Friday, January 17, 2014
New brewery in Keller built upon natural spring water — literally
When it opens this spring, Shannon Brewing Co. will have a pipe directly from the spring into its facility.
KELLER Beer is composed 90 percent of water, arguably making it the most important ingredient in brewing. That’s Southlake resident Shannon Carter’s thinking, at least.
Carter is founder and head brewer of Shannon Brewing Co., a soon-to-come brewery currently under construction on the 22-acre Samantha Springs property in Keller. Here, landowner Joe McCombs bottles and sells water from a natural spring. According to McCombs, the honeycomb-looking rock naturally purifies and filters the water, giving it a unique mineral composition and distinct flavor.
Come April, that flavor will be the foundation from which Shannon Brewing Co. builds its brand.
“We are going to have a direct pipe from the spring into our brewery,” Carter said emphatically during a recent interview.
A homebrewer of 15-years, Carter’s ambition of owning a brewery is a long time coming. He sold his advertising agency and moved to North Texas from Austin two years ago. The 53-year-old father of two said planting roots in DFW was a no-brainer because of the bubbly craft beer scene.
“The DFW area is the last major metro area to really gravitate to craft beer,” he said, adding, "my contemporaries are putting out some really good products, which means we are all educating the North Texas consumer.”
Once the brewery is finished, Shannon Brewing Co. will operate a 30-barrel brewing system inside a 6,500-square-foot brewhouse, Carter said. The facility will have an onsite taproom and a 2,500-square-foot outdoor beer garden. Carter anticipates construction on the building to be finished by March and to be able to serve his first suds by April 1.
Carter specifically likes to brew European styles from blondes to stouts. Some recipes, like his Irish pale ale and Irish red ale, pay tribute to his Irish roots. His great-grandfather was a brewer in Ireland.
Carter recreated a custom “step temperature” brewing system that allowed his great-grandfather to change the temperature of the mash to activate and deactivate certain enzymes in the beer, he said. While step temperature brewing is not unique to Shannon Brewing Co., the fact that his system relies on fire rather than steam is. The 30-barrel mash ton is mounted on a moving track so that he can move the brew on and off the fire for desired results.
Landowner McCombs said he hopes Shannon Brewing Co. is the first of several businesses on his property. He mentioned adding restaurants and maybe even a performance theater. Since the spring produces an average of 200,000 gallons per day, McCombs said there is plenty to go around.
“The mineral makeup makes Samantha Springs different from any other spring,” he said. “Whatever the ingredients or characteristics, this water seems to work well with coffee, tea and now hops.”
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