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Bay Area Brewing Co: The Story Of Building A Family-Friendly Brewery In Rockport, Texas

“Humankind was built on beer. From the world’s first writing to its first laws, in rituals social, religious, and political, civilization is soaked in beer.”  –William Bostwick

With a brewery name like Bay Area Brewing Company, one would think we are sharing stories about a barrel house based in San Francisco, California. The Bay Area Brewing Company, founded and run by Will and Diedra Amaya, is just down the road from The Corpus Christie Naval Air Station in Rockport, Texas—a veteran-run business with a mission to build a family-friendly brewery. 

Will & Deidra

The Beginning of Something Special In Rockport

In 2015, the couple fell in love with the craft beer movement. Will and Diedra focused their time and energy on learning as much as possible before retiring from the military. They planned trips around beer and brewing, learning about family-friendly breweries and those who invested their hearts and souls in the industry - creating good products and services for their communities. 

Will and Diedra met in Ingleside, Texas, while serving in the U.S. Navy. They got married and made a career out of government service. But starting their own brewery was about to become a reality. By 2017, Will decided to retire from his post in the United States Navy. Fueled by his passion as a home brewer, he became serious and engaged in certifying to become a professional brewer. 

Spending time learning from curators all over the country, building on his craft, and gaining ground toward his new profession. The work spawned learning opportunities with breweries like Hardywood Park Craft Brewery and 3 Notch’d Brewing Company.  By 2019, Diedra had retired from her career in the Navy, and they headed back home to Texas. They put down roots in Rockport, on the Gulf Coast, where the sand is sugar-fine and the water clear blue, with sun and surf. 


Building A Nano Brewery  

Coming from the Navy with skills in pipe fitting, plumbing, and welding, Will was already ahead of the curve when it came to efficient design and support of a new brewing system. Once they arrived and began market research, they could see the need for a family-friendly-brewery in Rockport-Texas—a place where people would come to gather in a relaxed setting by the beach. 

The Nano Brewery Footprint 

Building a company around a family-oriented culture started by joining The Texas Craft Brewers Guild, building a nano craft beer business around their grand plan. They bootstrapped a start-up with $30k in the first couple of years, investing in tanks, specialized equipment, and a location for their nano craft brewery. They run a 2 BBL 3 vessel brew house, working to serve 105 barrels our first year and just under 200 barrels per year at our current capacity going forward. 

Bay Area Brew Co

Rockin The Brews In Rockport 

Will has 11 beers in rotation, with cool names like Copano Cruiser, a blonde ale with hints of honeydew melon, and strawberry with an ABV of 5.2%—a real catch for those hot Texas beach days. Little Bay IPA is a juicy and fruity flavor-forward, with a bit of “hopiness” and an ABV of 7.5%. For those days when you just want the taste of a good beer, they brew their own Non-alcoholic (NA) beer, using the Original, Hazy IPA, West Coast IPA, and Light. Their business model leans toward family-oriented and supports the family in every sense of the word, right down to brewing House Rootbeer and Citrus Breeze Sodas. They have partnered with The Texas Maritime Museum, providing products to their largest annual fundraiser, The TMM Wine Festival. 

Michael Ryan and his Black Pearl Provisions

Spent Grains & Sustainability 

As Will brews a batch of beer, he is left with 200-300 lbs of spent grains each week. As they increase their capacity, they have offered the grain they have spent to what they call their “Grain gatherers” - the local ranchers, 4-H, and hobby farmers- to feed their animals. They have created a circular business model, offering a solution to something that might end up in the landfill. Their grain gatherers run family businesses and benefit from the byproducts.  Will and Diedra are grateful for organizations like Sassman Cattle, run by Dylan Sassman, and Black Pearl Provisions, run by Michael Ryan. Since they started brewing, they have donated over 1400 lbs of spent grains. As Will continues to grow his brewing capacity, he will reach out with more recycling opportunities. 

Will and Diedra’s goal is to strengthen community partnerships, sponsorship, and fundraising capacity for projects that raise awareness of environmental preservation and riparian area development. From park clean-ups to clean water and beaches, the approach is to help keep the migratory bird pathway clean and bring back butterflies and pollinators. Keep an eye out for Bay Area Brew Co.’s partnership with Wing’s Rescue, a co-branding specialty brew that will benefit bird rescue through each purchase during the month of November. 

Sassman Cattle

Family Friendly Approach 

Will and Diedra express their gratitude for the ability to fellowship with local families and bring a broader community with a like-minded philosophy for family-friendly breweries to fruition. The community is grateful to have such a location to hang out with friends and family and socialize while enjoying a beverage in a relaxed atmosphere and having a bite to eat. They are just starting to establish themselves in Rockport, Texas, and have much more to offer as they settle into their project and the city. 

Bay Area Brew Co.’s hours of operation are:

Monday:  4:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Tuesday:  CLOSED

Wednesday:  CLOSED

Thursday:  4:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Friday:  12:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Saturday:  12:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Sunday:  12:00 PM - 8:00 PM

They have indoor space, a shaded and comfortable patio, a large live oak-shaded backyard for live music, food trucks, and an area for frisbee golf. So far, they have hosted Chicago’s Cater from Corpus Christi, Voodoo Q BBQ, and Local beach food truck Odie Dogs joins them for Monday Trivia nights.   

Will and Diedra are working on a rotation of local food trucks throughout the month. They have room for a total capacity of nearly 100 patrons. Next time you catch yourself cruising to the beach, make a stop for a frosty “bev” at The Bay Area Brewing Company in Rockport, Texas! 

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