Sneak Peak: First Brewery in Chappell Hill, CoalFox Brewing Company


First Brewery in Chappell Hill, CoalFox Brewing Company

The older we get and the more beers we get to try, the more true the idioms of our childhood play themselves out.

(The beauty of the Texas Hill Country has made it’s way into Coalfox’s beer)

It’s a small world, and beer’s even smaller

Tony’s wife overheard the cell phone ringer of a co-worker playing Mana-mana, and she asked him if he’d ever heard of Baa Baa Brewhouse. The two began talking beer, and she confessed she’s not a beer person.

“Then how do you know about Baa Baa,” the guy scoffed. “My husband helps run Beer Chronicle.”

He pulled out his phone. “Yeah, THAT one,” she scoffed back.

And just like that the rest of the office beer nerds were asking her questions (that she couldn’t answer) and telling her beer stuff (that she couldn’t care less about).

How does any of this connect to the first brewery in Chappell Hill? One of her co-workers is an owner of CoalFox Brewing Company, and the rest is history being written while we wait for them to open up!

Beer-Chronicle-Houston-coalfox-brewery-in-chappell-hill-kegs(The brewery in Chappell Hill has kegs just a-waitin’ to get filled)

The deets on the first brewery in Chappell Hill

We had a chance to pick Bob Kessler’s brain a bit. He’s one of the owners. When we asked him about the name CoalFox, he kept it pretty mysterious. More will be released eventually, but let’s just say it has something to do with campfire-lore that may or may not have been ignited by a few beers.

Coalfox is a brewery that provides approachable yet innovative beers under the infinite skies and beauty of the Texas hill country. They’re still building the facility out, but it’ll soon feature an outdoor bar with a covered deck bench seating in our pecan grove. It’ll all be wrapped with hop bines that’ll add to the atmosphere and one day the beer! True Texas terroir.

“The plan is to continue construction on our space to provide an afternoon of fun for both locals and those enjoying a weekend in Washington county,” Bob informed us. “We will also grow herbs that we use as additions to our beers right on the grounds.” Local AF – we dig.

Beer-Chronicle-Houston-coalfox-brewery-in-chappell-hill-booth(Coalfox Brewing at another event)

Coalfox’s beers are dumb like a fox

Always ones to share, we had to ask about beer to go! 32oz crowlers and growler fills will have to hold thirsty Chappell Hillians over for now (made that up on the spot). The future may hold 750ml bottles and 16oz 4 packs for special releases, but nothing’s set in stone at this point.

Here’s everything Bob had to say about Coalfox’s beers.

“We use techniques and style inspiration from all around the world, making a wide range of beers. We are very interested in lagers. They can be very challenging to brew well, so we take a lot of pride in ours — even if they don’t line up perfectly with traditional styles. We also plan to start with IPAs, stouts and a few subtle, dry, fruit forward Berliners.”

Hurricane Rations is their light Lager. Malty like a Helles, hoppier than an American light Lager, less bitter than a Pilsner. It’s hard to nail down to a traditional style, but that’s alright because craft beer is rebellious, right?

Endless Autumn is an imperial Marzen holding strong at 9%+ but otherwise recognizable as an oktoberfest that we’ll be making year round. Just the other day, we were talking about how Oktoberfest’s didn’t get the love they deserve! James Simpson of What’s on Tapped Radio will be intrigued with the news.

Bob shared a bit more on the beer, “Our IPA will focus on two rotating hops. We’re playing with calling it the alloy series as a nod to our machine shop origin and to highlight the fusion of hop flavors. Somewhere between a NEIPA and a strong pale ale. This beer will have a pillowy body, without sweetness and medium-low bitterness. Fresh hop flavor and aromatics will be the focus. We’re calling our Berliner Reguliner and it will be around 3.5% depending on the fruit(if any). There should be a non-fruited version as well as blueberry and whatever fresh fruit is in season and available at the time. These will be fermented to dryness — no candy-like lactose sweetness, no un-fermented fruit juice.”

Beer-Chronicle-Houston-coalfox-brewery-in-chappell-hill-construction(The buildout continues at the little brewery in Chappell Hill)

Where to find Coalfox

As you read, they’re building the brewery out. Once the bigger production system is up and running, they’ll begin to ramp up production for distribution. Then they’ll focus on the taproom while they build out the retail side of the brewery. “Once the taproom is open we’ll focus there while still distributing to a few select locations,” Bob shared.

Their beer is currently available at Home Sweet Farm in Brenham in limited quantities and at special events as well as the For the Love of Craft festival at Thistle Draft Shop this Saturday 10/20/2018. With almost 40-something other breweries in attendance, it ought to be a great time. You should check it out, and tell them Beer Chronicle sent you.

Beers to you, Houston 🍻

Beer Chronicle Team
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