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Breweries & Vineyards

True Vine Brewery: Three Men on a Mission of Integrity, Love and Community

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By Barbara King

You won’t find a big flashy sign on the front or any glimpse of a thriving small business inside. Just off the beaten path in a warehouse district just west of downtown Tyler, is a full-on tiny beer factory with a difference.

You will find three young, dedicated men with a mission, hence the aptly named True Vine Brewing Company. As co-founder Ryan Dixon explains, “we began with the three of us and a silent partner. As Jesus said, ‘I am the true vine, apart from me you can do nothing.’” The three friends in life and in business have taken the bull by the horns, and with vision and purpose have begun a growing partnership centered on God, beer and family. It might seem a strange combination, but the trio brings all the core elements of integrity, love and community to the crafting and distribution of their one-of-a-kind brews.

Ryan Dixon, Stephen Lee and Dan Griffith have a unique partnership grounded in faith, family and hard work. Each of them have their own “real pay-the-bills” full time jobs and originally considered opening a brew pub with food service, deciding instead to concentrate on their passion to open as a production brewery.

true vine brewery tyler txIn April of 2013, they established the brewery in a warehouse Ryan describes as “a derelict, unloved space full of old wood and dust” that now houses the tiny beer factory consisting of a one barrel system and three barrel fermenters, but as Ryan says “this is just the beginning of our branching out to Phase II.” Recently purchasing the building, the men have big hopes and plan to “add equipment and grow the brewery to double its size,” explains Dixon.

With a world-view on beer, the end result is to “never settle, and keep producing a product of excellence,” Dixon says. The history of beer throughout the ages is a fascinating look at a drink that equalizes, bonds and brings people together in times of joy and sorrow. The labor of love that is True Vine Brewery includes a vow to produce the best quality hand crafted brews, to educate and to promote the sense of the “cool community and to bring a piece of Tyler to our beers.”

Crafting beer is a painstaking and arduous process, but the results can be incredible. With the smell of wheat and hops filling the warehouse space, the brewing process is in full swing. Recipes are in constant flux, with taste-testing, changes and tweaks throughout the process. “The three steps in brewing always consist of combining water, some kind of cereal grain, hops for balance and, of course, yeast,” explains Dixon.

true vine brewery tyler tx 3Dixon is taste-testing a new batch of sour beer, while proudly explaining the virtues of True Vine’s flagship beer, the Rose City Pale Ale, a homage to the city they call home. The citrusy brew appeals to all genders, and is a mellow smooth ale.

Also on the shelves is a unique collaboration with a neighboring business, Porch Culture Coffee Roasters, resulting in a coffee-infused porter accurately monikered, the “True Culture Coffee Porter.”

The trio released a Belgian strong blend, The Promised Land, paying homage to the land flowing with milk and honey. This creamy blend also adds the sweetness of milk, sugar and local East Texas honey.

Kip’s Pumpkin Ale pays homage to one of Ryan’s personal heroes, his late father-in-law. Part of the “Hero Series,” this seasonal favorite is a spicy malt, based on the classic Octoberfest/Marzen style. Pumpkin ales are noted back in history as one of the first ales brewed in America by the early settlers and still very popular today.

Yearning for a beer while out and about in Tyler? You can savor one of True Vine’s specialties featured on tap at Stanley’s, Juls, Soju, Fresh by Brookshire’s, BJ’s Brewhouse, Wasabi, or Breakers – so literally in all areas of town.

true vine brewery tyler tx 2Building community is core to the expanded vision of the enterprise and a walk out the back door will give you a look at what the next step is all about.

Currently, the trio hosts a “cool community Open Taps event the last Saturday of every month,” explains Dixon. Bring a chair and a friend (or 20) and join the vibe at the brewery. Every Open Taps night is chock full of music, food, local art and, of course, beer. The fun starts at 5pm and it is a family event, with root beer made on-site for the kids. For a mere $10 in advance, guests can enjoy two different beers, go home with a unique True Vine Brewing Company glass and be part of a vibrant, fun community.

“Last month we had over 350 people join us outside with live music, a food truck and great beer to taste,” says Dixon. “Our monthly Taps just keeps growing and growing and we are so honored to be a part of the Tyler community and make people aware of what’s happening in other areas of the city.”

true vine brwery tyler tx 7Plans for the backyard include an expanded patio, additional seating and a stage to host some of the local artists who love being part of the event. A tap room and outside beer garden are part of the Phase II dream for the beer trio. Food and fellowship make these Taps nights unique to Tyler.

The tiny brewery ‘that could’ is growing…but with a purpose. True Vine’s passion is to give back to the community, grow in faith and vision and continue to distribute a product to be proud of.

True Vine Brewery is located at 219 S. Englewood Ave., west of downtown Tyler, just off Front St. Come early to get a parking spot close by.

For more information about the brewery, Open Taps night or about beer in general, visit them at truevinebrewing.com or on Facebook at truevinebrewing.

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Breweries & Vineyards

ETX Brewery: It’s time for OKTOBERFEST, {BE}ER Happy!

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There’s a lot going on at the Brewery Downtown. ETX Brewing Co. is located at 221 S. Broadway, Downtown Tyler, etxbrew.com, facebook.com/ETXBrew, (903)630-7720.

ETX Brewery offers onsite quality craft beers. Alongside it, The Porch at ETX offers wonderful food and a relaxed atmosphere.

There is live music most Friday and Saturday starting around 8pm.

This Weekend: It’s time for OKTOBERFEST

For 4-days, come out and salute German culture Wednesday & Thursday, September 23rd-24th, 11am-10pm, and Friday & Saturday, September 25th-26th, 11am-11pm.

Details HERE

Don’t hesitate to come by, have a drink and BE{ER} HAPPY! This month’s events are:

For more events, check out EGuideMagazine.com ‘s entire

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Breweries & Vineyards

Sign Up & Start Sippin’: The Thirsty Pines Tour

By Holli Fourniquet

When you journey around East Texas, it’s easy to understand why Texas gets its reputation for being hospitable.

With welcoming locals, lovely scenery, and tall pine trees, your drive around the area is filled with friendly faces and beautiful backdrops. Explore the entire region for yourself with the recently launched Thirsty Pines Tour.

The free Thirsty Pines Tour is a mobile drinking passport experience connecting you to the region’s top craft beverage purveyors. The pass features the best in coffee shops, wine bars, breweries, and even a distillery in the piney woods. Those who visit a designated number of locations will receive an exclusive “Go East Texas” stone coaster set.

How it Works

It’s really easy to get started on your sippin’ tour of East Texas. Download the pass at GoEastTexas.com to begin your journey then follow these easy steps.

  1. The Thirsty Pines Tour is a curated collection of great deals and discounts for the best of East Texas’ craft beverages. The first step is to visit GoEastTexas.com and download the pass to your mobile phone.
  2. Once you hit download, the virtual pass will be instantly delivered to your phone via text and email and is ready to use immediately. There is no app to download. Your pass can be saved to your phone’s home screen for easy one-tap access. (The pass expires one year after its activation date.)
  3. When visiting a venue, simply present your phone to the attendant to obtain the code and check-in or redeem available discounts. Once you have redeemed at two locations from each of the three cities (Tyler, Lindale, and Longview), a prize button will automate at the bottom of your passport.

Once you have completed the pass, you will be able to pick up an exclusive “Go East Texas” stone coaster set as a prize from any of the visitor centers located in Longview, Lindale, or Tyler. These coaster sets are only available to participants who complete the Thirsty Pines Tour.

Gulp Your Way to a Getaway

But wait, there’s more! Those who complete the tour are also entered into an East Texas getaway package that includes accommodations, gift cards to restaurants and attractions, foodie-focused souvenirs, and more. The Grand Prize Getaway winner will be drawn twice a year.

What’s Included

Each Thirsty Pines Tour location is unique, so participants need to pay attention to each individual “check-in” instruction to redeem the offer upon arrival. Check-in locations can be found in Tyler, Lindale, and Longview as well as a few others in between. Dig deeper into Tyler’s beverage culture with these local favorites:

  • Café 1948 – The newly opened Café 1948 located in Plaza Tower right on the square in Downtown Tyler features Downtown’s first Urban Market. At Café 1948 the focus is people, health, and wellness. Here you can enjoy fresh artisan juices and smoothies as well as healthy eats and craft coffee. Organic and gluten free options are available too.
  • ETX Brewing Company – ETX Brewing Company is family owned and operated and is the first and only brewpub in Tyler. A wide variety of beers are brewed onsite by brothers, Brian and Matt. The brewpub offers a full menu of tasty options that pair with every ale, and their famous Porch Burgers are ground fresh daily! Try their signature “Brickstreet Blonde” just a stone’s throw from Tyler’s famous brick streets. They also serve wine, cider, and non-alcoholic beverages for non-beer drinkers.
  • Kiepersol Vineyards, Winery, and Distillery – This beautiful 63-acre vineyard continues to grow in acclaim. Visitors enjoy wine tastings, tours of the winemaking process, and relaxing on the veranda overlooking the expansive vista of the vineyard. Kiepersol also offers spirited, artisan-crafted drinks by the glass, featuring rum, bourbon, or vodka, which are all specialties of the Distillery.
  • The Foundry Coffee House – The Foundry Coffee House offers local East Texas craft coffee, an authentic community, artisan pastries, live music, and local art. Add scratch-made rose syrup to any craft coffee or tea for a little flavor of Tyler in your cup. The Matcha Rose drink is a local favorite. Seeing roses in Tyler is a must, but tasting them is also one of the hottest things to do while in the area.
  • True Vine Brewing Company – True Vine Brewing Company, now in two locations, is Tyler’s first craft brewery. They offer artistically inspired beers for every palate. True Vine is community focused with a family and pet-friendly environment, outdoor games, live local music, and art. Try the Rose City IPA, a double dry-hopped IPA that embodies Tyler’s down-to-earth spirit. As tempting as it is, the Rose City IPA is just one of many brews you can enjoy in True Vine’s taproom or on the sunbaked outdoor patio, including the refreshing Mermaids & Unicorns blonde ale and the easy-drinking Round Table amber ale.

Social Sippin’

Share the fun of the pass online! Follow “Go East Texas” on Facebook to see tour photos and updates on limited beverage releases, more information about the businesses, special events, and other notable announcements. Also, use #GoEastTexas to share your fun with everyone else.

More About Go East Texas

Go East Texas is a regional collaboration between the visitor centers in Tyler, Lindale, and Longview. The mission of the group is to encourage residents to be a “tourist in their own backyard.” The Thirsty Pines Tour is just the first of many digitally-driven tours that Go East Texas will be launching within the next couple of years to inspire everyone to explore local businesses in the piney woods.

With these passes, you’ll be able to stop and smell Tyler’s famous roses, let Lindale entertain you, and savor the Texas flavor in Longview while learning about the history and enjoying the culture along the way. There is no shortage of sights and sounds in these three cities, but once you have a taste, you’ll want to try them all! Let’s Go East Texas!

For more information and to download the pass, visit GoEastTexas.com.

We encourage participants to either call or check the website/social media of each location before visiting as businesses might have different hours and/or protocols during this time.

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Breweries & Vineyards

Kiepersol Drive Thru Now Offering Wine To Go & More

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The Restaurant Drive-thru, Food Options, and Delivery Updates

Kiepersol has closed the dining area of the restaurant. The majority of their menu is available for drive-thru now. Delivery is also a new option available for $1/mile with a minimum purchase of $30. See the drive-thru and delivery menu. Call (903)894.3300 to order drive-thru or delivery.
The tasting rooms are not open at Kiepersol either. Some of you have already visited the new drive-thru wine pick up location at the Kiepersol headquarters. This is a place where you can simply drive up, order wine by the bottle and they will have a guest liaison bring it to your car. Also, as part of this new concept for pick up or online orders, any 2014 vintage Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Syrah is 50% off! Online, the discount is automatically added during checkout.

This is located at 3933 FM 344 E, Tyler TX 75703, the two-story metal building on FM 344 just west of the entrance to Kiepersol. The drive-thru will be open from 9am-7pm Monday-Saturday and 10am-7pm on Sunday. Kiepersol also has some pre-packaged snacks, meats, and cheeses for you there.

Please call ahead for large wine orders so that they can get them together in a timely manner. Curbside pick up of spirits is still available from the Distillery. Call to order or visit the wine drive-thru for more information. (903)894-8995.

Gift cards can also be purchased at this location and ordering online.

The majority of Kiepersol’s regular dinner menu is available at the drive-thru. Delivery is also a new option available for $1/mile with a minimum purchase of $30. See the drive-thru and delivery menu.

Kiepersol now has family-style meals for 4, 6 or 8 people. This is a great pick up or delivery option for your family with menu choices like Chicken Kiepersol, Stroganoff, Meatballs, Chicken Marinara, and Shrimp Sauté, See the menu here. Call (903)894-3300 to order drive-thru or delivery.

You can also enjoy any of Kiepersol’s wines at home by ordering online at shop.kiepersol.com for delivery anywhere in Texas. If you order 12 bottles, a flat shipping fee of $9.99  is automatically applied.

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