By Sarah Huether
“We don’t take ourselves too seriously – we take the beer making seriously,” says Josh Bass. Surrounded by stacks of kegs, fluorescent lights reflecting off of the row of silver fermenters, Bass sits comfortably in Brazos Valley Brewery’s 7700 square feet. “I fell into it because it was fun,” says Bass.
“We always drank beer, probably too much beer,” jokes Bass who started Brazos Valley Brewery with his older brother Jeremy, and their childhood friend, Nelson.
“When you start home brewing, you get this addiction to it,” says Bass, describing the smells of the mash, the hops and the boil. A labor of love, Bass and his partners have their hands in every step. From weighing the grain to capping the bottles on the foam, even delivering their beer from Galveston to Waco, a total of six guys make it happen. “[When you] finally get to crack open that beer and it tastes great, it’s even better.”
“We’re brewing it for the cause,” says Bass, quoting the tagline of their Indian pale ale, The Cause. Jamming out to heavy metal in the brewery, the tagline originated from the song “The Cause” by NOFX, toying with the line “we’re doing it for the cause.” Drawing from the trio’s band days, Bass says many of the beer titles and taglines are created from songs. The black Indian Pale Ale was named “The Effect” to follow “The Cause.” “Can’t have one without the other,” adds Bass.
Selling the first beer on December 18, 2013, “everything kept growing,” says Bass. The brewery has since doubled cellar capacity, brewing at a rate of 80 barrels a month. With five styles of beers, and one in the works, Bass says they hope to eventually reach a production level 10,000 to 15,000 barrels per year.
Bass’ favorite part? “Going to Specs or the bar and ordering my own beer knowing I probably kegged that beer [and] know for a fact Jeremy and Nelson brewed it.”
Located in Brenham, Bass says the brewery has found a receptive and supportive community. Moving forward, Bass aims to “ditch the day job” working in offshore oil and gas. All the partners work full time and brew on the weekends, but hope to one day work the brewery full time and move to Brenham, says Bass.
Hosting several dinners, pint nights, and attending beer festivals, finding a pint of Brazos Valley Brew will not be difficult in the future. To learn more about the Brazos Valley Brewery, visit www.brazosvalleybrewery.com.