Jensen Ackles, one of the two main stars of the CW show “Supernatural,” has a new job title to claim: that of co-owner of a brewery just outside of Austin, on 15 scenic, tree-lined acres in the Texas Hill Country.
Family Business Beer Co., which he owns with wife Danneel, brother-in-law Gino Graul and in-laws Ed and Debby Graul, is opening Jan. 10 at 19510 Hamilton Pool Rd. with a handful of beers on tap, a playground for kids and a Southern-style food truck owned by “Duck Dynasty” stars Jep and Jessica Robertson.
The brewery has been a few years in the making for Ackles and Gino, who had been homebrewing and — like so many other hobbyists who become professional brewers and brewery owners — decided they wanted to open a homey place where beer lovers could spend an afternoon. The vision for Family Business Beer Co. came together when they secured the property five miles from Hamilton Pool Preserve in Dripping Springs.
Ackles is still filming the current season of long-running show “Supernatural” with co-star and fellow Austinite Jared Padalecki in Vancouver and is away for long stretches. But Gino Graul is a fixture behind the scenes at Family Business, working alongside head brewer Nate Seale. Formerly the head brewer at beloved local beer maker (512) Brewing, he joined the project early on.
Seale has introduced a range of styles to the opening taps, including the Hamilton Pale Ale named for the iconic watering hole nearby and the Grackle Hill Country Imperial Stout, aged in Garrison Brothers bourbon barrels. The Grackle is “an homage to the unofficial mascot of Austin. But it’s also a combination of Graul and Ackles. And of course we went with the biggest, baddest beer we have,” Ackles said.
He and Danneel, also an important figure at the brewery, moved to Austin from Los Angeles because they wanted to be closer to family — the Graul parents live nearby. And from the start, the brewery has been a family affair. That’s where the name came from, though it had originally been a placeholder for something else, Ackles said.
“We racked our brains for close to two years because everyone emphasizes how important the name is to the success of the brewery,” he said. “And we just kept calling it the family business because family was pretty much all that was involved with it. But at one point, we said, ‘What if we just call it that?’ ... It’s a tip of the hat to ‘Supernatural’ as well.”
In the early years of the show, he said, the slogan was “Saving people, hunting things: the family business.” The horror-fantasy series is now in its 13th season.
He’s aware that many of the people who might visit the brewery are there primarily as “Supernatural” fans. Already, a tourist from Germany stopped by Family Business hoping that it was open because he loves the show so much. But Ackles also wants the brewery to stand on the strength of its beers and the welcoming atmosphere that the Ackles and Graul families have created, he said.
“We want people to appreciate the quality, appreciate the experience,” he said. Danneel “and I have always loved entertaining people at our home, and this is kind of an extension of that. This gives an opportunity to do something we're passionate about and be part of an industry we are really proud of.”
Once Family Business Beer Co. opens, it’ll have hours of 3 to 10 p.m. Wednesdays-Fridays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays. For more information, visit familybusinessbeerco.com.
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