Call them the real househusbands of Martin House Brewing.
They are Cody Martin, David Wedemeier and Adam Myers, the trio of college buddies behind Fort Worth’s newest brewery, which is now set to release craft brews to the market in early 2013 after landing a home at 220 S. Sylvania Ave. just east of downtown in October. The guys left their cush careers in engineering and sales and are grateful at being supported by their wives while they begin their endeavor.
“Without her, this wouldn’t happen,” said Martin of his wife, Anna, who’s a regional sales manager for Rubbermaid Commercial Products. Martin is the brew master and brainchild behind the project and has been brewing beer at home for years. “I told her, ‘I’m quitting my job and it’s going to be a long time before I make money.”
Martin, a former land development civil engineer who later moved to environmental engineering, says his buddies didn’t take his brewery idea too seriously until they began tasting his home brews and hearing out his business plan. As the Royce City native and University of Texas at Arlington grad began researching craft beer and visiting craft breweries, he realized the industrial equipment used in the brewing process closely resembled equipment he was familiar with in his engineering job.
“I saw these big systems that brew 1,000 gallons of beer at a time and they’ve got these automation systems with control panels. I thought, ‘They look exactly like what I used to design,’” he said. “I was making good beer as a home brewer and was making a lot of it. I thought, I’m qualified to do this and there’s no reason why I can’t do this.”
Myers, also a former civil engineer, is working alongside Martin in production and operations. Wedemeier, who was an account manager for a telecom firm before he left to join Martin’s venture, is primarily handling business development for the brewery. Both Myers and Wedemeier worked with their wives at their previous jobs and both wives remain in their
“I hadn’t planned on doing anything brewery-related until about six months ago when Cody convinced his wife to let him quit his job,” Wedemeier said. “After trying the beer and learning a little more about craft beer in general, I eventually said I want to be a part of this.”
Avid bikers, runners and hikers, the guys spend a lot of time outside, a lifestyle that directly affected their brewery business plan. Martin and Wedemeier both knew they wanted the brewery to be located somewhere near the Trinity River trails, where runners, bikers and even kayakers could potentially break for a beer. The location they landed just east of downtown Fort Worth sits at a fairly quiet Trinity Trails access point.
“We had looked at all sorts of places. I was riding my bike one day on the trail and I rode by this part of Sylvania where there were several industrial buildings. I thought the area would be perfect, but didn’t think anything would be available,” Martin said.
Turns out, the building was available for lease and Martin was able to secure 9,000 square feet of space in the small business park. Todd Hawpe of Transwestern represented Martin on the real estate deal and the trio was funded without any loans.
“By virtue of location, it has to be the next place for big development,” Martin said. “You can get there by bike from downtown in less than five minutes. I think we’re poised to be in a great place that’s going to develop around us. I think our personalities and the personality of the brewery is going to drive the personality of the
Wedemeier added, “We’re extremely excited with integrating with the active community of Fort Worth. That’s something that we were just really happy about when we got our building.”
Regarding the brew, Martin House currently has four year-round beers – the piney, hoppy Imperial Texan; the Day Break 4 Grain Breakfast Beer modeled after a bowl of cereal that offers barley, wheat, oats and rye and is finished with honey; the easy-drinking River House Saison; and There Will Be Stout, a black stout brewed with six pounds of crushed pretzels.
Expect Martin House beers to be canned rather than bottled, which is conducive to the guys’ outdoors lifestyle.
“You’ll be able to take these beers camping, to the lake or kayaking,” Wedemeier said
Martin House Brewing is already gaining recognition thanks to the guys’ aggressive schedule of pounding the pavement and offering free samples at area venues and events. Their beer tastings have included stops at Brewed, Swiss Pastry Shop and small events in fledgling art galleries on Race Street in nearby Riverside.
“The vibe in Fort Worth is something that’s hard to explain,” Martin said of the brewery’s support thus far. “People in Fort Worth are just great people.”
Courtesy of Fort Worth Business Press