Thursday, August 1, 2013 , Updated 2:30 p.m., December 23, 2013
Cobra Brewing Co. opened in Lewisville December 21
This beer thing is really catching on.
LEWISVILLE Something's brewing in the suburbs of DFW. Just a month after we reported that Grapevine Craft Brewery will open this fall, another suburban brewery is making waves, this one near Lewisville Lake.
Cobra Brewing Company,
slated to open in October [UPDATE: which opened December 21], is the brainchild of Lewisville residents Bill Shaw and Neil MacCuish, who have a combined 13 years of experience in the beer and wine industries. Both men inherited these passions from their fathers -- Shaw’s dad worked with distributors to organize church beer festivals in upstate New York, and MacCuish’s produced beer and wine.
As a father/son-in-law pair, it only makes sense to continue the legacy, they said.
“We were giving [our homebrew] away to folks, as we went to different events, and everyone was looking for the new recipes,” said Shaw, a homebrewer of three years. After much public display of support, he decided to sell the Irving-based taekwondo studio he owned and begin this new venture.
Cobra Brewing Company is taking over a 4,200-square-foot warehouse in Old Town Lewisville where it will house a five-barrel brewing system and three fermenters. All the equipment is repurposed from the former Tundra Brewery in Stamford, New York, which closed in April. The materials were purchased for roughly $25,000, Shaw said. That money-saving deal and the profit from selling the taekwondo studio almost fully funded the build out, he added.
The Cobra Brewing project has become a family affair. Shaw’s daughter, Danielle MacCuish, is in charge of marketing while his wife, Sharon, controls the finances. Neil MacCuish is head brewer, and even his parents plan to contribute homegrown hops to the operation.
“They bought a bunch of plants and are starting to grow them in New York,” MacCuish said, adding that Cobra Brewing Company will probably use the hops from next year's harvest.
In terms of taste, Shaw and MacCuish admittedly make a dynamic team. The former attests a love for darker beers -- stouts, dark lagers, ambers, anything “purposefully hoppy” -- and looks forward to winter seasonals. The latter prefers the lighter brews such as lagers, wheat beers, and hefeweizens.
Cobra Brewing Company and Grapevine Craft Brewery are not technically related, though the two boast many similarities. For starters, both breweries are located in the historic Main Street districts of their respective cities near the most prominent tourist attractions -- Lewisville Lake and Grapevine Lake. And both businesses are slated to open in October.
Shaw said the city of Lewisville is even looking to Grapevine in hopes of cultivating a bustling downtown.
“They’re trying to build a nightlife in Old Town Lewisville,” he said. “We’re hoping to add, through these tours and through happy hours, stuff to attract a younger crowd.”
Shaw and MacCuish denounced the notion that coinciding open dates with Grapevine Craft Brewery will hinder either from success, stating that even though craft beer is currently a competitive marketplace, local brewers do more to help than hurt one another.
“There’s not really competition between the craft guys … the competition is with the big breweries,” Shaw said.
“It’s more of a family, in a way,” MacCuish added.Follow @tineywristwatch
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