LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Lufkin might be excited to hear that their very own craft brewery is officially hitting the shelves of the retail world.
Expansion is on the mind for Corey Crawford and Jeremy Crew, co-owners of Big Thicket Brewery, which has been in operation since October 2014. The Brewery officially opened its tasting room January of this year and now the business will now be expanding their unique brews to Brookshire Brothers shelves.
"We've had to learn that certain beer that we've had get allocated to the tasting room and certain beer had to be set aside for the store," Crew said. "So after the last 6 months or so we've learned that we are ready to put bottles on the shelves and start distribution."
Big Thicket Brewery is the only craft brewery in Angelina County, and now even more will have access to this local drink. Right now the brewery has a pale ale only on the shelf but is looking to expanding to a India Pale Ale in the near future.
"We are waiting on the permit to label that one," Crew said. "it should be out in the next two months."
Big Thicket Brewery began with 13 different styles of beer on tap for their grand opening over a year ago so there is plenty of room to expand on.
"It has always been in our business model to be in stores," Crew said. "Under the regulations now, we cannot sale bottles at the brewery. We can only give out small taste samples. Being in Brookshire Brothers now allows us to be able to be one the shelf with other companies that have paved the way for us. It is quite an honor to see the store make room for our brand."
Crew said the brewery will still have the tasting room open nightly Thursday through Saturday in downtown Lufkin.
"We are not a bar," Crew said. "We are a fun family-friendly atmosphere. We also have non-alcoholic drinks. We make our own root beer, so you see a lot of families come in and enjoy the drinks. We let people bring in food or visit the food truck. We just want to have a good time."
Big Thicket is just the latest of several Angelina County businesses to have their product put in Brookshire Brothers locations this year.
"We've had people visit us from Dallas, Houston, Tyler and Beaumont," Crew said. "You really see a bunch of outside people come in who would have not come in before and it is because beer is on the shelves because local companies support us."
Big Thicket pale ale is currently being sold in the Gaslight Brookshire Brothers, the Brookshire Brothers on Chestnut in Lufkin, Brookshire Brothers in Huntington and the Brookshire Brothers on University Drive in Nacogdoches. Crew is expecting for more stores to be added on in the coming months.