Grabbing a cold one to the creative minds who make up Armadillo Ale Works in a Denton garage means popping the top off a bottle of dreams.
“I had brewed as a hobby. Never thought I’d do it professionally. Right before I graduated I kind of had a, I don’t know, I was worried that I wasn’t going to be able to find jobs in the DFW area. So, I was like, what’s my next passion? I like making beer. So, I hit up all the local Texas breweries and luckily landed a job at St. Arnold,” said Armadillo Ale Works Co-Founder and Head Brewer Bobby Mullins.
Mullins and his business partner Yianni Arestis make up Armadillo Ale Works, currently housed in a small garage. The idea is to bring quality craft beer to Denton.
“We’ve got Yellow Belly Blonde, which I mean is a fairly straight forward blonde. We throw in a little bit of honey malt to kind of spice things up a bit. We’ve got the ‘Hefe What?’ Hefeweizen. Which is a fairly traditional Hefeweizen. But we use grapefruit and coriander,” said Mullins.
In addition to beer the duo is also experimenting with something that will satisfy your sweet tooth.
“I guess with sodas it’s more like making a juice drink or a tea and then carbonating it,” said Mullins.
The experimental brews are all part of the hard work that started more than a year ago.
“It’s going really well, actually. We’ve been at it a little over a year now. We’ve just been creating and promoting awareness for the brand. Working on test batches, obviously,” said Mullins.
The two have also been raising money and getting a lot of support from people they’ve never met.
“We just finished our Kickstarter campaign. Kickstarter is like a crowd funding website. We successfully raised just a little bit over $34,000. They are donations from regular people. It’s really, really cool. I was very happy about that,” said Mullins.
More than 300 people backed them with some donations as small as $5. The hope is to combine the money with personal capital and to open the brewery in a little more than a year.
“The thing I like about it most is that at the end of the day I am making beer and, you know, most people like beer and it’s a thing that makes people happy,” said Mullins.
No matter how big Armadillo gets, the amateur makeshift equipment -- the mechanical roots of the business -- has a future.
“I’ll most likely still brew for fun and, on top of that, coming up with new ideas for seasonals and special release beers we’ll still be brewing on systems like this,” said Mullins about his Gatorade cooler-based brewing system.
Neither partner will miss brewing inside a small garage as the sun beams down sweating hot temps on an already sizzling Texas day.
“Oh! Hopefully, we’ll be using this equipment in the warehouse with the other equipment because I think my parents are ready for me to get out of their hair,” said Mullins.
Armadillo Ale Works