Whole Foods Market hired Dave Ohmer to make beer for the grocer as it prepares to open a brewpub inside one of its newest stores.
The store, which will be located inside the BLVD Place building in Houston, opens November 6 and will contain a 40-seat brewpub with 20 beer taps and brewing tanks visible to customers from behind glass walls, reports the Houston Chronicle. The brewpub will operate separately from the grocery store under the name Whole Foods Market Brewing Company.
The brewpub will operate like any other, with beer brewed onsite and then sent to taps at the bar where customers can walk around with pints in their hands. Except this one will be located inside a grocery store, where a simple trip could turn into an hours-long errand at the bar.
Changes in Texas' beer laws that took effect last June allow for breweries to market and self distribute their product to retailers. The law changed to help the state's growing craft beer industry. (Take a hint, Florida!)
Whole Foods, which has had success in pushing a variety of craft beers for several years, is taking advantage of the new law by building its own in-store brewpub and hiring a brewmaster. Now it may be that Whole Foods brand beer could be found in its other locations across the country, or in other stores.
Even though breweries in Florida cannot self-distribute, for years they have been enjoying the privilege of selling their beer on premise in tap rooms - through a loophole about promoting Florida tourism originally created for Busch Gardens. Ironic, isn't it?
Gas stations and restaurants in the state are even taking advantage by installing growler systems (to-go tap beer) allowing customers to take fresh beer -- otherwise not found in bottles or cans -- home with them.
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.