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Happy 10th Birthday to Franconia Brewing!
Posted on March 19, 2018 at 12:20 PM by Beth Shumate
Hard to believe it's already been 10 years ago that we first welcomed Dennis Wehrmann and his baby,
, to McKinney! And in those 10 years, the brewery is going stronger than ever, with Saturday morning tours and tastings, distribution throughout the state, bottling and more!
Let's start at the beginning ... or at least the beginning for Dennis's dream. (The beginning actually started in 1800s Bavaria when his family first began the art of brewing beer.) Dennis brought his family heritage of beer making to McKinney when he opened the brewery in February 2008.
The brewery started right away distributing beer (on tap) to restaurants only – a handful in Dallas and most on the downtown square. (In fact, he can be seen at least once a week, personally calling on the downtown restaurants. By 2011, he had distribution to restaurants and bars statewide via Ben E. Keith.
Bringing Craft Beer Brewery to McKinney
: All of his success has greatly fed into the craft beer movement that brings hundreds of people a year to the Dallas area and specifically to McKinney for his weekly Saturday tours. Franconia is often touted as having one of the best-rated and best value brewery tours around. In fact, a visit to Franconia on just about any Saturday morning will find a line of people waiting for the tour to begin!
Franconia has been an instrumental part in putting McKinney’s Oktoberfest on the map, being the main beer the first couple years of the festival (2008 and 2009), quite a feat considering the brewery had only just opened 6 months before the city's first Oktoberfest! That event doesn't officially kick-off until Dennis's crew and a city official have tapped the keg and distributed cherished souvenir mugs filled with the brew to those lucky enough to snag one before the keg runs dry!
In 2013, Franconia began bottling and now has distribution all over the area. People are now able to pick up a six-pack or two at just about every retailer that sells beer and wine.
: From the beginning, Dennis's goal was to be a "green" facility. In fact, he wouldn't start bottling until he could find a way to do it the right way and be environmentally friendly. As he told the Dallas Observer in August 2013:
"Our whole facility is environmentally friendly now," says Wehrman. "We reuse 85-percent of the water that comes into our facility. We send all of our leftover hops to a farm where it is fed it to cattle. Bottles just never fit into our environmental focus. And I'm honestly still not completely happy with it. There's no real process for making sure the bottles are recycled or reused. There's all of the
that is wasted also."
Part of going green involves the brewery now being "off the grid." They had installed on the property (by McKinney company Perfectly Green) what is essentially a mini power station, they recycle their water, and there are no dumpsters on the property. All their trash is recycled as well.
If you haven't had the chance to take a tour over at Franconia (or even if you have!), spend a Saturday morning at the brewery with Dennis and his crew. You'll be glad you did!
DCI Coming to McKinney in July 2020
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