Downtown Brewery Can’t Get the Taps Flowing

DOWNTOWN BREWERY CAN’T GET THE TAPS FLOWING San Antonio’s Freetail Brewing Co. has announced an “indefinite suspension” of its plans to build a 3-story, 20,000-sq.-ft. brewery, store, and restaurant in an unidentified existing building near the corner of Main and Prairie St. The problem: plenty of hops, not enough yeast: “I began to run into an increasing level of resistance in capital markets,” brewery owner Scott Metzger politely explains in a press release. He tells beer blogger Ronnie Crocker he wasn’t willing to scale back the $4.2 million project, and will keep fiddling with the company’s San Antonio operation instead. [Beer, TX; previously on Swamplot]

7 Comment

  • Sucks. No one(*) is lending for anything.
    (*) there are some exceptions, not many. But trying to get a loan for a home, investment property, or construction project is like punching yourself in the face repeatedly.

  • strange that they put this near Main/Prairie. Last I recall Metzger leaked that it would be within walking distance of Dynamo Park. Not to say that Main/Prairie isn’t, but that comment had me convinced he was eyeing the old warehouse with the cistern on top just east of 59. Were that the case, I’d surmise that resistance in capital markets = too close to the bums’ urinal

  • Good.

    St. Arnold’s – Houston beer.

    Don’t need another out-of-towner moving in.

  • Conspiracy Theory: I suspect Budweiser got state legislators to lean on lenders to dry the capital well.

  • @Udunno: No, bad.

    First, Houston can have more than one craft brewery. While it would seem like they’d be in competition with one another, multiple microbreweries would in fact help promote a culture of drinking good beer. Boulder, Colorado, for instance, has a myriad of thriving microbreweries. Creating this culture here in Houston could (ever so slightly) impact sales of Budweiser, hence Brad’s conspiracy theory.

    Second, Freetail isn’t even a microbrewery, it a brew pub: a restaurant that happens to make their own beer. And with current inexplicable, irrational Texas laws, brewpubs can’t sell their beer in stores, so you wouldn’t even see Freetail’s offerings next to Saint Arnold’s in a Spec’s.

  • Not surprised by this at all. Disappointed, yes. Surprised, no. This is how capitalism works. The owner of Freetail assumed/hoped (incorrectly) that the publicity that was raised here for his project would garner some investors. Didn’t happen. Four million bucks is a lot of dough, but it ain’t THAT much from a commercial venture standpoint. As allegedly successful as his San Antonio operation is, my guess is that he must be WAY over leveraged there if he can’t get the financing for this project. Or he doesn’t want to put up any of his own cash. Either way, kinda sucks for beer drinkers.

    Have a nice day, boys and girls!