Magnolia brewers hopping up Houston beer scene

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MAGNOLIA, TX - On a quiet corner in Magnolia, Texas sits a cream-colored warehouse, and inside lie the makings of some of the Bayou City's best craft beer. It's a hoppy home-grown labor of love, known as Lone Pint Brewery.

Trevor Brown started home-brewing beer in college, and his sister Heather had always loved to drink it. So, getting into the beer industry was an idea the two talked about often, and in 2006, the adventure began.

“We were just sitting around at one of our favorite watering holes down in Clear Lake, and we decided that opening a microbrewery would be a good thing. So, we changed my garage into a 20-gallon operating brewery, and brewed probably every weekend for a few years,” said Lone Pint owner Trevor Brown.

Lone Pint BreweryA lot has changed since then. The siblings brought on Blake Niederhofer, Heather's now husband, and Lone Pint's head brewer, and as you can tell, they've grown out of Trevor's garage.

“It's been amazing to watch it grow. We've tripled our production levels. We've gone from distributing just in Houston to distributing to Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio, and so having more and more people know who we are and going to different towns and seeing us on tap has been really exciting,” said head brewer Blake Niederhofer.

Many of those Texas taps flow with Lone Pint's most popular brew: Yellow Rose IPA.Yellow Rose IPA

“It's a smash beer, which is a single-malt and single-hopped beer. So, it's single-malted with German pilsner malt and it's single-hopped with mosaic hop, which is very magical, we like to say. It's a very fruity tropical blend,” explained owner Heather Niederhofer.

Yellow Rose is a big seller, but it wasn't intended to be. Chew on this. The in-demand IPA started as a single-batch endeavor.

“We read about the mosaic hop, we'd never had a beer with it, because at that time, I don't think anybody in Texas was making a beer with mosaic, so we just bought enough to make one batch of beer,” Heather recalled.

Let's just say they had to order more mosaic hops.

However, just because they hit the jackpot, doesn't mean they're cashing in. Yellow Rose is just the tip of the hoppy iceberg on tap at Lone Pint. The brewery's Zythophile series, named after the latin word for beer-lover, breeds numbers of other experimental creations with new hops, much like they did with Yellow Rose.

Even if the hop varieties change, the quality doesn't, because Lone Pint brews everything with whole-cone hops. It's a labor-intensive process that's a proud part of their production.

“We're one of the few breweries that use whole-cone hops, which is an unprocessed hop flower. We've gone to great lengths to actually make the process work, because since most breweries don't [use whole-cone hops] there's very little information on how to make it work,” explained Brown, “but I think we've figured it out, we have a good system.”

Now, don't let all this brainy beer talk scare you away. The Lone Pint crew is about as friendly as they come, with a welcome as warm as their beer is cold. So, find your way to Magnolia on a Saturday afternoon for a tour, a tasting, and some Texas hospitality. It's a trip, and a sip, you'll be happy you took.

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