Last month, after stumbling upon a mysterious job posting for a brewmaster position at Whole Foods, I put together a rather speculative post on the possibility of Whole Foods getting into the craft beer game. Today, the company officially confirmed the development. Whole Foods will open its first in-store brewpub inside its Houston Post Oak location on Thursday, Nov. 6. The Houston location’s media liaison filled me in on the details this morning, so here are all the confirmed facts:
• The brewery’s official name is Whole Foods Market Brewing Co.
• As I suspected in last month’s post, the location’s brewmaster is Dave Ohmer, formerly of Saw Works Brewing in Knoxville, Tenn. Ohmer has 12 years pro-brewing experience, and also developed a brewing curriculum for Tennessee’s South College.
• According to Ohmer, having a brewpub inside the market will give him “access to the highest quality natural ingredients daily to experiment and make new and innovative brews.” The potential there is pretty exciting.
• The brewpub will house a 5-barrel, two-vessel system with the ability to produce 400 to 500 barrels annually. So, in other words, this is a pretty small operation.
• Windows inside the tasting room bar will overlook the brewery.
• The bar will offer 20 taps (I’m assuming some of those will be guest beers, like the offerings already pouring at Whole Foods’ in-store bars), as well as two beer engines for cask pours.
• Bar patrons will also be able to take advantage of prepared beer-and-food pairings, engage with Ohmer in beer education classes, and even tour the brewery.
There you have it. But, there’s some interesting evidence floating around that suggests this brewery is just the first of a number to open inside Whole Foods stores across the country. As for potential San Jose, Calif., location I mentioned in last month’s post? We’ll just have to wait and see.