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Posted on April 13, 2016 at 3:52 PM by Cambria Jones
Inside the tap room at Allen’s Nine Band Brewing Co., surrounded by large hand crafted wooden tables and oak bar tops, the vibe is invitingly laid back. On the heels of their first year anniversary celebration, Keith Ashley, Owner of Nine Band Brewing Co. takes a moment to reflect. Even with awards won and buzz in the media, Keith admits that his proudest moment of the first year has just been “making it.” Knowing the difficulty of introducing a new brand of beer into market, Keith is thankful for the support he’s received in navigating through the first year.
“[Being in this area] has helped me move my brand progressively forward and make positive strides. Everyone, from the city manager down, has always been welcoming”.
Throughout the year, Nine Band has been the venue of choice for a variety of events. No matter where your group is on the craft beer scale, Nine Band provides a great canvas. And, because they don’t have a kitchen, you can set your own menu and bring in all the best eats from around town. From the tap room to the patio, the family-like atmosphere carries through with crowds mixed of locals and visitors. Experienced craft beer drinkers and not-so-experienced. That’s exactly what Keith likes to see.
“Nine Banding Brewing Co. is a transitional craft beer brewery. We don’t have overwhelming hoppy beers. We don’t do overwhelming double, triple, backflip IPAs. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I’m trying to attract the pallets of the mainstream beer drinkers. You can’t be overwhelming either way to get them to transition into the craft world.”
With the unique goal of brewing “transitional” beers with a high emphasis on quality, Keith credits Nine Band’s Head Brewer, Ian Larsen, for making this goal a reality.
Walking through the brewery to one side there’s large silver colored fermenter tanks and, on the other side, cases of boldly colored beer cans and recently cleaned kegs. Ian goes over to the first tank, with a pitcher in hand. It’s time for testing. And no, we don’t mean taste testing. There’s a real science behind creating this award-winning beer and Ian knows the formulas. “I like to make good, clean, easy drinking beer.”
With just the right amount of beer in his pitcher, Ian goes over and grabs his equipment. At this point, as he pulls out graduated cylinders and hydrometers, all he’s missing is a lab coat. He tests the gravity of the beer and jots down numbers. This is just one of the many steps in his process. Both Keith and Ian agree that, in the brewery, there are no typical days. Ian says, “There’s so many different days. There’s brew days. There’s filter days.” Just to name a couple.
Though the day to day tasks may change, the focus on crafting quality beer stays the same. This focus has paid off and gained Nine Band some pretty impressive recognition, including winning the gold medal for Blue Lacey at the Best of Craft Beer Awards in Bend, Oregon and being named DFW’s favorite brewery in GuideLive's 2015 Brew Brawl. With a successful first year in the books, there’s no evidence of slowing down for Nine Band Brewing Co. and we look forward to what’s to come.