What does a grocery store have in common with craft beer? If the grocery store is Whole Foods Market, they’re more alike than you might think!
“The craft beer movement is in line with a lot of what Whole Foods Market offers: small, local, handcrafted, well-crafted products,” explains Ohmer. “They attract a lot of the same clientele with a lot of the same vision in terms of sustainability and fair treatment.”
Ohmer comes to Whole Foods Market Brewing Company with more than 13 years of experience in the craft beer world. Over his career, he has brewed a diverse array of beers, and that background informs his vision of a well-rounded pub with plenty of variety.
The in-store brewpub offers up to 20 different draft beers. At any given time, the taps will dispense 8 to 15 ales and lagers brewed on site.
Ohmer plans to take advantage of the pub’s proximity to fresh seasonal ingredients in the store. “At the beginning of stone fruit season, we released our Westheimer Kölsch made with fresh Texas peaches. We also did an apricot Kölsch.”
Besides its proximity to Texas Hill Country peaches, the Post Oak store was a favorable environment for many reasons. “There isn’t really anything like this in the neighborhood, and the Houston craft beer scene still has a lot of room for growth,” Ohmer explains.
Ohmer has already initiated collaborations with other local craft brewers, including Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co. of Houston and Southern Star Brewing Company of nearby Conroe, Texas. The Buffalo Bayou collaboration yielded Whole Buffalo Saison, which incorporated Texas grapefruit and coriander. The partnership with Southern Star gave rise to Cage Free IPK, a West Coast style IPA fermented with Kölsch yeast.
“Collaboration speaks to how the craft brewing industry works together,” Ohmer explains. “We all just want to put more quality beer in people’s hands. It’s a lot of fun for us brewers too! We get to talk about lessons learned and share practices.”
Feeling thirsty? If you’re in Houston, you can pull up a stool, grab a pint to drink while you shop, or fill up a growler with one of Dave’s signature brews.
Do you have a favorite local craft beer? Leave your tasting notes in the comments!