Family Business Beer Company [Dripping Springs, TX]: Visit to a New ATX area Brewery
I was finally able to visit Family Business Beer Co last Sunday (Mar 4). I was sad to miss the grand opening (Jan 10, 2018), but I was on an eight day craft beercation in Colorado at the time. I know, the struggle is real. 😉
I must admit I had a few apprehensions about FBBC. I was hoping it wasn’t going to be a complete tourist trap and wasn’t overly hyped because of Jensen Ackles’ (of CW’s Supernatural; yes, I watch) fandemonium and affiliation with the brewery. And, the fact that there is a food truck on-site run by one of the guys from the TV show Duck Dynasty only added to my “hmmm…” feelings. I did not eat during my visit, but saw the truck was “Jepp’s Southern Roots” which I actually experienced at Austin’s annual Trucklandia Food Truck Festival last year and the food was tasty. You will put out about 11$ for a shrimp Po’ Boy, but they are a decent size.
As a self-proclaimed brewhead, my main question was “is the beer actually going to be good?” Short answer, yes. With ex- head of 512 Brewing Company Nate Seale at the helm as brewmaster, I don’t know why I had so many doubts. On my visit they had nine craft offerings. Their menu board is great for people who might not very well-versed in craft beer. It includes basic information such as abv%s, styles of brew, aaaand “notes” (aka flavors) of each brew. When in doubt, ask for a taster and they will oblige. Since it was my virgin voyage, I decided to go for a flight. Flights are nicely priced at 10$ for four 5 oz pours; slight upcharge if you want to include a higher abv selection [pints prices are a bit on the high side straight from the brewery, ranging from 6.25 to 7.25$]. I went for: “Haulin’ Oats” Brown Ale (nice Brown, chocolate hints with slightly bitter hops), “Dark Star” Black IPA (one of the better [sadly dying niche] BIPAs I’ve had; just right combo of dark chocolate and citrus punch), “The Grackle” Imperial Stout (came in at a respectable 8.9%abv, poured black as night with a milk white head) and “Ocelot” New England IPA (was ok, but not really a NEIPA hazy juice bomb – needs to more aggressively hopped IMHO – oh, Julius o Julius…wherefore art thou? – I jest). Again, yes, the beers are good. They currently don’t distribute anywhere (not even to local restaurants/bars via kegs); however, they can fill a growler to go. They do not do crowlers. I must admit I was a bit more than surprised when I asked the young man behind the counter if they did and he had no idea what crowlers even are (still in training?). No big deal.
FBBC is located on 15 acres, the grounds are sprawling and filled with large shade trees. The main building houses the brewery and massive tasting room. It is much more industrial than I would have thought given the area, with hints of Hill Country charm here and there. The woodwork about the “bar”/serving area is fantastic and I really wish that would have incorporated more of that throughout their design. It is a very large space with lots of tables, a long covered patio, several picnic tables about, and a huge fenced in kiddo playground. It felt a bit sterile; however, maybe that’s just because of the newness. Maybe with time, character will develop and grow (kind of like Dean Winchester; Ha! Apologies…I could not help myself…mwah!).
Overall, it’s a nice addition to the Austin area craft beer scene. It’s obvious the proprietors poured loads of money into building and development, so I wish them the best of success. I heard there are continuing changes to come (e.g., live music, special events, converting the large country house on-site into a full-fledged restaurant). They’ve just gotten started. And, yes Mr. Ackles is on property at times and does not shy away from a mugging for a photo. 🙂 Cheers to the shared love of good beers!
19510 Hamilton Pool Road
Dripping Springs, TX 78620
Taproom hours: Wed – Fri 3-10PM; Sat 11AM-10PM; Sun 11AM-9PM; closed Mondays & Tuedays.
Free paved lot.