Heather Niederhofer, her husband Blake, and her brother Trevor Brown make some of the best beer in the city, making it hard to believe that Lone Pint Brewery in Magnolia began as a weekend hobby.
The siblings, who began brewing with a 20-gallon home system in Brown’s garage in 2005, spent six years perfecting their recipes, adding Blake to the mix in 2011. Finally, in July 2012, the three leased an old body shop in downtown Magnolia, sought out investors, took out a loan, and started selling beer to the public.
“It’s been a ride, for sure,” said Heather, who—like her brother—still holds down a full-time job while focusing on the brewery. “We’ve gotten to a good place finally, because we were recently able to hire our first employees.” And so, the long weekends the three spent brewing and kegging beer are finished for now. “We have family time again,” Niederhofer said. “Well, normal family time.”
Originally, Niederhofer confined most of her attention to the business side. “Trevor was the mastermind behind the first batches,” she said. “When we home-brewed, I didn’t really know the science of it. Now, I’ve been doing my own research to find new hops and have some input in everything we make. We’re always swapping ideas with each other.”
Lone Pint makes hefty American ales and IPAs, most of them crafted by Blake, who is now the head brewer. “Hoppy, hoppy, hoppy — hoppy makes us happy,” Heather quipped. It makes Houston happy, too—Lone Pint’s Yellow Rose IPA has quickly become the brewery’s most popular offering, and a recent winner of the Drinker’s Choice award at the 2013 Battle of Texas Beers.
In addition to hosting formal beer tours and tastings on the weekends, Lone Pint recently added more brew tanks and finalized plans to begin selling beer in bomber bottles this fall. “Packaging and mass-bottling our beer is our next big step, to just get into more bars,” said Heather. “We’re growing and finding people who love our beer while brewing together as a family. What’s more fun than that?”