UPDATE ON WILD BARLEY LOCATION: The owners of Wild Barley Kitchen Co., the bagel, bagel sandwich and pizza food truck that has captured San Antonio’s tastebuds, told A Pint More in May they were closing in on an upper Broadway site for a full-fledged kitchen and brewery.
That location is now a done deal and work has begun on installing a brewing system in the former Lee’s Taco Garage at 8403 Broadway. Taco Garage closed in February after 15 years in business.
“It’s been a long few years and we are excited to take the next steps forward towards reaching our dream,” wrote the Wild Barley team on Instagram. “Over the next few months we will be building out our kitchen and brewery in the old Taco Garage location. We will keep you posted on our opening day. In the meantime, we will still be serving out of the trailer.”
Holland Lawrence, former Ranger Creek Brewing & Distilling brewer, and restauranteur Marc Fogelsong, have fermentation as their focus for the food and the beer, which will be designed as part of the culinary experience.
You can read more of the brewery’s plans here: https://localcommunitynews.com/2021/05/wild-barley-food-truck-preparing-for-full-brewpub-experience-on-broadway/
WILL CBC COME TO SA?: The Brewers Association’s Craft Brewers Conference is the premiere industry event for the more than 8,000 breweries in the U.S. Each year, it brings more than 13,000 craft-beer professionals and exhibitors to the host city.
In pandemic-stricken 2020, it was supposed to be in San Antonio.
It was only one of many conventions canceled that year and the first half of 2021. In all, some 750,000 convention visitors did not come to San Antonio thanks to the pandemic. However, this event was deemed very important for several reasons.
For one, the convention attracts a lot of attention including beer-specific media, bloggers, YouTube stars and general-interest print, broadcast and online outlets. That means coverage in some ways showcases the city in general and San Antonio’s booming beer scene in particular.
Also, every other year, including 2020, the CBC is host to the internationally revered World Beer Cup. That brings professional brewers from all over the planet as entrants or as judges.
For the locals, the loss also was felt. Local breweries gear up for months creating special beers to show off their skills to their colleagues and play host to brewers dropping by or to large events put on by the vendors selling to breweries.
That also means local beer lovers usually have a chance to take advantage of those special brews and even attend some beer-centric special events outside the venue.
The question nagging local breweries is: Will San Antonio get back in the lineup for CBC?
The Brewers Association is playing it close to the vest and those who could shed light on the question weren’t agreeing to interviews.
The 2021 convention for San Diego was nixed in exchange for Denver, just down the road from the association’s Boulder headquarters, and moved from spring to early September. That certainly made it easier to plan while many pandemic restrictions were still in effect. In addition, the Colorado Convention Center is a second home to brewers who participate in the Great American Beer Festival held there each year.
An outside spokesperson for the BA said the conventions are planned several years in advance and confirmed it would be held as scheduled in Minneapolis in 2022, but no future locations were on the books.
Charles Vallhonrat, executive director of state BA affiliate Texas Craft Brewers Guild, said he hasn’t heard when Texas would be in the running again to get the conference. He indicated only a small group of cities in the U.S. could handle a conference and expo as large as the CBC. In Texas, that narrows it down to San Antonio and Houston, he said.
Richard Oliver, the spokesman for Visit San Antonio, the former San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau, said CBC was expected to have a direct economic impact of more than $8 million.
Will San Antonio have another shot at that financial boost and, more importantly, place of pride in the beer world? Sit back and have another beer because it could take a while to get an answer.
SA HOME BREW COMPETITION OPENS FOR ENTRIES: Your beer may be good enough to satisfy your thirst and those moocher friends ready to plunder your kegerator, but is it good enough to face off against some of the best home brewers in Texas?
It’s time to find out at the Alamo City Cerveza Fest home brew competition put on annually by Bexar Brewers, the city’s oldest continually operating brewing club. Delivery of entries will be accepted until Aug. 7.
Find all the rules, entry categories and registration at https://accf.bexarbrewers.org/
They also will need judges with Beer Judge Certification Program credentials, judges with knowledge but no certification and stewards to help facilitate the judging process.
Sign up for those volunteer duties at the same website.
Travis E. Poling has written about beer and business issues in the San Antonio area and across Texas for more than three decades. He is the co-author of two books on Texas beer, including “San Antonio Beer: Alamo City History by the Pint.”