open [in DFW] since the law has been passed and it was a big part of our decision to open the brewery. Not only will people be able to try our staple beers in the tap room, but they will be able to try experimental and limited release beers at the brewery that they won’t be able to find anywhere else.”
Bitter Sisters Brewing Company will also have another unique aspect compared to other DFW breweries, the goal is for 50 percent of production to be lager-style beers. Lagers are brewed at cooler temperatures for longer periods of time compared to ales, so many DFW breweries may only offer one lager style beer, if any. In fact the core, year-round beers Bitter Sisters Brewing Company intends to produce include a German Helles Lager, Marzen, Irish Red and American IPA. Ehinger tells me that they will experiment with batches and create seasonal and limited-release beers along the way like a Doppelbock and Imperial Stout, but the core-four are set.
The production capacity of the new Bitter Sisters Brewing Company is a 30 barrel system, which translates to just under 1,000 gallons of beer. This means that at any given time, a maximum of 30 barrels of beer can be fermenting at one time in the brewery. If you’re curious, that translates to just under 10,000 12 oz. glasses of beer.
Bitter Sisters Brewing Company also has room to expand their brewing capacity depending on what demand is like when the brewery begins producing. At first beer will only be available on draft, but Ehinger mentioned that the brewery will start to look into canning their beer in maybe three years.
So when can you stop by for a glass of beer at Bitter Sisters Brewing Company? The target date for opening the brewery will be in August of this year. Currently paperwork is being processed by TABC and the equipment to make the beer is being assembled. I think I speak for everyone when I say it can’t happen soon enough!
For more information on Bitter Sisters Brewing Company you can head over and like them on Facebook.