Words and images by Courtney Marie
Bobby from Armadillo Ale Works let us pick his brain about craft beer, their first official beer release, and what the future holds before the big Armadillo Ale Works launch party at Oak Street Draft House this Friday, March 1st.
It’s obvious that you guys love Denton. You even have a beer called the Quakertown Stout. Why have you struggled to keep as much of your business here as possible?
Well, I grew up in Denton and Yianni [Arrestis, his partner] moved here to go to UNT; we met a short time before that. We both love the small town feel that life in Denton provides. I love the fact that I run into people I know every time I go out. The arts, music, and the people of Denton are what makes this town great for us. Those things, along with the local history and culture inspire a lot of what we do with Armadillo Ale Works.
You’re releasing the Quakertown Stout this weekend at Oak Street Draft House. How did you decide on this beer as your first official release?
After more than two years of doing tastings around town, it was obvious Quakertown was the one to launch with. People always went nuts over it every time we served it.
Tell us a little about the name.
We named it after the original community of Quakertown and Quakertown park where several large community events are held each year. It’s an important area for the people of Denton, both past and present.
What makes Quakertown Stout special?
The beer is a powerhouse of roasted barley, oats, and maple syrup that comes
in at 9.22% ABV [Alcohol by Volume]. It’s a very malt-forward beer with notes of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and roasted nuts.
Tell us about collaborating with Deep Ellum Brewers - how/why did that happen, how has that experience been so far?
The guys at DEBC are great. We’ve had a blast working with them too. They approached us about a year ago with their offer and it’s worked out tremendously. The craft beer industry has always been very collaborative; we’ve just taken it a step further. We’re all little guys and we’ve got to stick together to fight the good fight against boring, mass produced beer.
What is different about the craft beer scene in Dallas that Denton could learn from?
Well, with all the breweries that have popped up in Dallas I think they are much more aware of craft beer. We hope to get Denton to that point as soon as possible.
What beers are next?
We plan to introduce our next beer, Greenbelt Farmhouse Ale, in the spring and the rest of our lineup when we get our Denton location up and running.
Oak Street Draft House is the natural choice for a beer launch. Anything special planned for the big launch party?
We love Oak Street Draft House! It’s a haven for Denton craft beer enthusiasts. Pan Ector will be there screen printing shirts, my sister, Haley Mullins, will be running a photo booth, and Courtney Marie will be taking candid photos of everyone who attends. We also have some cool pint glasses that people will get to keep when they order our beer.
How can we acquire your beer after this weekend?
We’ll have a map of all retailers up on our website. If you want your favorite place to carry our beer have them contact us!
Everyone wants to know about their favorite sodas that you guys put out. Are the sodas gone forever? If not, will there be other sodas joining the ranks, eventually?
The sodas will be back. We had to put them on hold to make the transition to beer. Once we get our place in Denton open we will bring them back in cans and they’ll be better than ever! We are looking into other flavors but there’s nothing set in stone yet.
How much experimenting do you do when crafting a new brew?
Well mostly we just think of styles and unique ingredients we might want to play with and we just brew it and see what happens. Once we think we're onto something it we will stick with it and tweak things with each batch until we're happy with it.
What is in the future for Armadillo Ale works?
We have every intention to come back to Denton. Armadillo Ale Works is Denton's brewery after all. Our goal is to have leased a place in Denton by the end of this year. All of that is, of course, dependent on how long it takes us to get some more investors.
What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned since you’ve started the Armadillo Ale Works journey?
To always do what you love and never give up doing it
If you want to see just how far Armadillo Ale Works has progressed in the past few years, check out this interview we did with them way back in September of 2010.