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Oasis, Texas Brewing to launch summer 2014

Arianna Auber
aauber@statesman.com

When the space that once housed the short-lived Uncle Billy’s Lake Travis re-opened as events venue The Mansfield on Thursday, Spencer Tielkemeier was at the opening party, standing for much of the time near the glass-walled room where Uncle Billy’s former gleaming stainless steel brewing system is waiting to be used. All smiles, he was happy to share details about his upcoming brewery, Oasis, Texas Brewing, which he hopes to get up and running in June.

That system won’t be relocated, as Tielkemeier will brew right alongside The Mansfield, eventually opening a taproom where Oasis visitors can come and drink the beers. In the meantime, he has plans for the brewery to produce three mainstay brews that will be available both in cans and on draft around town. They’re all sessionable and all classic flavors — an American pale ale, a kellerbier (an unfiltered lager) and a hoppy English-style session ale — because Tielkemeier has a soft spot for them and looks forward to the chance at making his own version of them.

“Texas breweries often feel the need to have a lineup of beers that are all really different,” he said. “We want to do our own take on the pilsners and the pale ales.”

But he also added that once the core three have been introduced, Oasis, Texas Brewing will also craft a line of “bigger, barrel-aged, experimental beers.”

All are going to be made in the brewhouse that Uncle Billy’s lake location, which closed in November 2012, didn’t have much of a chance to break in. Tielkemeier, who has brewed at (512) Brewing and Live Oak, also put in some time as head brewer at Uncle Billy’s and got to know the state-of-the-art brewing system there a bit.

“We really only had about 50 or 60 batches go through it,” he said. “Some of the tanks never even saw beer, so I’m excited to break them in and see what they can do.”

He’s still waiting on permits before he can fire them up, but has plenty to do in the interim. He said he’s working on branding right now for the cans, and he’ll find another brewer to work with him once Oasis, Texas can start making beer. Although the taproom won’t come along right away, Tielkemeier is planning to give the brewery a grand opening celebration in early summer.