Take a look down Sorters McClellan Road near the Lone Star College - Kingwood campus and you'll find plenty of action. The Back Pew Brewing Company is renovating a former office building into a micro-brewery featuring beer lines for "saints" and "sinners." The company, founded by native Houstonian Bobby Harl — who has a Ph.D. in chemical engineering and an M.B.A., has invested over $600,000 on equipment and has a total investment of more than $1.1 million into the project.
Harl crafted his "saints" beers to be "approachable" and appealing to a wider audience. "More flavor, more richness. It has a little more alcohol [than regular beer] but nothing like switching over entirely," said Harl. The "sinners" line will be the exact opposite. "Those are going to be our bigger, more intense craft beers. This is where we can get crazy and experiment with flavors."
The company will start off with two beers per line, self-distributing to local bars and restaurants, and will eventually expand the line and their distribution. Harl said he plans to market the space to encourage visitors to stop by and taste test their latest recipes and bring in some outdoor dining options so that people can make a Saturday afternoon of it. "We've got 14 acres here, so we have a lot of room to really make something out of this space," he said.
But the start-up company is a long way off from beer gardens and visitors. They've still got to clean up the main warehouse and do the dirty work before popping a top. The micro-brewery is expected to open sometime this fall.
EMCID has agreed to provide incentive funding of $15,000 to the company provided that by October 2017 the company has hired three employees who reside within the District boundaries. In return, Back Pew Brewing Company has agreed to donate $1,000 each year for five years to the East Montgomery County Scholarship Foundation.