By Kierra Pixler, Managing Editor
Upon walking into Bold Republic Brewing, the smell of hops, wheat, and barley entice your senses. The craft beer business is new to Belton, but owner Patrick Hodges has had a talent and love for brewing up some of the most unique and flavorful beer you can find.
Born and raised in Temple, Hodges graduated from UMHB in 2010 with a Bachelors of Science degree and met his wife Adriane in Virginia Beach in 2011. Adriane is an incoming Spanish teacher at Belton High School, and their children attend Lakeview Elementary. Describing himself as a ‘family guy,’ Hodges says his inspiration for opening the brewery came from spending so much time on the East Coast.
“It was so community oriented and inclusive,” Hodges explained. “We could pack up our strollers and head down to a local brewery on a Saturday and not get ‘that look’ for bringing our kids along. Everyone had their kids with them too. Instead of competing with each other the breweries would collaborate and host fun festivals for everyone of all ages to enjoy. At these events, there would be live music, food trucks, beer tents, and people walking around with friends and family enjoying each other. So when we decided to move back to Belton, we wanted to bring something like that here, too. Belton is a fantastic place to live and raise a family, and we are excited to offer another great amenity to the community.”
They are starting small with a growth mindset and are hopeful for a quick expansion. They are technically defined as a “nano-brewery” because they make 3.5 BBL’s (or barrels) of beer per batch. They plan on doubling their batching equipment on brew day to fill 7BBL of wort (product) into our 7 BBL fermenters. Annual production for the brewery will be about 600-1,000 BBL’s of beer per year.
“It is exciting to fall into the nano category because it is so new In the world of commercial brewing that it is almost a nebulous term seeking definition even as we speak,” Hodges said. “However, lots of nano breweries quickly find success and continue to grow into the microbrewery category, and that’s what we hope to do as well. We plan on distributing to local restaurants initially with plans to increase our brewhouse size and production output in the next two years.”
Experimenting with flavors is a specialty of Hodges’ and something that he plans on doing to ensure that each visit is almost never the same. From flavors that vary from jalapeno to cider, the selection is sure to please all beers enthusiasts and even recruit some new ones.
“It’s wonderful to be a small brewery because it gives us the freedom to brew what we want,” Hodges said. “We plan on having a couple of styles of beer that we will brew frequently, but what you get on tap one visit may not be what you get the following visit. We will do styles ranging from German beers to traditional American styles and everything in between. For example, one of our beers that has developed a cult following over the past few years is a jalapeño cream ale. That’s just what you’ll come to expect with Bold Republic.”
Featuring vibrant artwork covering the walls and furniture made of reclaimed wood from right here in Bell County gives the brewery a unique and historic touch.
“We are proud to be Texan and to be Belton’s first craft brewery, so we felt Bold Republic was a nice fit,” Hodges said. “Past that, we don’t really have a theme. We just want to provide a fun place where everyone can feel comfortable and enjoy great Texas beer. We plan on minimizing conversational distractions such as television and loud music and desire to promote customer attendance more than customer consumption. We desire to form genuine relationships with our customers and will offer incentives for patrons to become regular customers, such as mug club.”
Beer won’t be the only thing on the menu though. To name a few, they will also serve specialty slices of pizza, artisanal hot sandwiches, bratwurst, and oven baked pretzels. Sodas and a small selection of local wine will also be available.
“We will also occasionally offer seasonal dishes on weekends for brunch,” Hodges said. “We are most excited to bring large gourmet pizza by the slice to Belton.”
They will be closed Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday through Sunday they will be open with their longest hours on Friday and Saturday. They are proudly offering a $1 off all alcoholic beverages for all first responders with valid ID and also plan on having medical and teacher appreciation nights. They are are always looking for volunteers and welcome those who want to learn more about the art of brewing.
“I want to give a shout out to Barrow Brewing Company in Salado,” Hodges said. “Not only have they been super welcoming of us coming on to the scene they really pioneered the market for craft beer in Bell County and we have a lot of admiration and respect for them. We look forward to working with them and reaching out to other regional breweries to make our east coast craft beer get together a reality.”
You can follow them on Facebook to watch out for announcements and specials that they will have. Their grand opening will be this Saturday, June 2 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. They are located at 206 N. Penelope St.