Food truck. Check. Ice cream truck. Check. Brewery. Coming soon.
While many of us would be happy just to nosh on Eatsie Boys' sweet and savory treats forever, the boys are not stopping with their food trucks. Eatsie Boys' partners Ryan Soroka, Alex Vassilakidis and Chef Matt Marcus have joined forces with Master Brewer Aaron Corsi to bring you 8th Wonder Brewery, where high-end beers with a culinary twist will reign.
The brewery has been a "passion project" three years in the making. Ryan, a home brewer since '04, proposed the idea of opening a brewpub to Aaron while both were at the University of Houston pursuing master's degrees. Unfortunately for their brewpub-in-the-making, the laws in Texas do not allow brewpubs to distribute. Ryan says, "The name of this game is distribution. That's how you can cover your investment."
So when Alex later proposed the idea of the food truck, they knew this in combination with a brewery will serve as their "non-traditional brewpub." And, yes, that does mean that the Eatsie Boys truck will be parked at 8th Wonder.
8th Wonder Brewery is currently a "man cave" (i.e., bare-bones structure with a big ass fan and their pilot brewing system) in the industrial, up-and-coming EaDo (that's East Downtown from those, like me, unfamiliar with the lingo). Just two blocks from the George R. Brown, the guys are certain that this part of town is going to flourish. While the walls are currently decorated in the creative doodlings of the 8th Wonder crew, they plan to have Skeez, the artist who painted both Eatsie Boys' trucks, create some new, funky, brewery art.
As they wait on TABC permits and construction, they're brewing using a standardized one-keg system, which allows them to create and perfect their upcoming ales. Although this guy will likely soon share his space with a 20-barrel, 40-keg system, they will probably continue to use the smaller system in order to create their test batches.
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With these systems they are creating unique beers, some of which may be "category benders." Ryan says, "We respect the history of beer classification, but we're creative people and we want to do our own thing." First up are three beers, an IPA, an Amber, and a Blonde, all of which have twists. The guys were tight-lipped about the actual nature of these twists, but Aaron says they are "not your traditional cookie-cutter" versions of these styles. And, if you're not a beer drinker, 8th Wonder Brewery is also making root beer, which will also be available on the Eatsie Boys Ice Cream truck (float, anyone?) and in Benjy's new Local Foods market.
Although you may see some product hitting the streets by the end of this year, 8th Wonder plans to be fully up and operational during the first quarter of 2012.