In 2014, homebrewers Macy Moore and Matt Hill were part of a social bike riding club in Fort Worth. During a ride on a near-freezing evening, a discussion of what kind of brewery they would open if they could became the catalyst for HopFusion Ale Works' founding. Not long after that winter evening conversation, Moore was laid off after 22 years from his job with Radioshack in Fort Worth. With the support of his wife, Moore and Hill partnered up with Chuck Epperson, another homebrewer, to create their own brewery in the Near Southside neighborhood of Fort Worth.
Between the three, their knowledge mostly consisted of years of homebrewing and volunteering at Martin House and The Collective Brewing Project, but little can prepare someone for opening their own brewery. The experience gained from volunteering, however — and the relationships forged through the craft brewing community — have helped Moore and Hill come close to realizing their dream of opening a brewery.
While this month was the targeted opening date, Moore said, he and his partners are aiming for an August opening. Construction on the brewery ramped up to seven days a week while the owners still brew batches of beer when they can. In June, Pouring Glory in Fort Worth became the first place to sell HopFusion's beer, and according to Moore, the night was a hit — such a hit that Pouring Glory bought every single keg they could get their hands on. Stopping by HopFusion during construction, Moore shared samples of two of HopFusion's brews: Feisty Blonde, a honey vanilla blonde, and Hairpin, a rye pale ale.
Feisty Blonde, according to Moore, was the biggest hit of the night at Pouring Glory. Brewed with orange blossom honey, Mexican brown sugar and Mexican vanilla extract, this beer could have erred on the side of too sweet. But the 8.3 percent ABV blonde, which took five years of homebrewing to perfect, is well-balanced and certainly doesn't drink like an 8 percent brew. Feisty Blonde is a beer that's poised to become a crowd favorite and could be a great introduction to craft beer for newbies.
Hairpin feels a lot like a double IPA in color and aroma, with the notably strong bitter taste indicative of the style. Much like the name implies, the beer is only 6.3 percent ABV, which is decidedly lighter than expected. Moore says he "worked on the color over thirty brews" to create its dark amber appearance, to which he credits the rye.
Along with Feisty Blonde and Hairpin, HopFusion's two other brews, the black rye IPA Steam Pip and Fur Slipper, an imperial milk stout. The plan, Moore says, is to can the brews by early 2017. When the brewery opens, they will have 24 operating taps.
The plan for the taproom is to serve beer six days a week, with tours on Saturdays. Moore is planning to have live music and karaoke on the small indoor stage in the taproom. Everything in the brewery will be made of custom metalwork and woodwork, some of it from tin salvaged from a collapsed 100-year-old schoolhouse in Cisco, Texas. Graffiti art is the centerpiece decoration on the interior walls, which Moore says was created by an artist friend who was mistakenly arrested while working on the walls. A massive projection screen for movie nights and other entertainment will also be operating in the taproom, with the loading dock doors opening up to a large, currently unfinished patio in front of the building.
While the taproom is unfinished, those looking to try HopFusion might be in luck soon — Moore says they would like to start another brewing session in the near future, but until then, check their Facebook page for any possible events prior to their grand opening.
HopFusion Ale Works, 200 E. Broadway St. Fort Worth
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