TEXARKANA, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – There’s something new brewing in Texarkana: craft beer.
With the opening of the town’s second brewery in just a few years, residents are acquiring a taste for the trend, something brew masters hope is a recipe for bringing more business to the city.
In Texarkana, each brewery has its own distinct flavor. Newest to the scene is Redbone Magic Brewing Company.
“It’s a Texarkana establishment, you know, it’s home-brewed,” said Mike Taylor.
Roger Sheppard first opened what he calls a “public house” last fall with one mission.
“We’re actually trying to make Texarkana fun again,” said Sheppard.
Sheppard said his family-friendly establishment is doing just that, and helping keep young people in town instead of moving to bigger cities.
“The owner, he does magic to the kids and the people, and it’s really fun,” said Baylen Stewart, 12.
Kids come for the karaoke and wood-fired pizza, adults come for a taste of what’s on-tap.
“We’ve got about 1,800 gallons of beer that’s rolling right now,” said Sheppard.
Beer is brewed in tanks on-site. House creations lean more toward the lighter side, guest beers are brought in for the stouts and porters.
“If you’re just gonna be a Michelob Ultra drinker, we’ve got that too,” said Sheppard. “We’re not gonna let anybody go without having something to drink.”
Meanwhile in downtown, Pecan Point is credited with serving Texarkanans their first taste of craft creations.
“We knew that we were going to have to educate a lot of our clientele about craft beer,” said Bill Scurlock, president and head brewer at Pecan Point. “Because craft beer was not a big thing in Texarkana.”
Fast-forward five years later, and Pecan Point is still inviting folks to raise a glass next to the Perot Theatre.
“When I come, I just get a flight,” said Zach Burks. “I don’t really know much about beers, so I just get the waitress to pick four random ones. And, usually out of those four, I find one that I like and it’s usually one that Pecan Point brews here.”
Scurlock’s passion for brewing is rivaled by his passion for honoring the town’s history. Each draft pulls from the past.
“The Iron Mountain IPA is named for the railroad that came from Arkansas to the state line, Grim Porter is named for the Hotel Grim,” said Scurlock.
The atmosphere at Pecan Point is decidedly different.
“It’s nicer, quieter, not so many noisy people,” said Linda Moon.
The menu is also not your typical pub fare, allowing guests to experiment with new experiences in hopes to inspire a continued brewery boom.
“It would be good for downtown, it would be good for us,” said Scurlock. “And, it would be fun. It would be fun having a brewer across the street.”
To sell their drinks on-premises, Texas law requires 51 percent of a microbrewery’s sales be food.