To the excitement of Texas culinary arts students, in April 2016, brewing company Oskar Blues will be opening a brewery in Austin, its third location in the U.S. The other breweries are in Colorado and North Carolina. According to the Denver Business Journal, this will be the first Colorado-based brewery to have facilities in three different states. Being the first isn’t new to Oskar Blues, having been the first craft brewery to package its beer in cans. The newly acquired property will be just north of downtown at 10420 Metric. The 50,000-square-foot space will include the brewing facility, a taproom and a live music venue.
“North Carolina and Colorado are filled with amazing communities and experiences mingled with live music and … great craft beer scenes,” said founder Dale Katechis in a statement. “The passion and rebellious nature of Austin locals, along with the food, craft beer and live music scenes create a vibe that already feels like home.”
This announcement was made on the second day of Denver’s Great American Beer Festival, a national beer festival and competition.
What to expect
The full nine-brew line up will be processed at the Austin facility, including claim-to-fame suds, Dale’s Pale Ale. The initial capacity is about 30,000 barrels per year, with the potential for building capacity out to 100,000 barrels. Oskar Blues is rapidly growing, its sales having grown 28 percent this year. The brewer is projected to produce 200,000 barrels by the end of 2015 before the Austin facility even opens, according to the Denver Post.
Though the brewing company is growing, it’s important to Katechis to stay engaged and intimate with the communities he opens breweries in.
Katechis and his high school sweetheart were on a road trip heading north from their native Alabama, and stumbled upon the small town of Lyons, CO and decided to set some roots. They opened Oskar Blues Grill and Brew in 1997 and showcased blues musicians. That location is still open for a burger and your favorite brew. Their Longmont, Colorado production facility was opened in 2002, and their Brevard, North Carolina facility opened in 2012.
While beer is what Oskar Blues does best, it’s no stranger to trying new things. It developed a machine that seals growler-sized cans, known as Crowlers, for customers to take beer to go. This contraption debuted at the Brevard taproom in 2014. The company also manufactures mountain bikes with REEB Cycles, roast coffee and run a cattle ranch and a hops farm.