20 Dec Megaton Brewery in Kingwood
“Community supporters and huge advocates for small businesses. Beer needs to bring people together.” – Wastelander_16 (Cody)
808 Russell Palmer Rd, Kingwood, TX 77339
It’s the year of fives – the Astros get to the ALCS for the fifth time in a row and Beer Chronicle rolled five years over the summer! Some synergy going on there? Uh absolutely.
The etiquette books say that the traditional 5th anniversary (wedding) gift is wood. Well, this year of wood crowned the only brewery in Kingwood, the bombastic Megaton Brewery!
The voting started off with Baa Baa, Megaton and Fulbrook in the top 3 silos. At the T-7 day countdown, Baa Baa had the lead but was quickly blown away with loyal “Wastelanders” droppin’ vote bombs to grab the V. Last year, Megaton came in the #9 spot – we saw accolades with the votes about the beer but also reflection on their generosity and support in the community. This year was no exception:
“Because they are a hard working brewery who cares about the Houston community” – Josh
“Megaton is a small local brewery that produces amazing beer and takes care of its community. We love attending the events Megaton puts on and the local upcoming vendors and artists that they encourage.” – Amber
“Great people that believe in the community. Such a great addition to the area.” – Dustin
What You Need To Know Before You Visit Megaton Brewery in Kingwood
Price: $6 to $7
Crowlers: 16/32 ounce
Food: Rotating trucks
Most Popular Beer: Mass Appeal, Bunker Buster, Atomic Chariot, MIR (Stout)
Kids/Pets: Yes/Yes (Children welcome until 10pm)
Bathrooms: Above average and well-decorated (please don’t steal the cabinet handles)
Parking: Plentiful and generous spaces to accommodate your bunker HMMWVs
Live Music: Yes
Hours: Thursday 5pm – 11pm, Friday 4pm – 11pm, Saturday 1pm – 12am, Sunday 12pm – 6pm
A Brewery Bunker in the Forest
Megaton is the only brewery in Kingwood (AKA “the livable forest”) and has been open since March of 2019. Jered Montgomery is co-owner and master brewer at the control panel partnered with Chris Sarvadi, co-owner and in charge of sales & operations.
The brewery name, brand and vibe is one of a kind in our Houston market. Jered & Chris describe it as a retro-futuristic, post-apocalyptic, steampunk, video-gaming and live-music adult taproom. It’s the 5 craft beer Zen elements we all need in our life.
They produce a variety of beer styles that pour from their 17 tap valves. If you’re not a beer drinker, there are local ciders & Fredericksburg wines in their offerings arsenal.
Megaton Brewery Experience
It’s a cool Wednesday night – Märzens, pumpkin flavored-everything and MLB postseason is upon us. This night is a treat for us beer nerds – we get to hang out with this year’s MVB and talk/drink local craft beer.
We pull into the property off of Russell Palmer road and are greeted by a huge rollup door emblazoned with Megaton’s eye-catching logo with the signature nuclear bomb graphic. There’s a spacious, covered airplane hangar-esque outdoor space with its own dedicated bar.
Chris A & Chris B are first in the door and we meet Chris Savardi, Director of Sales and Ops. There’s a warm industrial vibe in the taproom with touches of modern accents and lighting. It’s a surprisingly large, expansive and comfortable space – the building exterior not giving away any tells on the inviting bunker interior.
We’re then greeted by the Master Brewer, Jered Montgomery, who offers up a couple of pours of the CitraVolt NEIPA from the wall of heavy pipe taps. We lean up on the massive concrete slab bar top while taking in the rest of the view. The space is adorned with a museum-quality curated collection of Star Wars helmets, future tech space blasters (non-working models presumably) and a medley of action figures, and iconic collectables from video games and a ‘certain’ post nuclear RPG.
The general seating area in front of the bar provides a direct view to large projector screens and a stage area for live music. On the periphery, you have games and activities to appease challengers of any age or interest. There’s a gaming wall station of monitors ready to engage you in first person shooters and action-adventure games. There are a mix of modern and old school table top and arcade machines that are open for freeplay. If you’re not into joysticks and buttons, you can take shots on the pool tables or slide into a high score on shuffleboard. There is something for everyone here and overall, it’s a great atmosphere.
Anthony shows up with the new, next-gen Beer Chronicle MVB trophy and certificate and presents it to Jered & Chris. We then proceed to a table to sit with beers and start our discussion.
Megaton: The History of the First and Only Brewery in Kingwood
We dug into the questions… “Tell us about Megaton – what made you go with the name and what does it mean?”
Jared explains, “The name itself is a measurement of atomic force. We’d like to think it’s indicative of us; an energetic brewpub dedicated to craft.”
He also adds, “If you’re a certain age, you may know that Megaton is also a place in a game.”
Gaming is in their DNA – we’re surrounded by it in the taproom and it’s part of their identity.
Jered recalled memories as a budding young gamer burning through handfuls of quarters at his Uncle’s arcade in Beaumont. Chris S. is also a video gaming fanatic and does IRL FPS (in real life, first person shooter) games as an avid paintballer. Anthony & Chris compared notes on paint markers and rates of fire and segued into talk of the Megaton paintball team, aptly named the Wastelanders. We chuckled about the prospect of a tournament amongst local breweries … and yes, the BeerChron team already has their Megaton jerseys.
It’s been a little over two years since opening day in late March of 2019 – Jared and Chris mentioned some of the challenges and hurdles they had to overcome to get to that point. One such challenging story was the building’s ceiling height. The height truly opens up the space giving it the notable airy atmosphere that everyone mentions. The disadvantage here was meeting the required fire code. It required running and creating a grid of premium iron piping to an array of sprinklers that had to be fed by a monstrous (not-for-beer) water tank. All of those things required extensive time and resources but perseverance prevailed in the end. Iron-ically, the system is not only functional but adds to the industrial styling and look of the brewery. In addition, any leftover Grade A pipes were used as handles for the beer flight holders!
Chris A. asked, “What made you choose this location?”. Chris S. said there were a few reasons. “Jered is from here … from Kingwood”. Additionally, their location is in close “proximity to the Nathaniel Center.” – an important factor to both of them given their involvement in the community.
The Nathaniel Center is a performing arts and events center that’s a few doors down from the brewery. The focus is on supporting local – small businesses, craft purveyors and artisans. Several times throughout the year, the center and brewery host the Texas Artisan Market which brings in thousands of people.
However, in recent years, the center has been converted to an outreach hub that Chris & Jered have commanded. They’ve served the community in times of crises – providing and distributing food, goods and disaster relief fundraising.
Chris B. inquires. “I know you have a culinary background” nodding towards Jered, “how did y’all get into beer?”. Jered and Chris S. both grin widely… Jered explains, “I knew we were on to something when this happened when I worked at the *redacted* Country Club in a far away land” (we speculate it was about 160ish miles away). Jered explained that he was home brewing and started selling bottles to the members. This led to increasing demand and popularity. The management team noticed bomber bottles piling up in the garbage cans, and Jered was summoned into the GM’s office. The GM informed Jered, “Mr. Montgomery, there appears to be a lot of homemade beer that’s showing up all over the place. If you happen to know who that person is, you should stop it.”
Now that’s a successful recipe!
Let’s Talk Beer
We shift into the part of our interview where we get to hear about grains, hops, adjuncts, packaging, and everything in-between., provoking thoughts and hilarious stories that happened in the vault (which stay locked in the vault). We start the conversation by going over the current list of what’s on tap right now:
- Mass Appeal
- Stout OG
- Punchy NukaWeisse (2)
- NukaWeisse Cherry Pomegranate
- Citrus Island NukaWeisse
- Super NukaWeisse
- CitraVolt NEIPA (1)
(1) We all had pours of this outstanding NEIPA. A few days later, we were comparing notes with each other on how damn good it was.
(2) Chris B had several samples of this punchy, juicy, fruity and lightly sweet berliner. The guys heard my involuntary OMG groans drinking these.
Chris A. asks the guys, “What’s your favorite style of beer, personally?”
Jered: Atomic Chariot (a Golden Ale), but other than that I’m fickle.
Chris S., “Some days it’s NEIPA, some days it’s White Claw. I really like the NEIPAs. You can give people the same hop (in a beer, but their perceived tastes differ from person to person)”
Anthony fires off – “Is brewing more art or science?”
Jered: “Yes.” – we all laugh and nod in agreement.
Chris S.: “Jered had the science down from the beginning. We have always called this (pointing to the brewing tanks behind us) the beer kitchen. So.. Yes is the correct answer.”
Follow up from Anthony, “What local brewery are you most impressed by?”
Chris S.: “It’s cool to see how everyone can be their own thing. Ingenious, is like the candy shop. Back Pew with the traditional stuff.”
Jered follows on and mentions “heck, we even have an Australian brewery here” acknowledging Platypus brewing downtown.
Jered adds, “Every brewery has its own special something that it brings to the beer community.”
The Future for Megaton Brewery in Kingwood
We collectively ask “What’s the next year hold for you?”
Jered and Chris S. both chime in, “A bunch of stuff is on the way – can sanitizer, fermenters, etc.
Next step is distribution.”
Chris B. “Grocery stores and …?”
“HEB is mission critical” says Jered, “early 2022, should start seeing product on shelves”.
With welding goggles at the ready, Megaton can confidently look directly into that bright light of a future that they’re building upon. Get out and visit the bunker – crush some great beers, enjoy some local musical talent and get your name on the high score board.
Beers to ya, Houston!