Texas Brews News
By: Scooter Hendon | 11/04/2013
Along with brewmaster Jamie Fulton, Community Beer Company founder Kevin Carr and his team have grown their brewery to being nationally recognized in a very short period of time. This was punctuated by the Gold medal they earned at October’s Great American Beer Festival in Denver for the Public Ale. We spoke with Carr at the brewery recently about winning medals, which styles are most popular and where they think they’ll head in the next year:
Texas Brews: So Public Ale won Gold at Great American Beer Festival, and that has been one of your beers from the beginning, how’d you land on that one?
Kevin Carr: It’s funny because Jamie and I worked on a lot of the beers that we’d start with, but the one real vote that I had was that we’d have something like a beer that I liked. When I’d go to pubs, I always liked the English ales that you’d have there. So we actually went to a place and bought like 10 or 15 different styles in that kind of genre and tasted them all and dialed in what we liked of each and where we wanted this one to be. For me it was the kind of beer I wanted us to put forth. And it became Jamie’s favorite one that we did. The other styles that we do get a lot more attention than that one, so it’s nice to have won an award for a beer that doesn’t sell as much.
TB: I was talking to someone in a bar recently about Community and I said “Did you see Public Ale won a Gold at GABF?” And she responded “Why didn’t Mosaic win, everyone loves that beer!” Not as many breweries make an ESB, so the field isn’t quite as thick, right?
Carr: There were nearly 60 (ESBs) in the category, which is kind of on the higher end. There are some like IPA that had over 250. Others have 80 or 90, but it’s good, you put them in and see what happens. We’re honored that one of them won.
TB: I’ve heard rumors that the recipe for Community Vienna Lager is the same as what Jamie brewed at The Covey (now closed Fort Worth brewpub) and won some awards with, is that true?
Carr: Yes, it is. And he won with Cowboy Lager and 100, which is the precursor to Inspiration (Community’s Belgian strong ale). The vienna lager won at World Beer Cup. It won gold one year and silver another year.
TB: It seems like you guys have two different segments of beer. You kind of have traditional well-made styles that is stuff that people know and are comfortable with. And then you have some of the cool Belgian stuff, did you split it up this way on purpose?
Carr: That’s true, we have more sessionable versus more true Belgian, higher alcohol, bottle conditioned. They’re two different categories. The third that we’re getting into, that a lot of breweries do, is we’re about to start our barrel-aging program. We’re going to do a lot more seasonals. We’ve got a Scotch ale that’s coming out that’s amazing. We’ll take some of it as is and barrel age the other half of the batch.
TB: Where are you guys at growth wise from what you expected when you launched and where do you think you’ll head in then next year from an output perspective?
Carr: I think we’re right where we hoped we’d be at this point. Next year, we have more tanks coming in we’re about to release six packs (they have since released six packs since this interview). Next year is the year where we’re really focusing on getting more product made and out to the market so we’ll be growing even more.