From Beer to Shining Beer

When I heard the news that Karbach sold its business to the world’s largest brewer AB-Inbev my initial unfiltered honest reaction was – oh fudge.  Son of a bitch, a giant global conglomerate snagged up another independent brand. I hate that. I felt like Inbev just shot my eye out and I wanted to drink my Ovaltine.

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Then I got to thinking about how many of us entrepreneurs have the dream of cashing in on your work one day. Start a business, nurture it, build it, and if you are fortunate enough there’s a pay day that has you smoking cigars on a nice beach somewhere tropical. This spirit inside me applauded Karbach’s creators, their success, and their inspiration. I do congratulate Karbach for their prosperiety, but I have to admit there is a part of me that roots for a business like Karbach to remain independent by resisting the bounty of a big payday. I prefer the stories where an independent came from nowhere to build a business, remains a pillar in their community, and enjoys the deeper fullfillment of independence.  I am a dreamer you know.

A business like Saint Arnold, the original Texas craft brewer, has been doing it for 22 years now. They stay independent because they are loyal to their customers, vendors, employees, and community. I really admire the American dream where you become successful, smoke cigars on vacations in tropical locations, and come back to work in your home town. From my vantage point Saint Arnold’s customers a fiercly loyal back.

While the owners of the business have the ultimate say in these decisions, a business is also made of customers, vendors, and employees. When a big time corporate decision is made it is rarely done so with more than the owners and shareholders interest in mind. There really isn’t necessarily anything wrong with that. Last time I checked it is still America from beer to shining beer.

Eventhough I feel bad for those that get blind sided by changes they didn’t see coming it is again still America (atleast until next Tuesday anyways). Doing your own thing and controling your own destiny is there for anyone who wants to work for it. The fallout from these sort of corporate buyouts is how many a new business gets started. Lets watch for the first Karbach casuality to emerge on the scene either on their own or to the benefit of another brewing company.

We have been both a customer and a vendor of Karbach. We supplied cocoa nibs for three of their brews. Yule Shoot Your Eye Out two years in a row and their BBH Chocolate last Valentines Day. These are truly fantastic beers that are absolutley pure hand crafted treasures. The aroma of our cocoa nibs in the BBH Chocolate from Karbach was unmistakeble. It was something that only a hand full of us at Tejas would appreciate.

Saint Arnold too has bought our cocoa nibs and we have a new order to deliver soon for a December brew they have up their sleeves. Unlike Karbach, Saint Arnold went out of their way to let customers know where they got the cocoa nibs for the brew. Karbach never mentioned it all. Not that they have to but, I will say that doing business with Saint Arnold has always felt a little more personal.

My favorite sales call of all time was when Saint Arnold asked me to bring samples of cocoa nibs. I sat with several of the brewers in the beer hall chatting up beer and chocolate. Then Brock came by to sit and chat with us a for a bit. It was such a great experience to be with this group and to see Saint Arnold’s founder Brock Wagner in the middle of the daily routine at the brewery.

We are so happy that Houston BBQ invited us to participate in this years Barbecue Throwdown that takes place at Saint Arnold on November 20th.  It’s a perfect spot for independent owner operators to throw down on their locally inspired barbecue creations.

I’m always going to root for the local independent business whether its a brewer, a retailer, or a restaurant. There are many other local craft beer options and now is the time to have sympathy for another lager maker. Karbach had their run with us. We wish them well on the grocery store isle. For The Craftory, we’re going to hop over to another independent craft brewery to support.  A good Texan might say “Next Beer Up”.

The rest of the weekly recap spills over into last Halloween.  I took last Sunday off in case you didn’t notice.

Took the opportunity on Halloween to go vote. Michelle and I were looking to avoid long scary lines on election day.

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I was feeling inspired all week by early voters that came by to recharge with barbecue after expending so much energy casting votes.

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It was clear the path to decision 2016 has been exhausting for many. It seemed like folks all around couldn’t wait to cast their vote and be done with it all.  I can tell you that never have I been more tired of the nonsense of this political season. Never have I held my nose tighter while casting a vote against a candidate. But that’s the hand we were dealt. I’m dealing with it.

Good barbecue and chocolate can help take the edge off election chatter.

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I crawled out of the man cave last Sunday and made Michelle join me for a food truck festival over in The Woodlands.

A gorgeous afternoon led to a busy festival.

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On my one day off when facing a line like that to eat an alternate plan was set into motion.

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Dirty martinis on a quiet little patio is where I couldn’t get to quick enough. I told our server I wanted two Kettle One martini’s dirty as a politician.  A nice Sunday afternoon was had.

Some were dressing the part for Halloween week.

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Except those plaid pants was the normal outfit for this Frenchmen. That’s how the french shop for chocolate.

Half chickens were smoked, pork spare ribs were perfect, and briskets started to be pastrami.

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A woman has her priorities we learned this week.

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That’s a chocolate monster right there.

And finally, we’ve had a lot of requests to buy our Michilada mix. One lady told me she would be spending the weekend with the in laws and needed some assistance getting through the weekend. We are glad we could help. Now there is help for anyone who needs some medicine. Our house michilada starts with smoked tomatoes and garlic then is added to spices, tomato and lime juices.  When we make you a michilada At The Craftory we season the cup rim with our brisket rub.

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Our MeeeeCHElada mix is hanging out right next to our trusty Saint Arnold.

See ya around the hood.

Cheers! Scott

One last thing.  We are taking Thanksgiving turkey orders. Put down $50 to reserve you meal and we will settle up on the Wednesday pick up Thanksgiving week. The menu is Here.

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