Houston brewery taps into connections for Harvey help

Spindletap Brewery is standing for Houston by brewing up something special for victims of Harvey

Spindletap Brewery is using hops to help Harvey victims. KHOU

On Houston’s northeast side, the beer cans runneth over for Spindletap Brewery. 

“Production’s been good,” says Brody Chapman, CEO of Chapman-Miller Land Holdings, the company that owns the brewery. “We’re going to do close to 5,000 barrels this year.” 

When he and his partner brewed up the idea nearly two years ago, the response from their craft competition took them by surprise.

“Unlike other businesses where it’s a dog-eat-dog atmosphere, the craft beer community is so much more about helping one another and working together,” Chapman says.

For proof, you’d have to crack open one of the large brewing tanks. “This is going to be a New England IPA,” explains Jon Denman, the host of the beer-centric ‘Drink of Ages’ radio show. “It’s going to be that hazy, juicy, absolutely delicious beer.” 

Called Operation Juice Drop, Spindletap’s freshest brew is a collaboration with Louisiana’s Parish Brewing Co.

“Parish makes phenomenal beers, some of the best beers brewed on the Gulf Coast,” says Denman, who helped facilitate a meeting between the two breweries a couple weeks before Hurricane Harvey made landfall.

“I called them up after the hurricane and said, ‘We need to do a collaboration,’” Chapman recalls. “[Owner Andrew Godley] said, ‘Done.’ They were down here a week and a half later.”

Now the craft beer community is bubbling over with excitement for two reasons. First, Parish products, which aren’t available in Texas, will finally pour into Houston. Second, all the money raised from sales of Operation Juice Drop will pour into JJ Watt’s Hurricane Harvey relief fund.

“We should raise almost $200,000 off 60 barrels of beer,” Chapman estimates.

Chapman is a life-long Houstonian, having grown up in the Kingwood area. He says Harvey hit his home hard.

“Seventy percent of my friends have been completely flooded. They don’t have flood insurance,” says Chapman. “’Decimated’ would be the word I use when I describe Kingwood.” 

To help Houston hop back, the brewery’s going beyond just beer. It has used its giant warehouse as a portal for donations for the storm’s victims.

“They were up here 12 or 16 hours a day, running forklifts, repackaging this stuff, to put it back on trucks and get them sent out,” Denman says.

“We’ve offloaded close to 200 semi trucks full of material, all donated, over the last seven days. It’s all gone outbound to ministries all over Houston,” says Chapman.

That comradery of the craft beer community is now spilling over at Spindletap. “This is how you’re supposed to treat your neighbor,” says Chapman. “It’s all about people.”

Operation Juice Drop will soon be available at local bars for a donation of $10 or more. That also gets you a souvenir pint glass. If you want to try the collaboration beer at Spindetap’s tap room, you’ll have to try to beat the crowds on Sept.


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