The brand name is the same, and some of the beers will be similar. But don’t expect Urban South Brewery HTX to serve a taste of New Orleans in its taproom.
Instead, the upcoming craft brewpub in Sawyer Yards will add Houston flavor to its Crescent City-based company.
Urban South HTX, scheduled to open Feb. 29 at 1201 Oliver St., Suite 10, is the research-and-development expansion of the popular Urban South Brewery in New Orleans. Marin Slanina, the taproom and marketing manager for the Houston outpost, said all of its beers will be brewed on site and none will be exactly the same as the suds made at the Louisiana headquarters.
Instead of the Holy Roller IPA, for example, Urban South HTX will offer the HTX IPA. And the Tighten Up lager will be a cousin of sorts to the Paradise Park made by the parent company.
“We have brewed the same types but with different techniques,” Slanina said. “So the styles will be very, very similar to the offerings in Louisiana. They’ll just be completely brewed here out of HTX.”
Urban South HTX is the latest addition to a booming craft beer scene in Houston and particularly the near northwest part of town. There are 11 other craft breweries in the Greater Heights area.
Slanina said the owners of Urban South Brewery have ties to the Houston area, which had fewer than 10 craft breweries only five years ago, and decided to expand here three years ago. She and her husband, Justin Slanina, along with Dave Ohmer, were working for B-52 Brewing Co. in Conroe when they were recruited by the New Orleans company.
The three leaders of Urban South HTX plan to create an immersive, hospitality-driven experience at the 14,000 square feet space, which will be split nearly evenly between a taproom, 10-barrel brewhouse and space for private events. Marin Slanina said the pet-friendly and family-friendly brewery will have indoor and outdoor seating, arcade games and food options in the form of pop-ups and trucks. Customers also will be allowed to bring in food from neighboring businesses.
Urban South HTX does not plan to distribute, so its creations will be available only on site. Slanina said the brewery will be open seven days a week from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and has 30 taps – 25 for its beers and one apiece for red wine, white wine, cider, kombucha and cold-brewed coffee.
“We plan to change a lot and change the beers a lot and options a lot so that every time you come, it’s a different experience but the same accepting and warm environment,” Slanina said. “It’s not the same old, same old every day. There will be different brews, different tastes and different profiles.”
Above all else, Slanina said she and her husband and Ohmer want the taproom to be a fun place where people can enjoy good company and good beer. In that sense, the idea is for Urban South HTX to be an extension of its parent brewery in New Orleans.
Before the Feb. 29 opening, Urban South HTX is hosting two ticketed VIP events on Feb. 22 and Feb. 28. Slanina said Tuesday that tickets were still available for both and can be purchased on the brewery’s website at urbansouthbrewery.com or on its Facebook page at @urbansouthhtx.
“The culture,” Slanina said of the connection between the Houston and New Orleans locations. “The vibe of what they have embodied, great craft beer and southern goodness and hospitality.”