It's already started. Joel Malone is well on his way to open up a cidery right in the heart of the Bishop Arts District. His brewing operations and storefront, which he expects to open in May, will be right next to Cretia's on Bishop Street behind Lockhart Smokehouse.
Malone tells me he's working through his permit process, which has been "tough but manageable" and will soon soon have the permits he needs to open up his "winery."
Because Malone is working with fruit and not grain, he's brewing cider, not beer. And because of this distinction, he's not being permitted like most of the craft breweries we've been reading about in the area.
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What does that mean to Malone and eventually you? Unlike beer brewers, he can sell all the cider he wants right out the front door of his business. You'll be able to pull up to the bar inside his establishment, pay for a pint of cider to drink while you hang out, and then if you're inclined you can take a growler or case home. Beer breweries, on the other hand, can only sell to bars and wholesalers -- not individuals.
Same bubbles, same alcohol percentage, different ingredients, and he'll totally have the regulators off his back. No wonder Texas beer brewers are so frustrated with Austin.
Want to learn more about Bishop Cider? Check out this video on a Kickstarter page they've set up.