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Bottle & Tap

Brewing coming back to Pearl

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A new brewpub and barbecue joint is returning to the land where beer was brewed for nearly 100 years. Last week, The Granary sought permission from the city's Historic and Design Review Commission to put brewing equipment, a bar, and dining room in an existing house at The Pearl complex just north of downtown. Additional construction will allow for a kitchen to turn out barbecue with an emphasis on pork.

Behind the project are brothers Tim and Alex Rattray. Tim has a background in food with such credits as Andrew Weissman's The Sandbar and Bruce Auden's Biga on the Banks. Alex will take the helm at the brew kettle.

Architectural drawings submitted to HDRC appear to include three fermentation tanks and four serving tanks in the cold room.

The duo told's man-about-downtown blogger Ben Olivo that they hoped to be open in August or sooner.

The restaurant side may come together fast enough, but brewery approvals and delivery of brewing equipment has become incredibly slow in the last two years as hundreds of new small breweries open around the country.

This would have put the downtown area on pace for three brewpubs this year. But early this week, Filling Station Brewing Co. brewer and partner Dwight Mulcahy said in an e-mail that the venture on South St. Mary's has been called off because of time constraints that would have sacrificed quality.

Alaskan drifts south

Alaskan Brewing Co. beers are finally making their way to thirsty Texans.

Alaskan first told me of their plans to come to Texas at a brewer's conference in Boston nearly three years ago. The pace has been glacial, but come April we'll be enjoying Alaskan Amber, Alaskan White Ale, and Alaskan IPA on draft with bottles soon to follow.

The highly regarded Alaskan Smoked Porter will roll out in kegs in November through statewide distributor Ben E. Keith Beverages.

"Alaskans and Texans seem to have a lot in common, especially in their appreciation of wide open spaces and of quality craft beer," said Alaskan co-founder Marcy Larson. "We have been getting letters, calls, and emails from thirsty Texans for years."

Brewing classes

The new food-ideas incubator Bake, Broil & Brew is hosting a hands-on brewing class February 25 with a snazzy brewing setup at 1508 Guadalupe Street.

Homebrewers Jeremy Banas and Dan Gomez are leading presentations once or twice each month. Go through the four- to five-hour process and return in a couple of weeks to taste the grains of your labor. The cost is $65 and includes four half-gallon growlers of beer to take home. Sign up at or call 336-7258.

Travis E. Poling is beer writer for the Current and is co-author of Beer Across Texas: A Guide to Brews and Brewmasters of the Lone Star State. You can hear him March 8 at The Friendly Spot Ice House leading the monthly Beerducation series.

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