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Good Beer Hunting

Apr 13, 2024

You’ve heard the joke—four scientists walk into a bar, and hilarity ensues. But have you heard the one about a few NASA employees opening a brewery? It’s not a setup. It’s how True Anomaly Brewing Company in Houston, Texas actually started, when four friends and homebrewers decided to trade in the final frontier for a shot at making their own beer. 

Michael Duckworth is co-founder and CEO of True Anomaly, which was recently named Brewery of the Year at the Texas Craft Brewers Cup for the second year in a row. Now in their sixth year, True Anomaly specializes in making wild and sour beers, but in a lager-focused state like Texas, they brew plenty of clean beers as well. They’ve been recognized for both with medal wins in competitions like the World Beer Cup and Great American Beer Festival. And now, they’re preparing to open a much larger second location later this year, which you’ll hear about, and plan to up their output from around 1,200 barrels to around 2,000 by the end of 2024.

All this begs the question: how did a bunch of NASA nerds pull this off? Well, according to Michael, the four founders took a methodical, scientific approach to the business plan and applied an artistic sensibility to making the beers themselves. Wild beer can be unpredictable, but it’s that freedom from expectation he says makes each day a fun and unique surprise. In this episode, he also talks about the potential he sees in the Houston craft beverage scene, why they implemented inclusivity as part of their operations from day one, and why you might see an astronaut or two hanging around the brewery on the weekends.