17 Apr Other Half in Texas, Equilibrium Too – Thanks to Flood Distribution
Other Half in Texas, Equilibrium Too – Thanks to Flood Distribution
With the relaxing of once restrictive laws and a beer culture that’s gone from budding to blossoming, Texas is a hotbed for breweries looking for growth outside of their home markets. Other Half of Brooklyn, NYC and Equilibrium of Middleton, NY are just two recent entrants.
Last May, my wife, Danielle, and I made our first ever trip to New York City. It’s magic. Simple as that.
The people were way more kind than movies would have you believe. Nothing was quite as dirty as expected. Overall it was a tremendous trip.
This isn’t to say it was spotless, but it just wasn’t any of the negative stuff that people wanted to tell us about before we left.
The subways were a huge highlight of the trip, and so were all of the eclectic eateries tucked away in unique little neighborhoods. But one thing really stuck with me. Other Half in Brooklyn.
Look, I call ’em like I sees ’em, and hype is hype. I’ve gone to a few hype breweries throughout our travels and left disappointed. Other Half was not one of them. From speedy attentive service (despite heavy restrictions on everything at the time) to a great selection of beer, I wished we could’ve stayed longer.
While the urban hike with a case of cans on my shoulder was less than ideal, it was worth it for sure. I cracked open a few before heading home, but I was able to bring home a bunch of cans in my luggage, thankfully.
Houston’s got plenty of great beer that’s brewed here, and there are even more breweries that have began distributing here. I’ll never forget when I saw The Bruery Bottles and Modern Times cans first start popping up. Parish bottles. Toppling Goliath cans. All of these “hype” and out of reach breweries that we’d pack beer mail and trade for have been making themselves more and more accessible. Time to make some room in the fridge!
Equilibrium Begins Distributing in Houston, Other Half Follows
Maybe you’ve heard of Tavour? The beer shipment service that helps quench thirst and FOMO… Tavour ships Equilibrium, Bearded Iris, Other Half, and the likes to the folks that want the beer from out of state, but they don’t want to travel or trade for it.
Wait a minute… Travel or trade for it… Travelor tradeforit… Tavelortradeforit… Tavour… I wonder if that’s how they got their name? But I digress.
I can remember scoring a few cans of EQ or OH on Tavour and being really pleased with the beer. Imagine my excitement when I started seeing random singles of EQ in the mix-n-match section at HEB last fall. It got me wondering if this was the start of more breweries like these becoming shelfies.
Then when I heard of Other Half joining in last week, I got a bit giddy and started gathering questions for Kyle at Flood Distribution. Back when the team and I designed Equal Parts site, Matt told us about Flood and how good of people they were. So I reached out, and started asking some questions about Other Half in Texas, and Equilibrium too.
Other Half in Texas, Equilibrium, and Others on the Way
Kyle at Flood was gracious enough to answer some questions and give me some game. I learned that I have a lot to learn about distribution. Lucky for you, we can learn together!
He explained to me that he made the request to get Other Half in Texas through an old friend. It was Flood’s very first employee, Larkin. Larkin moved to Brooklyn, and he was kind enough to setup the alley oop that assisted the connection.
Flood Distribution is out of Austin, but they cover more than just the state’s capitol of weird. The same will be true for Other Half.
“They are currently in all four major metros, plus the other cities we cover,” Kyle explained.
I learned that “Texas does licensing in 2-year intervals, and it’s fairly pricey, so there’s some inherent commitment for any brand that comes here… The license law changed last September, removing alcohol testing requirements and dropping the cost of registration from $7k to $1500. That means the floodgates are absolutely open for a lot of small, excellent beers from around the world. This is a side of the business we’ve been limited on for years because of the restrictive laws. We’re thrilled we can finally start bringing in beer from some of our longtime friends with limited production.”
Alright alright alright, amirite?
Other Half in Texas, Equilibrium in Texas, Oddside, The Bruery, and Untitled Art. All of these are thanks to Flood and many many more. Kyle continued with how he and Flood hope to keep the floodgates open for breweries like Other Half, “I was born and raised here, came up in this beer scene (including some very formative Beer Advocate shares at Gingerman), and once again live here. So, I’m an advocate for Houston getting a good cut of any limited shipment, and always advocate for it to be included in territories for new brewery launches. There’s some excellent stuff being done locally, and it’s thrilling to see that side expand as well. There have always been very open and adventurous beer drinkers here, and it’s a personal mission to bring in all the cool stuff we can.”
Many breweries have entered our market in the years that Beer Chronicle team has been pretending like we know how to write. Somehow, none have been quite as exciting as Other Half. This marks a new era for us, similar to Baa Baa making that very first hazy.
It got me wondering, are there any Houston breweries that get treated like Other Half in other cities?
The answer is, yep.
“Lone Pint is a force of nature in Austin and San Antonio, with Yellow Rose being (rightly) treated as a truly local beer on so many tap walls and shelves. Equal Parts, with their recent additional capacity, is finally sending more beer to Dallas, Austin and San Antonio. We’ve found there’s a place in each for excellent Texas-made lagers and IPAs. City Orchard’s ciders also have some great traction in the other cities. Austin is especially appreciating slightly drier, higher quality cider. The other Houston breweries we work with – Astral and Baa Baa – are making sure they can satisfy demand in the home market, though the latter has found some hardcore fans in bars as far as Dallas and SATX,” Kyle shared.
I asked are there any other big “hype” breweries soon to follow? “Yes,” Kyle stated firmly.
He went on to explain why he couldn’t talk about them until licensing is done. He mentioned there’s always stuff in the works. “Next week, we see the return of a (very) small amount of Cantillon, and the first shipment of Belgian cult favorite Fantôme,” so be on the lookout for those. You know the accounts that’ll get them.
As much as Danielle and I loved NYC, (and we’ll be back for sure,) I’m all for the convenience. Especially since the beer’s so fresh! Some of the hype breweries have churned out IPAs that are a bit too fresh with too much hop burn, and this is a fine balance that EQ and OH seems to have dialed in well. Currently sipping on a 3 week old Other Half as I type this, and it’s perfect. Regardless of the convenience, we’ll be back to OH in Brooklyn as well.
So Other Half in Texas, some more Cantillon coming in hot, and more big names on the way. It’s going to be an interesting summer in the Houston beer world! Stay tuned.
Beers to you, Houston.