“High-fruit forward sours, barrel-aged stouts, big boozy stouts, hazy IPAs, a lot of hops, lots of hops, lots of fruit” are coming soon to a new brewery in Houston’s Sawyer Yards.
Taproom and Marketing Manager Marin Slanina said she is ecstatic to open the new Urban South Brewery HTX in January 2020 at 1201 Oliver St., Suite 10. The New Orleans brewery that has been very successful since 2016 is bringing its more innovative side to the new 14,000-square-foot indoor space. The new brewery will include a large taproom, a brewhouse, two private meeting spaces and a patio with outdoor bleachers and a yard out front.
Three brewing pals
Marin and her husband, R&D Brewer Justin Slanina, and General Manager and Brewer Dave Ohmer and his wife have been best friends for years and met through brewing. Most recently, Marin, Justin and Dave came from B52 Brewing in Conroe, Texas. When Urban South wanted to head west into Texas, they decided to recruit Houston locals for the job.
“So we on this end will be brewing all different styles of beers, the same styles that Urban South New Orleans produces but in an R&D [research and development], completely different spin of what Justin and Dave’s creative mind and skill sets are going to bring to the table,” said Marin.
She said Urban South New Orleans is one of the leading production breweries in that city with beers like Paradise Park American Lager, Holy Roller IPA and Who Dat Golden Ale, so the Houston team hopes to be successful too.
All in the technique
The Houston brewhouse is set in a fishbowl kitchen in the middle of the entire space. In a beer-crafting crash course, Marin explained, “In layman’s terms, you create a very fancy sugar out of the sugar content in grain. Extract out the sugar content in grain. Hot sugar water transferred to a holding vessel, where you pitch the yeast. The yeast eats the sugar and [produces] CO2 and alcohol.”
Marin said making the sugar water is the easy part, but then comes the science and craft of it all: the cellaring and making the beer look presentable to drink in a glass are just some important aspects of it.
The family- and dog-friendly taproom will have tables for seating about 100 people, a 12-seat bar with electrical plugs to get some work done, 30 taps, video games and a large door that can turn it into a breezy indoor-outdoor space. Marin said there will be food trucks at times and some other snacky foods that might be served by local pop-up eateries.
“I am most excited about serving beer to Houstonians in this space, like what these dudes create — that just gave me goosebumps — that these dudes create, the grain to glass is perfection.” Marin said. “And then my role and my job is to execute their vision as an experience to a guest.
A family of breweries
Although here are several breweries in the area and many across Houston, Marin said she is not worried about facing competition, adding that each brewery is unique with its own specialties and offerings. After long days of work, Marin, Justin and Dave head to some local breweries to enjoy a cold one because right now they do not have a functioning taproom of their own. Marin looks forward to being able to repay them soon with lots of cases of their own beer. To her, the brewing community is a big family.
“Pick out pretty much any brewery in the Houston area and ask pretty much anything that you need, and they’ll answer and they’ll be there for you,” Marin said.
What will set Urban South Brewery HTX apart from other places, she said, is the great space and the strip center that includes Urban Axes (a new axe throwing business), City Orchard cidery, a barbecue place and a catering company. Plus, she said the community of area breweries will soon make for some really fun pub crawls.
Marin said she and the team make beer for the love of the craft and the quality of the product.
“Craft beer is all about fun for me and doing it with a good beer in hand.”
There will be a Sneak Peak Bottle Share from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 19, at the brewery. The BYOB event will feature a tour at 8 p.m. Pardon the dust, but you’ll get to see the upcoming place’s great bones. For further updates, follow Urban South Brewery HTX on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
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