Cedar Creek Brewery started as an idea in October 2010, and became a reality in 2012. When founder Jim Elliott and his wife, Cindy, moved to the lake area in 2008, he became frustrated with the lack of craft beer available and set out to remedy the situation. Jim began his hunt for a brewer and found the right man for the job in Damon Lewis.
Due to some wacky zoning laws, there were a few false starts before the brewery found its current home in Seven Points, a small town on Cedar Creek Lake about 60 miles southeast of Dallas. Both Jim and Damon initially kept their full-time jobs while getting production up and running, and there were a lot of late nights involved. As demand grew, the two quickly realized the fledgling brewery would require much more time and energy than they were able to give while working elsewhere. Both took a leap of faith in early 2013 and went full-time at the brewery, with Jim focusing on sales and operations and Damon doing the brewing and packaging. Their risk paid off later that year when the brewery took home a gold medal at the 2013 Great American Beer Festival in the Belgian-Style Abbey Ale category with its Belgian-style Dubbel. The national recognition put the brewery on the map, so to speak, and greatly increased demand for its products.
In early 2015, the entire operation moved two doors down to the building once occupied by Plowboys Club. The building has a lot of local history and gives us much more room for future expansion than our original location.
To open the brewery on a tight budget, repurposed dairy equipment was used for the original 10bbl* brewhouse and fermentation vessels. One might say the original brewery was built with ingenuity and some creative engineering that would make MacGyver proud. In January 2013, it became evident that an expansion was necessary, and two 20 bbl fermentation vessels and a bright tank, used for carbonation, were purchased. By November of that year, three 30 bbl tanks were added. The original 10 bbl brew kettle was finally retired in mid-2016, and a new 15bbl kettle is currently in use.
*bbl is a barrel, or 31 gallons. The larger kegs you see around are called 1/2bbl, which contain 15.5 gallons.
A lot of people ask why we can our beer instead of bottling it. There are many advantages to canning beer that are helping to overcome the stigma that has been associated with cans in the past. Many lakes and recreational areas do not allow glass bottles, making cans a necessity for our area. Also, cans are lighter, easier to transport, and more easily recycled than glass, making them a more environmentally-friendly package. But arguably the most important advantage of a can is that is protects the beer inside from light and oxygen better than glass, ensuring you receive the freshest possible product every time.
You may have also noticed the black plastic holders that hold top our four-packs. Those were carefully chosen as well. They are made with recycled material, are recyclable, and are safer for birds and small animals as the traditional clear plastic ringers you often see.