Ruggedman Brewing and Its Damn Beer
I chose to visit this brewery on a whim. I was making plans to attend the Texas Craft Brewers Guild Conference in Austin the weekend of February 17. I knew I had time to visit a brewery on my way there and remembered thinking that New Braunfels had a few. After a brief web search I found Rugged Man brewing on the map and thought it would be a perfect detour for my trip.
The first thing that caught my attention about the brewery was it’s coarse slogan “Drink the Damn Beer”. I thought to myself, “Better not give these guys any shit when I get there!”.
Easy Westward Drive
The drive from NE Houston was a little over 3 hours and once you hit the open road of Interstate 10 you can relax and let the miles just roll away.
Ruggedman Brewing is nestled between New Braunfels and San Marcos just a stone’s throw away from Interstate 35.
Damn Beer is Good
I arrived just after the brewery opened at 11am with a few people already enjoying some beverages. I was welcomed in by Randy Williams, one of the co-founders of Ruggedman Brewing. The taproom was decorated with some funny beer signs, a Texas state flag and a Marine Corps flag but I wasn’t there to look at the wall. I was there to drink the damn beer!
I started with the delicious Ranger Creek barrel aged Rock Duster Belgian Quad. At 13% ABV it was a knockout! Go big or go home right?! The beer was part of Ruggedman’s One Year Anniversary party a week prior to my visit. The beer had great caramel and stone fruit notes that were well balanced with the bourbon notes from the barrel. I hope they make this one again!
The other beers I tried were Road Roller Kolsch, Big Rig Blonde, Sledge Hammer IPA and Machine Gun Stout on nitro. They were all very tasty.
Strong Bonds Lead to Beer
My favorite part of the visit was getting to know Randy and other co-founder John Wamer who is also the head brewer. The pair grew up near San Angelo about 30 minutes apart but didn’t meet until they both joined the Marines. While serving our country they became friends and found they had several things in common including a love for beer. They served in the Marine Corps until 2009.
Shortly after that, both John and Randy started homebrewing vowing to start a brewery in the near future. With several years of brewing under their belt and John creating award winning home brews, in 2014 they began the process of looking for a location.
Today, one year into their brewing adventure, they are creating a nice following and some great brews.