Former Blue Owl brewer to open farmhouse brewery in Texas Hill Country
The Texas Hill Country is going to be the rugged site of a new farmhouse brewery, Roughhouse Brewing, early next year — when five acres of the owners’ family ranch will have transformed into a brewery and tasting room.
Roughhouse is the vision of Davy Pasternak and his wife, Alex. After three years working behind the scenes at Blue Owl Brewing, where he ultimately became head brewer, Pasternak is forming his dream brewery that will focus on farmhouse-style beers fermented in large wooden barrels, called foeders.
Though Pasternak’s time at Blue Owl means he knows how to create sour beers, that’s not exactly what he’ll be producing at Roughhouse. Farmhouse ales tend to be a little funky, tart and dry, thanks to how they’re made, versus outright sour.
In this case, each of the beers will reflect the character of the wild Texas landscape around the ranch: dry, oaky and earthy, Pasternak said. These include the Treeform Farmhouse IPA, the Ona Farmhouse Amber, a table beer, and another style currently in development. Each one will ferment in the American oak foeders using Roughhouse’s house mixed culture.
Pasternak is also developing yeast harvested directly from the Pasternak Ranch. Making nuanced, yeast-driven beers — similar to what you’d find at other farmhouse breweries like Jester King Brewery, where he’s also worked — is his goal with Roughhouse.
The name of the brewery “combines all the things we want this brewery to embody,” he said. “We wanted to have something that would get at the rustic nature of the ranch setting we’re in. It’s pretty wild. And our beer is also going to be pretty rustic. It’s dry, wild, has a grit to it. The name is also playful, kind of a nod to those familial times your mom is telling you to stop roughhousing with your siblings.”
And certainly, Roughhouse Brewing is a family project. Pasternak and his wife had long been wanting to open a brewery of their own, but their dream officially took off when his parents, who own an accounting firm in Dallas, decided to purchase roughly 50 acres of land just outside of San Marcos to retire on.
Five of those acres are isolated from the rest of the property. Construction is starting on that part of the land for the large wooden barn that will serve as the brewery and tasting area. The majority of the seating for visitors will be outside, he said, “because it’s so pretty out here.”
“We’re surrounded by a couple groves of young live oak trees that you can sit among and have a beer,” he said.
Roughhouse Brewing, at 612 Oakwood Loop, is located on the same road as Middleton Brewing. The breweries will be a 15-minute drive from each other, and Pasternak looks forward to having something like what Blue Owl enjoys on the east side: having a support system of breweries that help each other out.
He hopes to have Roughhouse open by January next year. Keep an eye on the brewery’s progress through the website, at roughhousebrewing.com, and social media sites, including facebook.com/RoughhouseBrewing.com.