From Nola, With Suds

New Houston Brewery Asking Houstonians to Take a Leap

Urban South Brewery will open on Feb 29 at Sawyer Yards.

By Timothy Malcolm January 30, 2020

A look inside the then-unfinished Urban South Brewery in December.

Does anyone know if it's good or bad luck to open on leap day?

The first satellite of Urban South Brewery will host its grand opening Feb. 29 at 1201 Oliver St. in Sawyer Yards, per an announcement. Its 14,000-square-foot space includes a 10-barrel research and development operating, a barrel room (that can be used for events), and a nicely sized taproom with outdoor space.

Urban South was born in New Orleans in 2016, pledging to bring European styles to its home city and the rest of the South, and while there's some of that (a witbier, a Marzen), the brewery has leaned pretty hard on New England-style IPAs, known for a hazy look and juicy, hoppy taste. The hazy IPA is the most trendy sub-style within the most popular overall style (IPAs) in brewing. 

For its Houston outpost, it enlisted a couple folks who know a thing or two about experimentation: Dave Ohmer, Justin Slanina, and Marin Slanina, all previously from the highly regarded B-52 Brewing in Conroe. Ohmer will brew and oversee operations as general manager; Justin Slanina will brew with an eye on experimentation while maintaining the brewery's cellar; and Marin Slanina is in charge of the front of house.

Look for some hazies, of course, but Justin Slanina told Houstonia on a tour recently that he hopes to cast a wide net with the brewery's offerings. For instance, he's hoping to get a lagering program off the ground, and there'll be plenty of barrel-aging done.

You might see some Urban South New Orleans beers in Houston from time to time, but the focus will be on offerings made by Ohmer and Justin Slanina. Urban South HTX will also host beer releases, parties, and other events. 

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