City Acre Brewing: Houston's Homegrown Brewpub

Categories: Brew Blog

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City Acre's hazy Saison was a personal favorite on Saturday.
They're still scouting for head chefs for the food end of the brewpub, with one front-runner that Schlabach hopes to lure home. "Our front runner is a Texas native and good friend who currently works as a chef and kitchen manager up north," he says. "But we're working to get him back to Texas by enticing him with beer."

When City Acre does open, it will be a sprawling concept not unlike the atmosphere at Moon Tower Inn's acreage in the Second Ward, where people came to party in the grassy lot and throw horseshoes between pitchers of beer and hot dogs. Moon Tower Inn is currently closed for renovations and -- coincidentally -- when it reopens this summer, will also open as a proper brewpub.

Instead of several outbuildings and a grassy lot, however, City Acre will offer its guests the first floor of a sprawling Victorian-style (not Victorian era; the house was built much more recently than that) manse and a backyard that's currently being renovated to resemble a modern American biergarten in which to enjoy the brews and food.

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The bottom floor of the house has been completely refinished, with all of its original stained glass still intact.
Neither Moon Tower Inn nor City Acre will be traditional brewpubs in any sense. After all, Borden and Schlabach plan to live above the common area in the second floor of the home. But that's just how Schlabach wants it; a traditional brewpub is never what he set out to accomplish.

Instead, he says, "We truly hope that it's a place where people will want to hang out -- somewhere between a friend's backyard and a beer garden."



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25 comments
ConfusedSay
ConfusedSay

Residence/food establishment? Whaaat? How? Did something dramatically change in Texas health code or is there some fantabulous work around?

thelittlebaker
thelittlebaker

there is some really cool stuff going on over there and i am super excited for them. the chai porter was outstanding along with the excellent saison. it is a great time for craft beer in houston.

kelly bishop
kelly bishop

I have been really stoked about City Acre but the fact that there seem to be multiple people that have attended several, if not all, of the Open Houses while others have yet to go is a bit disheartening.  The process for getting an invitation is to e-mail City Acre and then wait to see if you get a confirmation. I personally know five people that requested an invite to this past Open House and no one received an invite.

A large part of growing the craft beer industry is to make it accessible.  Hosting the same people over and over for the Open House seems to fly in the face of that mentality.  I understand that a portion of the spots would be reserved for industry and close friends but it would be nice if City Acre took steps to see that people who have already attended an Open House were wait listed for future events in order to allow others a chance.  City Acre tweeted on 1/16 at 9:56 AM that reservation requests were being accepted.  I sent my request on 1/16 10:14 AM.  Not that City Acre ever claimed the process was first come first serve, but since they didn't stop accepting reservation requests until 1/18 at noon, it seems like I would have gotten my request in early enough.

Oh well.  As my light of hope dims on ever getting into a City Acre Open House, I will head to Petrol Station and Hay Merchant to drown my sorrows in craft beer. C'est la vie.

"John" Katz
"John" Katz

Wish I could've been there.  City Acre is going to be an amazing asset to Houston.

Irishjohn
Irishjohn

Really looking forward to this place opening. Yet another reason to visit Houston!

Daniel Glover
Daniel Glover

Was a great event to be a part of!  Also the smoked pork shoulder tacos with brussel sprout slaw were amazing!  As were the flourless chocolate tortes with Kaluha whipped cream!

Fridge
Fridge

Best of luck and well wishes to City Acre! Houston's beer outlook is getting better and better.

Josh
Josh

I'm gonna echo this frustration. I know its a work around system and its limited space and City Acre has better things to do then sift through emails, it doesn't make it less frustrating to those of us who follow the city and state beer scene religously and have requested every event.

I'm over the Dark Lord/Black Tuesday/$150 beer dinner/ebay resale exclusionary mentality going on right now in the industry and I am aware it's not even fair to lump City Acre in here but I've never been one to promote rational discussion on the internet.

You do have to conceed that it's easy for outsiders to perceive kellys point to be true when the articles photo is of the cities most prominent beer blogger and a brewer.

Anyway, I do hope absolutely nothing but the best for City Acre. I'll catch it once they open.

CityAcreBrewing
CityAcreBrewing

We do our best to ensure that people who have never attended get an invite; please be sure to tell us if/when you request an invitation to the April event that you've tried to go in the past and have never received an invitation. We just have far more requests than space, but the only people who have come to every event are close friends who help work the events. The rest of the crowd changes every time. We really appreciate your interest and would love it if you can attend the April event.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

I want the recipe for that Brussels sprout slaw. Do you know who made it? So good.

Assman
Assman

Everybody gets butthurt.... 

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

Hey, now. There were a TON of other people there that I didn't want to bug for photos. Leslie and Rassul were just kind enough to let me sit with them and snap a quick photo, since my photog got sick that day and I was left to my own devices with a point-and-shoot. Please don't let my limited photography skills serve as any indication of City Acre's invitation system.

Meredith Borders
Meredith Borders

Hi, I'm Meredith and I'm opening City Acre with Matt. Saturday was Leslie's first visit to City Acre and Rassul's brewery Buffalo Bayou collaborated on the chai porter with us. We want nothing more than to be inclusive and will try to accommodate all requests, but our hands are tied as to the system. Please let us know when you request an invitation to the April event that you've sent a request for previous events and haven't received one and we will do our best to make sure you can attend.

Josh
Josh

Or rather: CONCEDE.

CityAcreBrewing
CityAcreBrewing

I made the pork and slaw and my friend, Erin Curtis, made the torte.  Our many wonderful friends helped assemble nearly 300 tacos and plate the cake.  The slaw is incredibly easy.  Just shred Brussels sprouts and toss them in a vinaigrette made of grapeseed oil, cider vinegar, salt and pepper.

Josh
Josh

That was a complete and total joke. I forget what total trolls you guys see in here daily. Sorry the cntext didn't translate.

Katharine Shilcutt
Katharine Shilcutt

Dissing one of our best and most hard-working photographers for absolutely no reason in the comments section. Real pro stuff.

Leslie
Leslie

I knew that was you, asshole bear. 

Josh
Josh

My reply got eaten, but my comment was simply a passing observation as to the fact the photo jived with kellys point. Plus I like harassing Leslie. Neither kelly nor I are saying there is some nefarious plot. It was just amusing coincidence. And I thought the photos were waaaay better than that horrible groovehouse guy anyway. Real pro stuff.

The houston food and alcohol scene is the most shockingly collabrative and inclusive I imagine exists anywhere in America. If our main problem is getting around idiotic tabc laws, we got it good.

Thank you meredith for taking the time to respond. I will see you once you open your doors. Often I will bet.

delanoe
delanoe

MOON TOWER FOR LIFE!

Brookecan
Brookecan

Sounds delish.The Brussels sprouts slaw at Dolce Vita inspired me to make a version at home as a side dish. Katherine, you can add splash of fresh lemon juice, finely julienned radishes of your choice and shaven Pecorino Romano. It was a hit at a dinner party I hosted!

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