The brewery expects to produce more than 20,000 barrels of beer this year — a barrel is 31 gallons — but could potentially produce up to 100,000 barrels at its new location.
”It would have been easier and cheaper for us to get places that are outside the Beltway, but that’s not really what I felt like we’re about,” Wagner said.
Last Friday, Saint Arnold’s became the owner of a large, red brick building at 2000 Lyons Ave., just north of downtown and visible from Interstate 10, that was formerly a frozen food distribution center for the Houston Independent School District.
”It was perfect,” he said. ”The parking lot across the street comes with it, and it’s right by downtown. You can’t get any closer.”
By June 2009, Wagner is hoping to have transferred all operations to the new brewery. Although some major changes are in store — such as air-conditioning, nicer bathrooms, tours on weekdays and a newer, bigger brewhouse — he wants the overall feel to stay the same.
”I never in my wildest dreams thought we would have 500 people showing up here on a Saturday,” he said. ”I thought that 50 would be a huge success. I want the Saturday tour to continue on and be this special thing, just like it has been here.”
Wagner said that while he plans for this to be the brewery’s one and only move, he anticipates a strong future for Saint Arnold’s.
”When people drive by (I hope) they’re compelled to say, ‘That’s where Saint Arnold is made.’ That to me is really the goal, and something that will live on for a long time.”
Here’s a Google map satellite view of the location. I’ve got to drive by and take a picture of it. And I can’t wait for the first tour at the new digs.