When it comes to brewing beer, Tall City Brewing Company is dedicated to using only the finest ingredients and a strict brewing process to create high-quality beers. Their flagship beer, the “Five Hour Drive,” is a perfect example of their commitment to quality.
In addition to their beers, Tall City Brewing Company is also known for its lively atmosphere. With a spacious tasting room, outdoor seating, and plenty of room for games and events, the brewery is perfect for gathering with friends and family. Whether you’re looking for a place to grab a drink after work or a venue for your next event, Tall City Brewing Company has got you covered.
If you’re a beer lover and are in the Midland Texas area, you won’t want to miss out on Tall City Brewing Company. Whether you’re a local or just visiting, you’ll be impressed by the quality of their beers and the lively atmosphere. So, stop by today and see what all the buzz is about.
Tall City Brewing Company is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves beer and good times. With a commitment to quality and a lively atmosphere, it’s no wonder why it’s one of the most popular breweries in Midland, Texas. So next time you’re in town, pay them a visit and experience what everyone is talking about!
The best ideas come two beers in the worst ideas come three. So apparently I was about two and a half beers in. I looked at my brother-in-law, I was like, this is what Midland needs. This is what we need to do. And I text my guys, I’m like, this is what we’re gonna do. 15 seconds later, they said, we’re in. Let’s go.
What’s up, guys? We’re back. It’s the best of Midland, Texas podcast. I’m Ryan Shewchuk. This is my wife, Terra Avery. If you’re in the mood for interviews with local business owners, entrepreneurs, and personalities right here in Midland, Texas, well, guess what? You’re in luck. Today. We have Jeff Thomas, one of the five founding members of Tall City Brewing Company in 2016, while oddly enough drinking beers at a brewery, Jeff had the crazy idea to open up a brewery in his hometown, which we’re definitely gonna talk about today. We also have Steven Alexander. Steven joined the Tall City team last year as their sales marketing manager, and he’s been working in the craft beer industry for nearly a dozen years. So listen, let’s just get into it today. I want to ask you a bunch of questions and, uh, let’s have some fun. Let’s drink some beers. Look, the beers you guys brought today. Us. Hey.
Right On. There’s, we are. Right on.
Very, uh, go ahead and, you know, let’s just, uh, introduce the beers here.
Let’s just Touch on Stephen. Yeah, sure. Absolutely. So what we’re drinking right now is the newest beer called Porch Pounding. Pilsner, uh, light, crisp, refreshing. You know, it’s something you could pound on a porch.
Yeah. Yeah. And then the other one we brought is our Cosmic Cowpoke, which is our double dry hopped New England hazy ipa, brewed with Zaka and Galaxy Hops. Then some of our staples are five hour drive, which is our honey blonde, as well as our haze. Y’all, which is our hazy eyes. Y’all Hazy ipa. And then we brought Ugi, our first sour beer that we brewed Was, that has turned into one of my favorites.
Uh, That was Ryan’s dream beer.
Tara knows my, my addiction to, uh, troll Sour.
Oh, yeah. Oh yeah.
A five pound bag hits my house every, every couple days from h e b Like, that’s how he’ll, I’ll be like, babe, we gotta go to HEB and get bananas. And he’s like, oh, if I’m going to heb, you know, I’m getting trolleys. And I’m like, I’ll just go by myself For Halloween.
You go get candy to deliver out to the kids, but then you also buy a five pound bag of That’s troll. That’s for him.
That’s for an hour.
That’s like I just turn the lights off. I go, It’s Better luck next year. Kids.
It’s all mine.
On the website I read, you know, the whole About us, about Tall City, and it said it started as a dream. Can you tell us the history of the dream and how it became a reality?
Yeah. So my personal, there’s five owners and my personal side of it, um, two of the owners are some of my best friends from way back when. And, um, at that time in my life, that was six and a half years ago. I knew I wanted, so I worked for corporate in the corporate world in the oil and gas business, and I knew I wanted to do something on my own. I didn’t know what it was. And Erica Nicholas Schmidt, my, my other partners are like, what do you wanna do? I said, I have no idea. And that was the summer of 16. Then my sister just, and her husband, who’s one of my best friends, they moved to Dripping Springs in Austin. Nice. Outside Austin. So we went down there for the first time, and he’s like, we gotta take you to this brewery called Jester King. I said, all right, man. I’m in. And I like craft beer. I wasn’t as passionate as I became. Um, so we were sitting there, and let me preface all this by saying, the best ideas come two beers in the worst ideas come three So there’s a small window. Yeah, that’s right. So apparently I was about two and a half beers in Okay.
And, and the kids and, and our wives were running around playing or whatever. And I looked at my brother-in-law, I was like, this is what Midland needs. This is what we need to do. He was like, you know, he was just acting. He’s like, yeah, yeah. Go get it. Whatever. And I text my guys, I’m like, this is what we’re gonna do. 15 seconds later they said, we’re in, let’s go. So as soon as I got back in town, I filed for an LLC on Legal Zoom. I had, I’m a public relations major. I don’t know anything about anything. Okay. And so, um, Robert Shapiro hooked you up, right? I know what I don’t know, right? Sure. Or I don’t know what I don’t know. And I filled all that out. And, um, probably about a month later, uh, we got a Facebook message from, um, a couple other guys, Jared and Josh Sparks said they had the same ideas. We got in touch with them and, and, uh, they became our partners in this as well. So they, they kind of had their own ideas for it, and we had our own ideas. We collaborated and, and felt like it was a good partnership. Nice. So that was the idea came in October of 2016, and a lot of days went by, raised money, did all this stuff, and finally opened in November of 19. So just over three years. Wow. And yeah. And it felt like an eternity. feels like yesterday, but it feels like a decade ago at the same time. Yeah. You know, so, uh, it’s, it’s been a whirlwind. It was a dream because, you know, I, I’m gen I generally play it safe being in the corporate world and whatnot.
Um, and Midland is thought of as old school. Mm-hmm. Right. How would a brewery go in Midland? Mm-hmm. Well, it actually, when we went through the city, they were a hundred percent for it. We didn’t have any obstacles whatsoever. Now it helped that we’re all Midlands and we all, you know, knew what the community needed. We had a good idea for that. I really thought we were gonna get a lot of pushback, and we didn’t. And so that was my first sign of like, okay, this might work. When we opened, the first day we opened November 15th, 2019 was a Friday. And we’re all, all five of us were behind the bar. We didn’t, didn’t have any servers and none of us have any bar experience. It was Fun. Something to behold. Sure. We were idiots behind them, but it was possible And So were y’all slammed? Oh. So it was about an hour before we were open. And Eric looks at me, goes, dude, I’m so word nosy gonna come. Well, 30 minutes before we opened, the first guy arrived. His name’s Michael Brown. If you’re listening, Michael, he always gets a free beer every time he comes in. Shout out. Yep. And, uh, then the line started forming around the, we’re like, oh, wow.
My gosh, what’s happening? That’s So cool. And then the doors opened and it’s just, it was, I felt like I was David Crockett at the Alamo I got shot first. I’m like, dude, I’m out. We’re done. I wanted to burn it after an hour. You know, like, we’re done. I can’t handle this you’re just in the back. Like with the keg. I know. I don’t handle stress very well. And I, I’m telling you, that was something to behold. It was awesome. I was the GM for a couple years, so I ran it for a couple years, but after that night, I was like, we need servers. We don’t know what we’re doing And we need people that have experience and can deal with people a lot better than me. Yeah. And so just have kind of the short version of it.
And long, I, I moved here a year later, uh, during the pandemic. So I’m, I’m kind of interested about that. Like, you’ve opened it up basically four months.
Four Months. Yeah. Yeah. It, it, it was super stressful. We had to learn a whole lot, but it was awesome. We, all the servers and, and me and our brewer, we got really close. Yeah. Cuz we had to be creative. Now the community was phenomenal. Yeah. They didn’t want us to shut down. They kept supporting us and all this stuff. We knew that eventually this was gonna, you know, we were gonna go back to normal at, at some point. And it, it was, it was crazy, but it was awesome. Now I look back on it, it wasn’t awesome in the middle of it. Sure.
But looking back on it, we’re Stronger because now that you’re on the other side. Yeah. Well I bought a Growler Before we went out to my cousin’s house for July 4th. And just me and my brother drank it. Yeah. It’s a lot of beer for two People.
And Then we did it again, like a few weeks Relative, isn’t it?
You know, come on, Terry.
Empty, empty half full For those who haven’t, uh, been to Tall City, it’s not some operation in the back of, you know, in somebody’s garage. This is a, this is a large operation. Right.
So that Was on purpose. Yes. Okay.
Yes. So for, for the, for the rest of us out there who’ve also have had this, uh, idea over two beers to open up a brewery, we probably have it weekly from a commitment level and a, and especially like a financial level. Can you sort of just break down without obviously, you know, saying numbers, but just like Sure. Going like, this isn’t just like, oh, we’ll just open it up. You know what I mean?
Yeah. And Okay. That’s a great question. So when I first had the idea, a couple months later, I went and visited my brother-in-law who owns a distillery in Fort Worth. Oh. And I said, okay, what do I need to know what that you, you didn’t know. Right. He go, the first thing he said, he goes, well, if I knew then what I know now, I would’ve had cold feet. I’m like, okay, awesome. Okay. Alright. He’s like, I’m not telling you Nothing Uhhuh, I better be committed. So, and it’s true there. I mean there’s just, there’s just a lot. Yeah. There’s just a lot with everything. So it’s gonna cost twice as much and it’s gonna take twice as long. Yep. At the very least.
And it’s true because when you have this idea, you, you’re thinking, okay, six months from now, we’re gonna be serving beer, it’s gonna be great. It took us over three years mm-hmm. Yeah. To get it done. And cuz you gotta find the right partners because we, we raised money, local money. We didn’t go to a banker. Rays local money doing that, getting all your permits, getting the, the contractors and the builders and you know, you gotta get, you gotta prove the beer, but you gotta have the equipment in place. Right. And you gotta have the CO2 in place and you got, you gotta have all this stuff. I mean, it’s just, like I said, I’m a public relations major, non-engineer, nothing So it’s like, man, I can, I’ll talk to people, but I don’t know what the heck I’m doing. Sure. Um, but, you know, we had the right people in place. We had the right owners, we had the right brewer at the time. We had the right investors. We, it just worked. The city of Midland made sure it was going to work. So you gotta have a buy-in with the community. Yeah.
Um, that’s The biggest one. Like, you know, especially opening up your own brewery. Cuz I mean, I’ve seen so many breweries that don’t have that buy-in with the community and they’re only open for six months. Yeah. And then they shut down.
That’s A lot of Work for Six months. So, I mean, that’s the best thing I can say. Just you do it right. So you don’t have to redo it mm-hmm. and make sure you raise enough money. Okay. Period. End of story. Because if you don’t raise enough money, you are not opening Right. And if you’re gonna open, you’re not gonna be open for very long.
From my outsider perspective. Right. Non Texan. I, I, I started get the sense here in West Texas, they’re like, Austin started gets a bad connotation. Like with they get a bad rap. Yeah.
Like, Don’t California My Texas, have you heard that yet?
Yeah, I’ve heard that. So, is, so is Austin California in that, in that Situation?
Well, I mean, I’ve always viewed as West Texas kind of in its own bubble. Okay. And which is good and bad, mostly good in my opinion. But Austin does things right. Um, you know, obviously I’m a road Raider. He is too. And it’s the Longhorns there. We don’t care about them But really it’s about, it’s a completely different culture. It is. It is a com. Even Dallas and Houston are completely different cultures than here also. Sure. But what I do think they do right is, um, recreational scene, whether it’s parks or the sports complexes or things like that. Yeah. And, and, and I’ve always thought Midland, you know, growing up out here is not a lot to do, but play sports and things like that. So that’s what I do. My, I have a 10 year old son, that’s what he does. Um, and I’ve always thought with the amount of resources we have here, and why wouldn’t we have the best complex west of Fort Worth. Mm-hmm. And they’re working on it. And Hogan’s gotten a lot better. Mm-hmm. Um, that’s one thing a a lot of people here, I’m all about keeping money here, jobs mm-hmm. and the money here, but a lot of people on the weekends, they leave. Yeah. And that was one of the reasons why we wanted to open the brewery. We wanted to keep people here.
Give people a reason to stay. Yeah.
Right. And I’m guilty of it. I’m sure you’re guilty of it. Yeah. You know, you’re gonna go to the lake on the weekend or go to RDO or go to the mountains or whatever it is. Um, but Austin does a good job of, of having people stay there. Mm-hmm. you know mm-hmm. we go to Austin for vacation mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. But they do a lot of that. And I also think what we talked about earlier, the local buy-in, they support local like nobody else.
Even if they’re not originally from there. Right.
There’s Just, they’re and a ton of options too, right?
Yeah, yeah, Yeah.
You’re going to their food truck park, you’re going to their taco shops, you’re going to the Breweries going a waffle house. You go to a waffle house. Oh, absolutely. He’s never been to a Waffle House. I haven’t either been To a Waffle House. I haven’t either.
Yo I’m Trevor Lawrence can go to a waffle house. Yeah. So you can go to a waffle House.
Well, so when we were in Fort Worth recently, we’re like stopping to get gas on the way home. And he sees a Waffle house and he is like, never been to a Waffle House. I’m like, well, did you wanna go to this one? He’s like, no, I just wanna get home But then the next day I’m like, reading the news, It’s time of day too. And it was like somebody like threw a chair over the counter. The wall caught it. Has she like, threw it away? Like bashed it away.
That, That’s A Tuesday as a waffle house. That’s a Tuesday standard.
Tuesdays Breakfast hibachi.
I Did you see the memes where they like, or the videos where they like cut in? Like John Cena. Yeah.
Yeah. John Cino.
Dun What about like, um, what about particularly like the beer, the beer scene or the breweries, because there’s a ton of brewery. I mean, there’s a ton of brews in Texas as a whole. Sure. But like, is there anything from the beer scene that you feel I could migrate to Midland or West Texas I’s a good’s Stephen question.
Is it me? I think so. I mean, from Texas as a whole, it’s already kind of happening. Um, you know, like first off, the state of Texas is so behind in, in the industry of craft beer as a whole, but you have all of these different breweries from West Texas to East Texas, down to the gulf, up in the panhandle. You know, we’re all kind of doing our own unique little thing right now. We’re all doing like our unique little thing right now. But getting some of that style, I guess is that, that’s what you’re kind of asking, like those beers from these big cities. I mean, we’re kind of already, or Yeah. You know, we’re kind of already doing it. Okay. You know, I mean, coming with this sour. Yeah. And, you know, there hasn’t been really a, an imperial sour brewed in West Texas.
That’s true. I think you have a lot of, um, people who live in Midland who aren’t from Midland, they’re from Dallas, Houston, Austin, or whatever. So they bring what their community had their, their local breweries had. And so they kind of bring the demand to us and we kind of hear what they want. Mm-hmm. a sour from the day we open. People have asked about a sour and we finally did it and we nailed it. So you get a lot of that, you get a lot of transplants that kind of tell you what they want. And it kind of morphs the culture here Also here in West Texas.
It’s like, let’s push your flavor profile. Mm-hmm. you know, like, yeah. We could have done a basic sour, like we could have done like a goza add some lemons to it and, you know, just something basic. But no, it’s like, let’s push the envelope. Let’s push your flavor profile. Let’s add 20 pounds of gummy worms into a sour Here.
Here’s the master at that. And I’m so simple minded. I’m like, yeah, let’s do a sour. He goes, we’re gonna take it three steps further. I said, let’s go honey, let’s go I don’t love sours.
Like, I like to have like a sip of sour. Sure. But that’s about it. But also in my defense, the first sour I ever had was the salty lady. Yeah. Have y’all ever had that?
Yeah. It’s very salty.
The Martin house. It’s so gross. So sours are good palate cleansers.
If you’re going in between beers, we Got, uh, sours for us are like lake beers. Yeah.
You Know what I mean? I don’t even like it at the Lake Lake. We’re gonna able to, we left that beer at the lake three years ago and nobody’s had it Since So let’s talk about, uh, let’s talk about the word craft.
Okay. In, in, in craft beer. So, uh, had to do a little bit of research. Again, I’m not a a beer nerd, uh, for lack of a better word, but I know it started with like, micro brews were the thing, right. Micro breweries. And then we got into craft beer, craft breweries. And I I read recently, like there’s sort of a movement in the craft beer world to maybe start using the term indie beer. Like has craft run its chorus? Is it, is it, is it too saturated? Is it fake? Or what, what is the, what is the meaning Behind this?
It’s fake. No, Um, well, when it comes to it, like, especially whenever you’re saying craft and you said micro brewery. Yeah. Well, craft is kind of more than just micro breweries. So you have macro breweries, and then you also have micro breweries. Okay. So micro breweries are breweries that brew 15,000 barrels or less. So like us, you know, we’re gonna hit about 4,000 barrels, uh, hopefully at the end of, you know, this year.
Hopefully That’s, that’s a, that’s a annually Yes.
That’s, that’s annually. Okay. While you have, you know, these bigger breweries, let’s say Sierra Nevada, stone, new Belgium, um, they’re over here hitting about shoot 300,000 barrels a year. You know, they’re just whole, they’re, they’re cranking it. And so that’s macro what’s happening is you have all these craft breweries getting bought out. And so it’s like, all right, well you’re still craft technically mm-hmm. but are you independent? Are you independently owned? And that’s one of the biggest things I like to tell people is like, seek the seal. If you see a brewery that doesn’t have this, like seal on it mm-hmm. then are you really supporting craft? Okay. Independent beer, it’s pretty much, I call it neighborhood beer. You know, it’s something that you would, is brewed for your neighborhood, brewed for your community. And that’s what kind of the difference between that and craft. Because, you know, like you’ll have all of this different craft beer coming out of, you know, InBev or Miller Coors or Constellation or Diagio, and it’s like, oh yeah, it’s craft, it’s craft. But are you really brewing for your community or are you just doing mass production though?
Okay. So no, like the term craft, if a, if a macro brewery can still make a craft beer mm-hmm. like, has the, has the definition of it sort of like, Oh, the goalpost moved. Yes, exactly. Yes.
Yeah, they have. Yeah. Okay. Absolutely. And that’s why, you know, it goes back to like independent indie beer. Okay. Indie beer, search for indie beer, seek the seal.
Uhhuh That’s why a lot of the big brands came, came out with hazy IPAs and, and, and things like that to try to infiltrate into that craft market rather than a domestic light, you know, mainstream beer.
Okay. But even then, you know, you have like Anheuser Busch or InBev, they’re like, oh yeah, yeah, we’re gonna acquire Goose Island. Right. And what are they known for? They’re the breweries that, that was like, pretty much the brewery that started barrel aging beer here in the United States. Oh. And so it’s like, all right, well, we’ll, we’ll, we’ll take, we’ll take that from the craft section. We’ll still call it craft, but it’s no longer independent.
We’ll, Sneaky. Okay. So, so it’s, it was almost a tactic to go like, Hey, we know this is sort of a, a trend for lack of a better word. Right. Like Absolutely. And so it’s like, it’s almost like the Steve Buscemi meme where he’s in, he’s in high school pretending with the Skateboard.
how’s it going? Fellow kids.
Yeah, exactly. So that’s, that’s in Bev. Yeah. You know, in craft beer. Oh yeah. Okay.
Oh my gosh.
That’s exactly what it’s, there’s, There’s a beer name and something going on with this. Oh, I like This Yeah.
The think tanks here. I mean, oh, I love it. Two more. I mean, two more beers is gonna be too much. It’ll be bad ideas, but some more beer.
We got some, we Got some going here. I have a UIE that’s open. What?
Have Y’all tried that Yet?
Or we Oh, we haven’t Hit at The house. Okay. Gonna open up the cosmic Cowpoke. If you like IPAs.
I do. This is where we differ.
I will try, I’ll try it. I will try it. Of course. Okay. So what’s this one?
Uh, this is the Cosmic Cowpoke, our double dry hop, new England IPA that we’re coming out with pretty soon. January 21st, Brew with a, uh, Zaka and Galaxy Hops. You know, galaxy Got it.
Cosmic. This, uh, this I can do. Uh, most IPAs are just to the, to my nose. They’re too much too Dank.
And I’m just like, okay, like, am I Am I in, uh, back in Vegas or what’s happening?
anytime I have an ipa, I start craving, uh, feta or goat cheese Jack in the box.
That’s probably what It’s, Hey, Yo. Okay. So we talked, we touched on it a little bit with, uh, the craft breweries getting, uh, bought up by Big Beer last year. I read Stone Brewing, which I believe that was the first bigger brewery that I’d ever like, taken a tour. That was the place where I realized, oh, I don’t like IPAs.
And maybe just because they were so hardcore right There, it’s like, it’s like they tried to make it as bitter as possible and undrinkable and taste like a shoe as possible. Yeah.
I was like, oh, okay. Then I realized, realized, I know, I know what you mean. Okay. Like, I’m not in this crowd. I get, I get it.
Like, Like you didn’t have a handlebar mustache at the time.
I Did not. Okay. I mean, that’s all what Stone does are IPAs Stone was actually purchased by aka Big Beer.
Right. So Sapporo, which is the biggest Asian beer in America, right? Mm-hmm. like, so huge company, like 160, 170 million. So when you, when you read these headlines, is do you, is it like, oh, here we go, another sellout? Or is it just like, Hey, business is business For me?
It’s a big Sure. Both, you know, it’s like each brewery has their own story and they’re going through their own stuff. So if it’s better for them to sell out, um, good for them, uh, to, especially to keep their beer alive instead of going under. Yeah. Because that’s honestly most of the take on some of those breweries, like Stone, you know mm-hmm. or, um, modern times or shoot New Belgium. You know, it’s, um, and even then now Bells no one wanted to take that brewery’s leadership or ownership cuz it was a family owned business and no one wanted to do it in the family anymore. So they’re like, well, guess we’re gonna sell it. Yeah. Just, wow. Yeah.
So every situation is different. Yeah. You know, every, every brewery’s businesses are different and their financials are different. You know, on one hand you want to stay true to what you’ve been promoting, keeping it local, keeping it independent. And on the other hand, do you wanna set your kids and their kids and their kids? Right. You know, up or they don’t ever have to worry about anything. So, I mean, there’s a dichotomy there. Um, yeah. You know, so I if we ever were ever offered anything, I honestly don’t know what we would do. Uh, I’d like to think we would like to keep it local, but I also like to think that I’m gonna take care of my family. Sure. Yeah. Yeah.
You know, and Who knows if your kids are going to want Exactly. To like, continue the tradition.
Yeah. I look at that sort of like, like in, you’ll see that in the music industry, right? Where like, as independent, you know, artists or something, and all of a sudden they get a huge deal and everybody’s like, oh, you sold out. And I’m like, and I was like, isn’t that The point?
One of my old, old colleagues used to say, back in, in, in the oil and gas business, he goes, we’re not doing this. We’re not in this for practice. You know, we’re gonna take care of our families, we’re gonna make money. Yeah.
But with the craft beer industry, there’s, I don’t think it’s like that in the, you know, in the craft Beer industry.
No, not at all. And, and it, it was a, it was a eye-opening experience for me. Um, it’s all about artistic creativity. Um, opening up your, your creativeness to the community, trying to get a buy-in from the, from the community, trying to be a part of it. Trying to be a big presence in it. So there is, you know, some back and forth. Now if I go to a brewery and I don’t see this label mm-hmm. I’m personally not gonna buy It.
For the people out there who want to support independent beer, uh, independent breweries, and they, they like what they think is craft beer, they just might not know that. Again, there’s a sort of like camouflage there. Like Yeah, you think it’s craft, but it’s really in Bev. Yeah. Right. Absolut. And so like Absolutely. Is that the best way, like to go like, seek seal, look for the seal. Seal, yeah. Seek, look for The seal.
Seek, seek the seal.
Okay. Seek the seal.
Yeah. I mean, if I’m playing golf and someone hands me a Coors Light, I’m gonna drink the heck out of it. Right. But when I go use my own personal money Sure. And being in the business and know, knowing the hardships that it’s gone through and how hard it is to, to be successful, yeah. I’m gonna support that. And there’s enough out there if, if an IPA’s not your thing, there’s gonna be a pilsner out there or a, a golden Ill or, or something that, that speaks to you. Right. You’re gonna find that. That’s kind of how I’ve always thought of it. Yeah. I mean, I, every time I go to the, to the store, I look for something new and there’s enough independent craft beer that I’m gonna be able To buy.
Yeah. I think Texas, as we’ve gotten out to different cities and like had to go, Hey, we just need to make a late night run at the grocery store. Yeah. I think we’ve been a little spoiled. Spoiled in terms of mm-hmm. open up the beer codes. Cuz again, like I, I think for all the people who love to go to breweries, there’s, there’s those people who are like, they’ve never been, but they, their brewery is their grocery store cooler. Yeah. Right? Oh yeah. And they’re going like, uh, alright, I do wanna try something new. But again, it could be something, you know, a facade for, you know. Sure.
For sure. Yeah, absolutely.
You know, so craft, it’s, it’s, yeah. Corona’s, you know, new called a Craft Beer or something like that. Right. Fake, you know, and I say Texas, Texas, Texas. HEB is like great with that, right? Oh, absolutely Is fantastic. Texas beer. Texas beer Tex, you’re like, I can experiment, but I’m still supporting, you know, the place where I live. Right?
Sure. For sure. And you know who’s, I mean yeah, HBS great with that, but so is, you know, your local mom and pop liquor stores and beer Stores, like, shout out Mr.
Oh, Mr. Ts. What up? Um, you know, they, they just crush it, uh, because they, they’re here, you know, like going back to it like, yeah, we wanna support local, keep it here.
Terry is the best.
Terry Is as Terry is. Mm-hmm.
we’re there Every week. We’d love Terry.
So after school, my mom used to always go to the Y right there and work out and I’d go to the daycare or whatever they had after school care. And afterwards we’d always stop at that store, Mr. T’s, and she’d get a Diet Coke or whatever. And then one day someone said, this is a few years ago as Michelle Yeah. Who works for us now. She said, have you ever been to Mr. T’s? I go not in 35 years. And she said, you need to go there. Their craft beer selection is phenomenal. I said, what? This, I think this is right before we opened, right after we opened. And I went in there, I said, oh my gosh, this is not the story I used to come into when I was a kid.
Yeah, Yeah. It’s a nice little honey hole. Yeah.
We’ve heard, we’ve heard that from number people who were like, I’ve lived here my whole life. I’ve never been to Mr. Teas. Yep.
He’s turned so many people onto it.
Like friends, I, you know how I found it untapped. The untapped tap.
Cool. You can, you can stop doing that now. Now I know where all that good beers going. Yeah. Sorry.
Like we used to go like in the brewery. Yeah.
Like every, uh, Well, you know what, maybe if you guys get scratch offs there too, then you have your own line.
Oh hey, that’s another good beer name. There you go. Scratch off and find the labels that you scratch off, scratch off. It’s kinda like you got windy, Get Ready.
Go. So how do you deal with competition and what I feel is going to be be inevitable competition, you know, growing in Midland, right? Sure. Because of the scene. And then how do you look to stand out or continue to stand out?
For sure. Well, I’ll take the, uh, I’ll take the first one. No, indeed. Um, you know, it’s our biggest competition is like us as a whole because like we want to do better. We want to, we know what we’re able to do of doing, we want to go from good to great, but it’s also no nowhere else in West Texas is doing what we’re doing when it comes to the brewery scene right now, you know, and what we’re able to do and what our business model’s able to do and what our brewery’s able to do and what not. Only that our team, we’re gonna get ready, buckle up everybody. It’s gonna be fun. It’s gonna be fun. I mean, you can find our beer in Lubbock, San Angelo all the way down to Big Bend National Park, you know, and it’s all over the, out the Permian Basin in soon to Amarillo. Um, wow. Nice. Yeah. And, but you know, one of the biggest things is are we are the biggest competition to ourselves. Mm-hmm. because we always want to do better. We’re always pushing ourselves to do better and be better.
One thing that we’ve tried to establish within our brewery is a culture of everyone can basically just voice their opinion. There’s so many personalities, right? Mm-hmm. and how do you pull that in and take those strengths, you know, enhance those strengths and, and use those and anybody has an idea or whatever it is, we’ll listen to it and we’ll, and if we all collaborate and think it’s a great idea, we’ll move on with it. Things like that. Mm-hmm. So we think we’re leading the way in craft beer in West Texas and, and that’s not gonna change.
But, uh, answering your second question. Yeah. Yeah. I would say unlike every kind of other beer that you see in the cooler, like we’re made here, like we brew it right here at 33 0 3 West Golf Course Road. We can relate, we can have those community engagements like, Hey, we’re here, let’s mm-hmm. let’s do a tasting, let’s do a pint night or a tap takeover, or how do we get you to our brewery? Yeah. You know, the brewery is the biggest like marketing tool period. Mm-hmm. is like, we can do so many different events, like Logan and his crew are just crushing it. Mm-hmm. you know, doing what different events there.
Logan’s a taper manager. Yeah. He’s awesome.
Shout out to Logan. Logan, Hey, Caleb. Lu Logan, um, Shout out to Logan. But, uh, you know, they’re, and that, that’s one of the biggest tools and that’s what I love doing, especially when I’m out in the market talking to these restaurants, talking to these bar owners, talking to, you know, every, everyone under the sun. It’s like, come see what a brewery looks like. Mm-hmm. Yeah.
Come see what you’re selling, You know, what we call a tasting and a tour. It’s awesome that you can talk about this product and it’s a tangible product. Mm-hmm. so you get immediate results. Right. And with people who don’t like IPAs, I mean, Ryan, yeah. Well, he doesn’t think he does, but we say, okay, you’re gonna get a grapefruit, pineapple nose, you’re gonna get some tangerine on the mouth. Stuff like that. Yeah. They’re like, oh yeah, I get that. You know, or, or, or a stout, you know, like, you’re gonna get some coffee. It’s not heavy, it’s a, it’s a lighter stout, you know, stuff like that. So they come in, you can explain it, you got one-on-one time, take ’em how it’s done. Yeah. And then you’re, they’re sold. And so that, it’s a really good marketing tool for us, like he Said.
Yeah. How do you balance the need for constant, uh, innovation and experimentation with actually like having a profitable business model?
Yeah. Well, you know, the CREF kreft beer should be fun. Yeah. You know, and we are able to do that. And, you know, we have a 30 barrel system so we can brew, you know, the, the saison, like what we did or, you know, our five hour drive our hazel. But what we just got in this past year is our pilot system. So it’s like, you know, let’s experiment a bit. What do we got going on in there? Let’s, uh, you know, for us brewing a sour, which everyone’s been wanting since they open, you know? Yeah. We could have done, like I said, a basic sour, let’s do a goza, add some lemons to it and name it after a, you know, a cocktail. But it’s like, no, let’s not do that. Let’s, uh, let’s push the limit. Let’s, um, let’s add some gummy worms. Let’s make it an 8.5% beer. You know, if we’re gonna do something like gimmicky, let’s do it big. We’re big on like West Texas beer for West Texans. Yeah. So it’s like, let’s, let’s push the envelope. Let’s, let’s see what’s next There.
Yeah. There’s a balance. Um, our five hour drive still our number one beer, our number one, our first beer that we came out with, and it’s still our number one beer there. There’s a good balance. People want to try new stuff, but they still go back to what they know. Yeah.
The Old faithful. The old faithful.
Yeah. But what you guys are saying is you have a system in place to where you don’t have to sacrifice brewing your flagship beers to try something that may or may not hit.
We have an opportunity to experiment. Some may work, some may not. Sure. And if it really works, then we can throw it on the big system. Okay. Mm-hmm. and produce it. Yeah.
Up to varsity Ab.
Absolutely. We got JV and we got varsity going on right now.
And you know, like, So it’s an opportunity for us to be creative and be goofy and have fun with it, you know, because on the big system, that’s, if it’s hard to do that because it gets expensive. It sure does.
Yes. You guys, you have quality assurance. I mean, you know, what happens if a, a batch goes bad for whatever reason. Right. That’s money lost. Right.
It Sure is. Exactly.
Been there, done that.
Yeah. And our production team, I mean, you know, with Joe, our head brewer and then Michelle, our assistant brewer, they’re just crushing it. We, uh, we’re pretty much already have our brewery calendar of what we’re brewing until August right now. Wow. Oh wow. Okay. So like, we’re all right. This is what it is. This is what we’re brewing. Get ready. All right.
So, and they’re all super creative people, which absolutely I truly admire cuz I’m not at all. So to, to hear those ideas That’s true. And then watch the history and then watch them brainstorm and bounce things out. I’m like, dude, this is awesome. And and they’re professional, right? Yeah. They get their job done and they can still have fun. So it’s, it’s pretty awesome to See.
Shout out to Michelle, by the way, who? Yes. Um, was one of, uh, one of the first, uh, people in town to buy a 40 wolves t-shirt.
Hey, Just I’ve seen it. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Just, And then we walk into the brewery one day, like we knew she bought it.
Well I asked her, I go, what’s 40? What she told me. I’m like, oh, that’s fantastic.
Just as a goof cuz I’m, I’m in branding, right. So I’m like, listen, I’m not expecting to sell these, but I’ll, I’ll wear my shirts and, and You sold quite a few everywhere cuz I’m, you know what I mean? Oh yeah. And then she’s like, out of the Bulls bought one, I go, I’ll Buy one that’s Michelle’s sweet, I’ll buy one From, from Tall City. And so I went there and I was like, you’re a rock center. I was like, she’s like, Yeah, Michelle’s Awesome. She’s awesome.
I can’t wait till this graham cracker.
Hey. The crude series. Yeah. The crude series. Yeah. Which I am. Yeah. Oh, I am super stoked.
I I could come and help crush graham crackers.
Okay. Have plenty of graham crackers that we need. Like open and crushed.
I Can do Both of those. I’m busy. I’m sorry, I can’t do it.
Last year you brought on Steven, this was Kill Rockstar.
Oh, The best. Appreciate y’all. Nice meet cheery Guys.
I feel like, I feel like so many like events have come up and just super fun. Bingo night and hey, And I’ll do Bingo Night was fun.
I got to see somebody I went to high school with that I haven’t seen since graduation.
Bingo. Brings him Out.
It’s coming back. Okay. Get ready. Bingo. It’s coming back.
And like we brought up earlier, you brought, you brought in, uh, Miami Joe, your new head brewer. He’s a great guy. He’s really cool. He is. We wanna know what you’re brewing up, pun intended, but we want like 2023 start of the year. We want to know like, you know, events, collaborations, obviously, you know, there’s probably some things you need to keep secret, but we’re just excited to see, uh, where you guys are taking tall secret.
The beauty of it is we can do whatever we want. Mm-hmm. Yeah. We can be as creative as we want. We can do whatever we want. Luckily we have Steven and the crew that are creative and they come up with awesome stuff and they’ve told me what they’ve done and I’m like, oh my gosh. Like I’m be, I love beer and I just wanna try stuff. Sure. I love the names. I love what they do. I had about a a year period roster creative with some of these names and now I’m like, dude, I can’t think of anything.
And uh, I yeah, I’m, You call that writer’s block, Jeff.
Oh, well it’s, it’s about three years in, but I’m Good.
I heard your, your wife has quite a bit to do with, She came up with that one shout Brittany.
Nice. Yep. Thank you Brittany.
Uh, yeah, she’s the Best.
He’s right. You know, we’re, we’re able to do so much, but we have so much cool stuff coming out. You know, like I said, Joe is right now brewing a 90 barrel batch of beer. Uh, we’re gonna be releasing the Permian Pilsner, it’s gonna be coming out full force. It’s gonna be in six packs. They’ll be able to find it all around the We West Texas or Permian Basin. And then we have another, uh, fan favorite that we’re gonna be packaging up. And you’re gonna be able to find it. Heb or grocery like your local mom and pop shops. Um, and the fan favorite, I’m just gonna say it’s an awa fresco. Shout out to Theam Brothers and the cantaloupe because we are gonna move to be packaging the PCUs cantaloupe Ah, Fresca. But also, you know, we have so many cool beers that are coming out. Crude is our Stout series and stouts not, not only just a stout, we’re making imperial stouts. So they’re gonna be big boozy stouts. Um, and they’re all named after, you know, some sort of shell or kind of oil In, it’s all oil and gas related. Oh, absolutely. Cool. Like the first cool, the first one is come, the first one coming out will be February 4th. It’s called Gulu Pian. It is Alon Stout. Mm-hmm. So it looks pretty much like your glass right now mm-hmm. But it has the whole mouth body feel of a stout. And that will be like a 10% plus beer. That one will be our graham cracker peanut butter chocolate blonde stout. Excited. And then after that we’ll be Wolf Camp, which will be our Mexican hot chocolate Imperial stout. That will be 13%. That was a 12 hour boil.
It’s like stout for my love language.
Right. And then after that we’re gonna throw in like another special stout in for Mardi Gras. It’s gonna be a banana foster stout Man. And that one will be on Mardi Gras. So on Tuesday, clear The calendar. We’re not going anywhere old by The way, on Tuesday off Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday we’re gonna be releasing Yes. Banana Foster Stout. And then the last one will be the, uh, strawberry. Well a Sprayberry, but it’s a strawberry raspberry imperial Style strawberry sprayberry.
Terry, That one be a Russian pure stout. So that won’t be about 15%.
Well, Like the 15%.
What are you trying to kill me?
No We’ll share it. We’ll come like a shot. Glass beer. Terrible. It’s like a dessert Beer.
That’s what we have coming out. And then we have all these different collabs that we have going on. Like yeah, we’re gonna be brewing a beer for Mr. T here so that he’s this package. You know, like stuff like that.
Oh Man. Are you so jealous? I love Terry.
He Deserves it, man. You know he does.
He does. He’s a such a He does. Great guy.
Yep. He’s such a great guy. We have one we’re brewing up one for, you know, cork and Pig and that’s gonna be kind of their, their flagship beer throughout all of the cork and pigs, um, wherever you can find them. Mm-hmm. So we’re really excited for that. And then we have some other collab that we can’t really talk about quite yet, quite yet.
Yeah. We really appreciate you guys coming in and uh, you know, expect us there even more. So we’re probably there. Oh, awesome. Every weekend at this point.
Well, We’re super thankful for people like you, um, that truly enhance and support local business in Midland, which needs all the help they can get. Yeah. Um, you know, and, and people like you keep us in business.
Thank Appreciate y’all.
Yeah, Absolutely. Don’t make Terra cry.
She’ll, I’m like, I’m Getting No, and I just got my lashes done.
Why can’t, But, uh, hey, let’s have this episode with a, let’s end this episode with a final. Cheers.
Cheer cheers to Tall City Brewing.
And uh, listen, we’ll see you on the next one.