The Martin House Blog

Here's what we've got to say about things.

Asa The Intern

Hey everyone, this is Asa, Martin House Brewing’s summer intern. I’ve been here just over a month and wanted to keep y’all up to date on the brewery and myself. I am 22 years old and was born and raised here in Fort Worth. I graduated high school from Trinity Valley in 2009 and attended Oklahoma State University that fall. I just graduated this May of 2013 with a bachelor’s in Agribusiness and a minor in Marketing. I promptly began my position here at Martin House the Monday after I graduated. Beer is a hobby of mine that I want to make a career out of. Cody, Adam and David have been great about showing me the ropes with the production side of the beer industry and I am getting to meet a lot of amazing people along the way. I’ve learned that making a delicious craft beer for the masses is not as easy as throwing grain and yeast into a barrel and hoping for the best. The guys put an intense amount of hard work into their brews and when you drink our beer you can taste the difference. I’ve been lucky to get this position not only because of the opportunities I have getting to know the business, but also getting to work with some incredible people who really care about what they do and the community that surrounds them. In the future I’ll be keeping y’all posted on what our weeks are like and feel free to post any questions you have for me on the blog. Follow me at @TheInternMHBC...

More Keg Names

We had such a fun time naming our first bunch of kegs, we decided to name the next bunch as well.  We added 81 kegs to our small but growing fleet of beer delivery devices.  There were plentiful suggestions from friends, family, and fans, and the names that made the cut are listed below.  There will be more kegs to name in our future, so if your suggestion didn’t get used, we hope you’ll try again next time. Here’s our dapper intern posing with his masterpieces: We let the first 30 people into our Saturday tour and our gracious volunteers name some: Jessica Lauren Roadster Carson James Zombie Wrangler Two Peas Big Country Mugs 88 MD Webb Lil Country Tadasana Brewce Willis Ego Blue Eyes Chupacabra The Konig Mojopin MF Boom Novi Sad Zag Oswold Cobblepot Fourteener Fifel’s Philanderer Jeech The Intern Tully Ragnar Lothdrok Breakfast of Champions The Aluminum Falcon 96/4 rule Mail Order Brewd Dies Irae Silly Rabbit Master Menace Django Untapped Fabstract Reverend Destructo Captain Insano Brewchacho Pockets We let some of our Facebook friends name some: Ethel Robb Stark Der Flug Meister Lonely Donkey Kong Inebrio Montoya Birdemic Trogdor Kegolas Keggy Hill Shoes Tobias Funke Betymonster Keg2-D2 Notorious K.E.G. Papou Yia Yia And few more that just seemed to come out of the ether. Mama Mel Maxie Bear Frank Costanza Del Boca Vista Newman Saucy Vossy Floyd Brown FreeBoosie Pisotl Pete Aragorn the Bold Juan Miguel Pokie Patty Mayonnaise Hoby Wan Kenobi Val Pal Doro Mace Windu Bug-a-boo Kit & Pooh Kemp Yoke II A Scurvy Pirate Daddy Rage Jive Turkey Pain Train...
What a Week.

What a Week.

Finally after all the dreaming, scheming, fundraising, searching, investing, leasing, buying, building, plumbing, piping, wiring, planning, prepping, calling, and a billion other adverbs, we launched Martin House Brewing Company this week. Our launch party at the Flying Saucer was surreal. The place was packed with people having a great time drinking Martin House beer. The support we had from our friends and family and the whole community was incredible. Personally, I spent much of the day wandering around in a daze with a goofy grin on my face only partially comprehending what was going on. It was indescribably rewarding to talk with so many people that had come out to try the beer and support their local brewery. Big time thank you to all the people that were able to make it out. The rest of the week was just as rewarding. We finally rolled the truck out and started deliveries to many of the friends we had made in the long lead-up to delivering keg #1. We had a fun time trying to figure out the mechanics of wheeling 300 pounds of beer on a hand truck into the narrow confines of some tight walk-in coolers. My first experiences with draft line cleaning were… interesting. Luckily, we have awesome (and patient) customers that were very accommodating. As I was making deliveries, Cody and Adam were brewing three more batches and the week seemed to simultaneously fly by and crawl by. It was all capped off with The Big Texas Beer Fest on April 6th where we spent 5 frenetic hours pouring beer and meeting hundreds of DFW beer...
Pre-Launch Jitters

Pre-Launch Jitters

As the launch date nears, we seem to be picking up the pace. We’re putting in longer days and checking off projects on the never-ending to-do list at a high velocity- although sometimes it seems like for every thing we cross off, three pop up to take its place. Work has changed. Tasks are no longer broad strokes like “rent a building” or “purchase brewhouse,’ but things like “wire and fine-tune the instrumentation” and “leak test the glycol loop.” We are nearing the end of the list, and we are all almost giddy with anticipation. Since we leased the building, Cody and Adam have been working nearly non-stop with a single-minded focus on all things pertaining to bringing the brewhouse online. For the most part, I was split about 50/50 between sales and marketing and helping out around the brewery. Unlike Cody and Adam, my background is decidedly not technical, so I’m not really able to size up a complex plumbing challenge and come up with a solution. But now, in the final push, that doesn’t really matter- I’m able to help with the thousands of little things like cutting and delivering unistrut , screwing together endless piping assemblies, or even buying Subway so the guys can continue to work uninterrupted. At any rate, if we keep up the pace and single-minded determination, it’s very realistic that we’ll be brewing next week. Although anytime I say something like this I feel like I am tempting fate to knock us back a couple of weeks. That might happen, but if it does, we’ll say a bunch of swear words and then soldier on-...

The Kegs are Named

We’re getting close to launch. All the major purchases have been made and the tanks are all in place. Physically, it’s just a matter of getting them hooked up and making a few test runs. However, on paper we still are at the mercy of licensing- we need our federal license and label approvals before we can sell, but thankfully we are now talking with an actual real person for these items so the light at the end of the tunnel is flickering. Our best guess for the first delivery is early March, give or take a few weeks. We hope it’s give. Or take. Or whatever means earlier. One of the final and most important tasks is naming our kegs. It wouldn’t do to send our precious brews out into the world without a worthy vessel. And now that our kegs have good names and cool paint jobs, they’ve got enough personality to do the job. The following list (in no particular order) contains the name of our kegs. Many thanks to those who submitted ideas- via Facebook, email, in person, or other channels. There’s no real rhyme or reason to the names, we just kind of threw them together. Some are pop-culture references, others funny, meaningful, Texas/Ft Worth-related, or just eyebrow-raising. We had a good time collecting them. We hope that when you order a Martin House brew this spring, you ask your bartender for the name of the keg your beer came from- It could be a name you suggested… Boo Radley Roman the Barbarian Ammy Benetar Roscoe Abby Bain Ron Swanson Pantsuit Zavala Jem Cody...

Why is Designing a Tap Handle so Hard?

We have been spending a lot of time together lately putting in long days inside the warehouse turning it into a brewery. The building is coming together – essentially all of the demolition work is done, and now we just have a few things to do before the final push of installing the brewhouse. I’m quite pleased that we can stop breathing powdered drywall now- demolition is dirty work. It’s actually pretty fun in there most of the time. One of the things that I like about working for Martin House is that I get to work with my friends. It’s also one of the things that can be tough. For example: when I was working with my professional acquaintances at a larger more traditional/corporate business, it was rare that I would get in a heated argument (replete with eye-rolling and deep sighs) regarding tap handle materials and logo placements on said tap handle in a busy restaurant. In case you were wondering, yes, this happened recently.  I don’t think we drew any out of the ordinary attention from lunchtime crowd, but our friend/consultant at the table that was helping us out had a pretty nonplussed look on his face during our discussion. The thing is, Cody, Adam and I are all very comfortable with each other, we all feel confident in our opinions, and we all feel very strongly about making the brewery a success. When you add these ingredients together, sometimes things can get a little testy. We’ve had several instances where we had to hash out some problems under higher than required emotional strain. With passion...

Filling An Empty Warehouse

Now that we have a warehouse to call our own, we are doing a good job a filling it up with stuff. The idea is if we get enough stuff, one day it will magically transform into a brewery. Of course, there are some minor details to take care of so that the stuff will actually coalesce into a functional system, but we’ll worry about that later  constantly. As we are working with the city on permitting and getting our certificate of occupancy, we are filling some of the downtime (not that there is much of it) with scouring the Internet, talking to other brewers, and checking news boards for pieces of the brewery that we will need. It can be pretty fun to parse through all the options we have for our various toys, but it’s also a little nerve-wracking. Are we getting the best price? Is it dimensioned properly for how we are going to use it? Is it going to break down the first time we power it up? It’s one of those situations where you could keep searching and second-guessing yourself into oblivion without ever actually making a purchase- not a great habit to get into if you are time-constrained. Usually, the stuff we acquire is budgeted in the business plan, and we expected to spend money on it. For some of it, we are opportunistic. Our cold liquor tank (Pac-Man) falls into the latter category. What is a cold liquor tank you might ask? Well, in brewing we call water “liquor” and its contents will be cold. After boiling 1,000 gallons of wort, we’ll...

A Home For Martin House

I suppose that every life is marked with important milestones: first birthdays, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, obtaining driver’s licenses, ordering your first beer at a bar, etc. Well, Martin House certainly hit one late last week when we finally signed the lease on a beautiful space that met or exceeded almost all of our criteria. It’s official- we’ll be moving out of the backyard and into a warehouse. The space in question is a 9,000 square foot building just barely outside of downtown situated directly (I mean directly) on the Trinity Trails. As you make your way east on 4th street out of downtown it’ll be the first building on the north side of the street across the river. Check it out on your next ride, but watch out for the trail detour right around Riverside Park. From the garage doors you can watch the sun set against the downtown skyline. 220 South Sylvania Avenue, Fort Worth, TX View Larger Map It wasn’t all sunshine and roses however. We had multiple false starts and prolonged, fruitless attempts at doing deals that were extremely frustrating. Good brewery sites don’t grow on trees, and when we did find an adequate place, someone would come in and buy the building we were trying to rent (or attempt to buy, then back out at the last minute leaving us high and dry.) With the equipment scheduled to arrive in the early part of November, we were feeling pretty stressed. As luck would have it, from the moment we found the place (located by cycling by and looking up the bank of the river) to the...
The Pioneer Spirit

The Pioneer Spirit

  We are very happy to announce that Adam Myers has joined our team.  There are now four of us working hard to get you premium quality craft beer as soon as possible.  Adam is a valuable addition to our team, and we’re lucky to have him.  Adam has a wealth of knowledge in the construction, engineering, and craft beer drinking fields.  He’s got an aversion to commas that he learned in the Cormac McCarthy school of writing, but we didn’t bring him on for his writing skills. Here’s Adam: Hello this is Adam Myers and this is my blog introduction.  I am 33 years old and a civil engineer by profession since 2005.   I have 2 dogs, 1 cat and 1 girlfriend.  I do enjoy drinking a fine beer.  I love construction and building and I love to build it myself with blood sweat and bad words.  Cody Anna and David asked me to join their team and I already knew the answer but I said “I need to think about it.”  Really, I had to find out if my old lady would leave if I said I want to quit my job and help build a brewery.  She said “Do what you’ve got to do.”  Turns out she was right this is something I’ve got to do.  As has been said previously opportunities like this don’t come along every day in fact I can’t think of the last time I had an opportunity of this magnitude.  I remember the buy-one-get-one-free nachos on Mothers day, that was great but not something really big like this.  The thing that...
Building our Stockpiles

Building our Stockpiles

With so much activity going on (buying our brewhouse and attempting to lease a building), our beer stockpiles were getting dangerously low. So, this weekend I headed over to Cody’s place for a backyard brew session. As I write this, I’m sitting on the porch watching Cody bustle about the backyard- my offer to “help” was appreciated, but there’s only so much work to go around. I’m sure when it comes time to clean, there will be plenty to do. Fortunately, it’s actually a pleasant temperature in the shade, and Roscoe the MHB brew dog is excellent company. The “Real Housewives of Martin House Brewing” are putting chicken on the grill, so I am anticipating a sure-to-be-splendid lunch. All in all, it’s got the makings of a good day. The intended fate of the beer we’re brewing (beside personal consumption) is to have samples for all the events and sale calls coming up in the near future. Now that we have made progress in fundraising and building the brewery, our focus can shift more towards getting our name out. The plan is to sit down and figure out what events make the most sense for us to host or sponsor. We’re also planning on putting together a list of places that might be interested in selling our beer, and then paying them a visit. Our theory is now that we have a system on order and an address (knock on wood),  we have the requisite credibility to start promotion in earnest. We should be able to answer the question “when can I get some” with more precision than in...

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