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Chasing Our Dreams: Where it All Started

Updated: Oct 10, 2022

Welcome to Rockabilly Brewing!

Rockabilly Brewing is a creation from the minds of Brandi and Jimmy Calhoun. We have a combined 20+ years in the service industry and Jimmy has brewery experience specifically. He learned so much in his time at Uncle Billy’s in Austin.

Curious as to how we got our start? We’d love to share that story with you!

We had been friends for many years before we started dating. One of the things we really enjoyed doing, as friends and as partners, was checking out the local brewery scene. Austin and the surrounding areas are full of great and unique breweries so there was always somewhere for us to go. We both have been in the service industry for too many years to admit to and it’s an industry that has given us a lot, but also taken a lot of time from us. Anyone in the industry knows that the hours are long and very demanding, especially in management possessions.

In the Before-Times

In October 2013, Jimmy proposed and by October 2014, we were married. During our engagement, Jimmy’s brother sent us a homebrew kit as an engagement gift. Our very first beer we ever made was an English Porter, and we had so much fun learning about each step in the process and checking on our brew baby until it was ready to try! We were surprised at how good it was, and we were immediately hooked on making more. Not only did we yield delicious results, but it’s something we enjoyed doing together. We would pick a day and go shopping at SoCo Homebrew and became friendly with the owner, who taught us a lot about recipe creation and quality product. We began trying different techniques and incorporating unique flavor combos and we felt like we really had a knack for this. That gave us the idea to create a line of our own beers for our wedding. We loved the idea of our guests being able to enjoy such a personal thing from us. We made 5 beers for our wedding: English Porter, Java Stout, Amber Cream Ale, Tangerine Cream Ale and a Chocolate Cream Stout. If you can’t tell, I love creamy beers. We’ve created, in total, over 15 different beers, with more in the works. After the wedding, we had so much great feedback on our beers and so many supportive friends and family members who championed the idea of us opening our own brewery. The more we heard we should do it, the more we discussed how that might be a great thing to look forward to in the future. The more beers we made, the more fun we had, the more we realized a brewery really was our passion. We decided we really wanted to do this together. Not only was it something we enjoyed, but creating our own legacy, getting to do it together and the opportunity to give back to the community in the process was too wonderful of an idea to just let it go. But it was clear to us that if at all possible, we wanted to be able to do this ourselves without the help of outside individuals who might not share the same dreams and goals as us. So in 2017, we officially requested our LLC and got to work.

We knew it would take time and hustling to get what we needed to be able to do this ourselves, and we were prepared to make the sacrifices necessary. Toward the end of 2019, we were ready. We got a small amount of funding and found the perfect property. It finally felt like we were really about to start our dream and we were so excited, full of so many ideas. At the beginning of 2020, we were in the process of negotiating a lease when COVID-19 hit. Everything shut down, and we knew there was no way we’d be able to start this type of business when most businesses in this industry were closed for the foreseeable future. Even with drinks-to-go, once that legislation was passed, there was no way we could start from the ground up in that type of environment. So we let it go…the ideal property and our dream. With the pandemic holding strong, we had no idea what the future held.

Finally Moving Forward

In late 2021, the property owners reached out to our realtor. Because of the pandemic, they had been unable to sell or even lease the property and wanted to know if we were still interested. We talked about it for a while, uncertain if the timing was right. But we felt like the universe brought us back our dream property, so we felt like it was time. So many people lost their lives in 2020, many of whom were probably thinking “Once this is over, I’ll do this or that” and I didn’t want to be someone who never got around to doing what we wanted. So we pushed forward. By 2022, we were funded again and a lease was signed! Of course, we never anticipated the hurdles we’d end up having to jump with this property. We also didn’t realize how hard it would be doing everything ourselves, without the guidance or mentorship that we desperately needed (though we did get some great advice from other friends in the industry…thanks Kerbey!)

Now, in August 2022, we are still in the process of getting things ready. We are months behind our anticipated opening and due to the fact that we started out with MUCH less than most breweries, we’ve had to pivot several times to be able to do this. So we hope that you’ll be patient with us as we slowly get our foot in the door and take a look at our vision. We also hope you know that your unwavering support means everything to us.

Want to go on this journey with us? Subscribe to our newsletter. We'll give you updates on builds, our anticipated opening date, beer specials, events and more. We're excited to finally share our creations with you all!

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