A massive new brewing operation, Bear King Brewing, officially roars to life this weekend in Marble Falls with a grand opening celebration that will feature a ribbon cutting and more.
Many breweries are family-owned enterprises — but perhaps none quite like this one. When JD Guidry decided to become a professional brewer, his siblings jumped at the chance to join him in the business. And it's an arrangement that works: Each one has their own skills they can use toward operating the brewery, located just off Main Street in the Hill Country town an hour northwest of Austin.
"We all work well together," Grant Guidry, J.D.'s younger brother, said. "We all have our own strengths. I handle marketing. My older brother is the brewmaster, and he's why we're doing this. It's his dream. My younger brother is behind restaurant operations. And my sister and brother-in-law are kind of administrative and legal. It's been working well so far, and it's so good what we've accomplished."
Although the grand opening festivities run throughout this weekend, starting today, Bear King has been up and running on a soft opening basis for a couple of weeks. The 5,500 sq. ft. taproom and restaurant offered a scaled-down food menu of bar bites including cheeseburgers, as well as two of the four beers the brewery launches with. (All four of them are expected to be on tap for the grand opening.)
Once ordering at the counter, customers can sit anywhere in the large, warm space, including picnic tables in the main room and additional seating in a room that can be partitioned for private events. There's also a shaded patio Guidry said they call "the beargarten" that will be the site of live music shows.
Bear King debuts four beers that you might call staples of many craft breweries, each one created in the 20-barrel brewhouse situated beyond the taproom. The facility also has room for a canning line and larger tanks, but these are both part of future plans, Guidry said.
Here's a look at the four beers that Bear King Brewing has.
The Wandering Blonde Ale: Created as an introduction to craft beer, the light, bright style is more malt-forward than hoppy, with a 4.6 percent ABV and a flavor profile that is both refreshing and slightly sweet.
Webster's Dilemma American Pale Ale: "Webster is an American Pale Ale who’s a little bitter. See, he wagered a bet against himself and can’t tell if he won or lost. His dilemma is your gain in this single-hop, slightly creamy pale ale with bright citrus notes and a clean finish," according to the brewery.
Bird's Word Pecan Porter: Roasted pecans thrown into the brew lend the rich, crisp porter an almost smoky characteristic, in addition to notes of chocolate and coffee. The pecan halves are lightly roasted on-site at the Bear King Brewing kitchen. It's the beer with the highest alcohol content at 6.4 percent.
Swiggy India Pale Ale: You'll get lots of citrus notes — grapefruit, in particular — in this easy-drinking, mildly juicy IPA featuring Citra, Simcoe and Cascade hops.
At the weekend-long grand opening, which kicks off today with a ribbon cutting at 4 p.m., there will be live music, a full food menu and more festivities. The Guidry siblings are just excited that the business they've worked on together is, at last, in full swing.
"We've worked hard for the past two and a half, three years to get this ship sailing, and it's finally moving," Guidry said.
Bear King Brewing — named after a Marble Falls legend — is located at 207 Avenue G in Marble Falls and open for lunch and dinner 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursdays-Sundays and Mondays. For more information, visit facebook.com/BearKingBrewing.