The Rumor Mill Wins This Time: Urban South in Houston and a Familiar Face Mashing In


The Rumor Mill Wins This Time: Urban South in Houston and a Familiar Face Mashing In


If you’re a part of the subculture of super beer nerds within the subculture of craft beer, then you may have heard some rumors about Urban South coming to Houston by way of a taproom in the Sawyer Yards neighborhood. You may also be super meta.

Those rumors have been confirmed, and the Urban South Houston location will boast an 11,000-square-foot brewery with a 3,500-square-foot beer garden scheduled to open in fall of 2019. With Holler and Platypus right around the corner and a nearby Buff Brew beer mecca underway, Sawyer Yards is gonna be lit.

The new Urban South Houston location will focus on taproom sales only, leaving shelves and tap walls to the rest of Houston’s beloved breweries. This also means they’ll focus almost exclusively on experimental beers.

“Houston was an easy choice for our first satellite brewery. The connections between the city and New Orleans run deep, and we love that their craft beer culture is forward-thinking, innovative and rapidly growing,” said Jacob Landry, founder, Urban South Brewery. “We’re excited to be a part of this creative community, sharing the grassroots gospel of good beer in the South.”

Following Parish’s recent distribution expansion into Houston, this is further proof that there’s still plenty of room for new breweries in here, whether or not the beer’s really Houston beer.

With that rumor confirmed, there’s only one elephant left in the room, and that’s a guy named Dave Ohmer. Also, he’s not an elephant.

Dave is somewhat of a legend in Houston having been brewing hazy IPAs before they were a trend, and he’s also good friends with one of our old writers, Sam (AKA Samber). There have been some whispers in our DMs, texts, and emails about if it’ll be Dave mashing in at Urban South’s Houston location, and we’re here to confirm that rumor too.

Dave will be the head brewer at Urban South Houston, and he was kind enough to share a bit more.

His resume paints the picture of a brewing journeyman or someone that’s highly sought after and aggressively scouted. We’re not sure which, but either way, Houston wins the draft and then trades up.

9 years – Woodruff Brewing in Knoxville
2 years – Saw Works Brewing in Knoxville
4 years – Whole Foods Market Brewing in Houston
9 Months – B52 Brewing in Houston
A few months – Urban South

From Knoxville to Houston to NOLA, he’s quite a rolling stone.

He told us that getting to open Whole Food’s first brewery was an opportunity that he couldn’t pass up, and it was what brought him to Houston in the first place.

Eventually, he had to bail because “I think we had really hit the ceiling of what WFM and Amazon wanted to do with that project at the time. Plus, I really looked forward to working on new beers with some of my best friends up at B52.”

He left B52 soon after because he wasn’t a great fit culturally despite loving his time there. Marin from B52 shared a similar sentiment. “He was with us 9 months – best 9 months of my life 🙌🏼🍻 [It’s] really cool that we actually got to work together. [He’s a] longtime friend of Justin’s & mine, and we had always joked about doing this together and we actually got to! Very thankful for him all around!”

James Carlyle, current head brewer at Whole Foods also sang Dave’s praises during our recent interview with him.

Here’s some of the other stuff Dave shared with us.

What are the three things you’re looking forward to most upon your triumphant return to Houston?

“Dinner with my wife and playing with my cat Oliver, and sharing some beers with friends.”

Why Urban South? 

“This project and this brewery model were the right fit. Plus the culture and team Urban South has built makes you want to be a part of it.”

Will Urban South Houston give you freedom on brewing, or will you be brewing some of their existing beers?

“We will be brewing fun and exciting beers that I think speaks to the people of Houston. I love the beers we are brewing in New Orleans, but with this size of this project, we will be able to be a bit more adventurous. I am really excited to have some space to do more lagers, but you can also expect all types of sours, stouts, and cans of Hazy IPAs”

Can we expect some Urban South Houston x B52 x Whole Foods Brewing collabs? How about a five-way quad-quetrilization adding Baa Baa and SpindleTap to the mix?

“Yes, Yes, Yes, and Yes.”

Anything else you wanna share about your journey, Urban South, or your return to Houston?

“Stay tuned, there are a lot of other cool things going into the building. I’m excited for the challenge of fusing Urban South’s philosophy with the innovation that’s happening in the Houston scene, said Ohmer, “Any company could just send its beer to a new market and call it a day. It’s rare to find a brewery that is so passionate about the creative process and willing to adopt innovations to reflect the community they are joining, while also investing to ensure the team is set up for success.”

Well, you heard the man. Stay tuned! See y’all at Sawyer Yards soon-ish! Beers to you, Houston! 🍻

Beer Chronicle Team
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