A Look Inside Family Business Beer Company in Dripping Springs, TX
During the last leg of my trip in Austin, I made a short drive to Dripping Springs, TX less than 30 miles outside of Austin. Sadly, my trip wasn’t for the purpose of visiting the Hamilton Pool Preserve, but somewhere still off the beaten path.
I took a trip to Family Business Beer Co., just five miles before Hamilton Pool Preserve. Most of you probably know that Family Business Beer Co. was opened by the famous, Jensen Ackles, of the TV show Supernatural. But Ackles is not the only person behind the brewery’s founding. Gino Graul, Nate Seale, Jensen, and Danneel Ackles opened it together.
This family of beer enthusiasts placed the brewery on a piece of 15-acre land on a winding road lined with lush green trees.
Description of Family Business Brewing
I decided to go to FBB when I first heard about them in January 2018. I have a short history of working in a brewery and with craft beer community, and I’m sure we can all agree that it is one of the most loving and supportive communities to be a part of.
So, I was delighted to visit FBB in Texas to find that the craft beer community extends far beyond the Colorado craft beer community that I know.
I arrived at opening when a few people were already patiently waiting to get inside and try some beer. Outside, the trees canopied above over a dozen picnic tables, the patio was lined with bar tops and stools, there was a playground for children to play in, and Jep’s Southern Roots food trailer to save you from hunger.
I learned about the interior of the brewery from the bartender, Chelsea, who was quick to express her love for the craft beer community, having been a bartender for many years of her life. Danneel, the wife of Jensen, was the woman behind the sharp looking wood used to decorate the bar and the ceiling above their taps.
The tables inside were pub style and designed to get people to sit next to each other, but the space was still open enough to give people room to move around in. FBB also gives guests the opportunity to take a peek at the brew room through windows.
Connecting With the Community
Out of my curiosity, I asked Chelsea more questions about the barrel system and the type of traffic that comes through the brewery. Chelsea said, a lot of people come here just for the fact that Jensen opened this brewery, but she hopes that there can be a healthy balance of organic visitors/beer enthusiasts and fans of the Supernatural.
She was kind enough to permit me to go behind the scenes to see the brewing system all the while telling me about what FBB does to work with the community.
Because the brewery lives so close to Hamilton Pool Preserve and there are strict water usage laws, Family Business imports all the water from Austin to craft their product. And the grain they used to master their creations is donated to local farmers to feed their livestock.
The contributions and care for the community is not an uncommon practice in the craft breweries I visit.
But How’s The Beer?
Their brewmasters know what they are doing in that massive keg system of theirs. With 16 beers on tap, you can choose from IPAs to stouts to Berliner weisses and much more. Only their first 7 beers on their menu are considered their flagships.
I chose a flight of 4 beers:
- Ghost (White IPA) – 55 IBUs and 4.9% ABV
- Whitetail (Belgian Style Whitebier) – 15 IBUs and 4.2% ABV
- Summer Spree (Berliner Weisse with Watermelon and Basil – 3 IBUs and 3.6 ABV
- The Grackle (Hill Country Imperial Stout) 42 IBUs and 8.9% ABV
I recommend doing flights of beer because it gives you a broader spectrum and allows you to really taste the different flavors and innovations of the beers these guys work long and hard to concoct.
What About Food?
Family Business Beer Company is under rules that require they serve you a bag of chips with every beer if you decide to purchase beer before noon. But if those bags of chips are not enough, right outside their garage door is a little trailer serving up some Cajun Style Cuisine.
Jep’s Southern Roots is there to make you etouffee, po boys, and a variety of other tasties that you can enjoy while you sip.
I tried the Shrimp Etouffee and it was pretty darn good.
The FBB Staff
I enjoyed talking with the staff. When you open a brewery you tend to have a very supportive and high-energy group of people working for it. I really loved that about Family Business Beer Company. The staff had no problem taking the time to talk with me about their brewery and what makes them great, while also being very personable.
They were even cool enough to let me watch the Broncos game, but only if Dallas wasn’t on.
Overall, I really enjoyed the experience of being in Family Business Beer Company and recalling the craft beer lifestyle that I once knew and still love.
My one hope to you is to visit Family Business Beer Company with the intention of trying some really great beer, listening to some live music, eating some great food, and enjoying those special moments with those you care about.
Some could say that’s what family is about.
Check out the video below to see how beautiful the brewery is!