In the six years since its founding, Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company (“Buffbrew”) has grown and cultivated a craft brewery that is not only substantial in size, but even more importantly, substantive in quality. Their independent and relentless, boundary-pushing approach to craft brewing has resulted in an unmatched 70 innovative beer varieties and a business that is now Houston’s largest self-distributing brewery. Buffbrew has outgrown its brewing space, and it has heard the resounding demand for a dedicated taproom and event space. The team recently announced its new location at Sawyer Yards (see Chron, Eater, HBJ), which will encompass both an expanded brewing facility as well as an opportunity for the community to invest in the new Buffbrew Taproom LLC ("Taproom"). Buffbrew Taproom will be a new business that operates two bars on-site, a full-service kitchen, as well as a VIP room and event space for group reservations and larger gatherings at the new location.
Over the years, Buffbrew has developed a lineup of products that has drawn an adventurous community. Its brewing methods have applied cutting-edge technology, technique and unique flavor profiles to achieve a unique and superior taste that the team is extremely proud of. As important, its self-distributing model gives the business a degree of independence and control over its product that no other Houston brewery has matched.
The new Sawyer Yards location will allow Buffbrew the space to make beer and host guests in a beautifully and thoughtfully designed home. Standing three stories tall with over 28,000 square feet, the brewery will welcome a steady flow of beer enthusiasts, 7 days a week. The cornerstone of this experience will be the state-of-the-art Buffbrew Taproom, with over 40 beers on tap and a full-service kitchen serving up an elevated bar food menu.
The team’s partnership with Method Architecture has been a process in staying true to the beloved elements of Buffbrew’s current home on Nolda Street – an immersive, picnic-tables-on-concrete feel – while creating a new, unparalleled scenic view.
The main taproom will reside on the second floor. On one side, customers will be met with 30 feet of large, plate glass windows that directly overlook the tanks and brewers at work – a true tank-to-table, or tank-to-tap, experience. In line with its “Urban Brewery” designation, taproom patrons will also face magnificent Houston views with over 50 feet of downtown-facing windows. With no taller buildings standing between the brewery and downtown, the city’s skyline will make for a beautiful backdrop for private events, holidays, and any other reason to spend an evening on the rooftop patio or party room.
Breaking ground this winter, the Buffbrew Taproom is expected to open at Sawyer Yards at the end of 2018.
The Buffbrew Taproom will generate revenue streams from restaurant sales, tap sales, beer garden sales and facility tour and event sales.
Guests will stampede to the taproom to taste flavors and varieties of craft brews that just don’t exist elsewhere, putting more beer into more hands than ever before. The state-of-the-art facility will offer more than 40 Buffbrew taps.
Operating 7 days a week, the space will be open for lunch and dinner daily with extended weekend hours. By comparison, the taproom at Nolda is currently open only twice a week and with less product and no food.
There will be three distinct tap areas woven into the brewery at each level. On the first floor, a dedicated bar will be positioned next to the tanks to give visitors an old school brewery feel with access to a patio with outdoor seating. Situated on the building’s second floor, the main taproom is designed to be a fully immersive Buffbrew facility adventure. The brewing tanks will be centrally located to provide a theater-in-the-round experience. Large glass windows will allow guests to at once enjoy brews and view the brewing process. Finally, a third floor roof deck and VIP event space will maximize the position of the taproom. The views from the space will be a tremendous draw for private events and social gatherings. Reservations will be a source of business for the patio space and the party room.
The taproom also sits adjacent to the full-service kitchen. The chef and menu have yet to be finalized, but the concept will feature an elevated bar menu that will seek to match the creativity of the brewery. Restaurant seating will accommodate over 200 guests with an additional 25 seats at the bar.
The new facility will be located at 2101 Summer Street, Houston, TX 77007 across from Winter Street Studios. Its position places it in the heart of Houston’s First Ward and at the entrance of Sawyer Yards.
“First Ward radiates creative energy,” says founder and CEO Rassul Zarinfar of the new location. “There is Genius literally bouncing off the walls! It’s humbling and inspiring to join the incredible ecosystem they’ve built at Sawyer Yards. We’ve never played it safe, we’ve never cut corners, we’ve always challenged ourselves and our fans to push past the common expectations and through to the next big idea. There is literally nowhere on the planet that I would rather build our future home.”
Sawyer Yards is the premier hub for Houston’s artist and tech innovators. Located near Downtown, Sawyer Yards boasts one of the largest creative campuses in the nation. Its 40 acres of boutiques, galleries, restaurants and fitness studios host frequent community events and have breathed new life into the historic First Ward. Where better a place for Houston’s Most Creative Brewery than smack within its creative nexus. As Buffbrew founder Rassul Zarinfar notes, “This is super intimidating y’all, but we’re so excited to play with you. When you’re surrounded by hard-working geniuses, you have to bring you’re A-game every day.”
Existing commercial businesses and independent work spaces will generate steady traffic into the Buffbrew Taproom, an excellent after-work or weekend destination. The regular public programming from state-recognized Washington Avenue Arts District also brings higher numbers to the ever-exciting area.
The Sawyer Yards location will additionally cater to the adjacent Heights, a fast-appreciating residential area of single-family homes. The Heights is well-known to be one of Houston’s most walkable districts with many Houstonians flocking to its parks and trails. The scenic Heights Hike and Bike trail runs from Nicholson Street and 26th to the White Oak Bayou Greenway in downtown. This immensely popular trail brings a vast number of year-round hikers and bikers through Spring Street, within 3 short blocks of the brewery and taproom. The bulk of Heights’ residents fall into the 25-54 years age-range with a median household income of $82k/year aligning squarely with the craft beer clientele.