Monday, January 16, 2012
Firewheel Brewing Co. to open in Rowlett in spring
Serving brew to the locals of Rowlett, Sachse, Garland, and East Plano.
Brad Perkinson, a former financial analyst, is the owner-brewer, and he embodies the prototypical beer nerd story.
"I got a homebrew kit from my best man at my wedding," Perkinson says. "I had no idea what I was doing. My first batch was horrible. I drank it, don’t get me wrong. But then I got into brewing, twice a week, and started getting tons of requests from family and friends."
Providence intervened: He got laid off from his financial analyst job. "So I decided to throw some money at it and see what happens," he says.
His plan is to go totally local and serve his neighborhood.
"I live in Sachse and there's not a lot of places around here," he said. "I found a building that's near where I live and it's ideal. It has a room that is perfect for tastings, because I'm going to offer brewery tours. It's fully insulated so I can install a kegerator and not be in the warehouse."
Perkinson is a mere 25, but he's using his financial knowledge to move from homebrewer to microbrewer carefully. He plans to brew just 500 kegs his first year, and his first issue will be a Texas-style pale ale -- golden in color, slightly hazy, with a little bit of hops and a little bit of sweetness. If he sells enough ale, he'll move on to an IPA, loaded with hops.
"I'm a hop-head -- I love beer with a lot of hops, a lot of bitterness, the floral notes, the pine flavor," he says.
He hopes to start brewing in March and have his first batch done by the summer.
"I'm trying to plan for mistakes before they happen -- if you think you need $50,000, you really need $80,000," he says. "I'm branding myself as a nano-brewery to start, just serving Rowlett, Sachse, Garland, and maybe Plano. I would love to build a dedicated following of people who are proud to support something local instead of buying Coors."
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