Weathered Souls. The phrase invokes images of someone who has been to hell and back but has come out ahead in the end. It is also the name of San Antonio’s latest brewing venture slated to open later this summer. The new brewpub will be located in northeast San Antonio at 606 Embassy Oaks, next to Laser Quest and Santikos Embassy 14.
Led by longtime San Antonio resident and businessman Mike Holt, Weathered Souls also adds head brewer and California transplant Marcus Baskerville, as well as assistant brewer and cellarman Seth Parker, formerly of Busted Sandal Brewing in San Antonio. The three comprise the majority of the ownership group.
The guys met about a year-and-a-half ago over beer, of course, and just seemed to gel. Planning for a brewery of their own came soon after. The Weathered Souls moniker does have a backstory. A fan of the mariners of old, Holt loved how antiquated ship logs referred to people as souls. This got him to reminiscing about his father and grandfather having been around the block and the name just came together.
Don’t expect the décor and vibe of the place to remind you of a weather-beaten port, though. It will have a bit of a worn look; however, the style will definitely have a largely contemporary feel. The guys don’t want to be pretentious, instead focusing on approachability in everything from the décor to the brews and the menu.
Finding a location that would allow them to realize their dream was not easy, then again, nothing worthwhile ever is. After driving down a plethora of streets looking for locations, the Weathered Souls crew found that most everything was either sold or not available. It took a chance meeting with Santikos Real Estate to provide just what they were looking for.
“At first, we were only looking for one space,” says Baskerville. “When they offered us the adjoining space with first right of refusal, we had to take it.”
The menu will have small bites and appetizers, and they’re hoping to have dishes designed around the beer and vice versa, essentially brewing and cooking with specific pairings in mind. Holt says they have a few twists in the works, including using spent grain in pizza crusts, house-made bread and more.
The brewing equipment purchased from Duetche Systems of North Carolina arrives in mid-June and Baskerville expects to begin testing and brewing soon after. The system includes a 20-barrel brewhouse with six 40-barrel fermenters.
“We also have a pilot system for small batches, which we plan to use as an opportunity for customers to design a beer they want and help brew it,” says Parker.
Expect the house brewed beverage options to include straight examples of various beer styles, including a blonde ale, porter, Mexican lager, hoppy pils, IPA and pale ale, as well as small-batch experiments and barrel-aged offerings that will surely satisfy the beer geeks and craft beer novices.
Weathered Souls looks to have as much contact with consumers as possible, making the brewpub model the obvious choice.
“The goal in the beginning is to stay as close as possible to the customer and expose them to as many choices as possible” said Baskerville “Once that’s established, we can look at distribution.”