You may have heard the news a few weeks ago that Rebel Kettle has begun brewing beers in the new facility. With beers brewing and the tap room still a few weeks from opening, we decided to stop in and get a taste of what to expect when the taps are officially flowing.
Inside the gorgeous tap room are 16 taps that Rebel Kettle plans to rotate their own beers through. Founder John Lee has been homebrewing for 20 years and if you ask around the beer community, his beers are some of the most respected around.
Despite the vast home brewing experience, moving to a larger production has been a learning experience.
“It is the first time doing a lot of this not in a 10 gallon batch,” Lee says. “Scaling up is not easy at all.”
Lee says the brewery has been in the works for over three years. During that time the entire beer scene has changed.
“When I came up with the concept three years ago we wanted to be the first nano brewery in the city. The very next month we found out about Flyway brewing out of Loblolly. Then Stone’s Throw was right behind him with their own tap room,” Lee tells us. “Before we knew it there was a flood of new breweries. I love it all, I just want to see this as a beer city.”
Lee says they plan to offer four core beers along with a heavy rotation of seasonal brews.
The four core beers include Moon Tower cream stout, Dirtbag double brown, C Street IPA, and a blonde.
Spring seasonals include Season of Sin Saison and White Limo Golden stout. I gave the Season of Sin a taste, mostly because I love saisons, and found it to be one of the best brewed locally. It has full flavor with almost a peppery finish.
Also in rotation are the Wake n Flake Coffee stout, Beach Blonde, Alfaholic double IPA, and Rob Narly sour saison. I sampled the Wake n’ Flake and Beach Blonde, both were excellent beers. The Wake n’ Flake has a great balance of flavors with a strong coffee finish, stout lovers are going to enjoy this one.
What we are most excited about is the commitment to local sour beers. If you are not a fan of sour yet, you need to try one. They bring a fantastic complexity and very unique taste. Traditional sours take a while to make, so Lee is using a technique known as kettle souring for their initial sour. It takes less time than a traditional sour, so it should be available early on. He is working on other traditional sours that will roll out later in the year.
They also have plans to barrel age beer. One is already in a barrel from Red River Texas Bourbon Whiskey, and they plan on many more in the future.
The open date for the taproom is not yet set, although they hope to have an opening date soon. Also keep an eye on Rebel Kettle’s Facebook page for a great behind the scenes look at their brewing process leading up to open.