It's been a quarter-century or so since the alt-timers could hand you a dunkelweiss off the back of their parade float during Berges Fest, but there's still plenty of beer to go around in Boerne.
In addition to the Dodging Duck's brewpub setup and Boerne Brewing's tradition-minded output, the little burg 30 miles up I-10 is about to see its third full-time operation, Kinematic Brewing, open its doors next month.
Just don't expect them to be pouring your Opa's pilsner.
"Our four main beers will be our Meridian Belgian Wit, Ascension Double IPA, Umbra Imperial Porter and Declination Pale Ale," Jaime Beaumont, brewery representative and wife of brewmaster Jon Beaumont, told the San Antonio Current. "Right now in the fermenter we've got a session IPA and a pale ale brewed with actual killer bee honey."
Clearly, it's Reinheitsgebot-be-darned at this nanobrewery, which began production in January at its location on Highway 46.
Paradoxically, Jon credits his visit to Heineken's Amsterdam headquarters in the mid-90s with inspiring his ultimate move to take his homebrewing habit public.
"I was completely blown away by the scale of it, its mechanics," he said. "It seemed like the ultimate place to work everyday." Twenty years later, the Beaumonts paired with business partner David Salazar to realize their dream.
Kinematic's setup has come a long way from the days of Jon's homemade three-burner gas stove. Their four-barrel system can produce roughly 400 gallons at full production, with 24 kegs on hand to house the finished product. Kinematic's TABC brewpub credentials are already in place, which means thirsty visitors will be able to take home a growler or two.
The taproom's soft opening is tentatively slated for July 11, with regular weekend hours toward the end of the month.
But back to the killer bee beer — how does such experimentation fit a community accustomed to kolsch?
"I really feel that these styles can give a sense of terroir," Jon mused, "particularly if you think of what Jester King is doing with their farmhouse ales."
In fact, breaking with tradition was part of the mission.
"That was my idea for the [brewery slogan] 'Lunatic Fringe': making beers that you wouldn't associate with a brewery coming from Boerne, Texas," he said.
That doesn't mean he's throwing the local tradition out the window. Though his recipes have more in common with America's avant-garde than Boerne's Teutonic pioneers, Jon is mindful of the Hill Country's beer history.
"I think that anything we do in the present is indelibly touched by the past, and brewing is no exception," he said. "I really feel a sense of connection with the brewing traditions of our region and I think that through those traditions, we can find something new and different — something we can claim as our own, in our time."
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