Visiting Fredonia Brewery in the Oldest Town in Texas
Recently we had the opportunity to visit Fredonia Brewery in the oldest town in Texas, Nacogdoches. We didn’t know what to expect, but we were blown away by the hospitality, the brewery, and the beer. We ended up spending hours there talking with the staff and fans of the brewery.
Fredonia Brewery’s name is representative of the rich history of the area. 10 years before the Alamo, the Fredonia Rebellion occurred. It lasted only 44 days, from December 16, 1826 to January 28, 1827, but its impact endured. Haden Edwards was the leader of the rebellion. He received a grant from Mexico to settle families in the Nacogdoches area, but there were already people settled there. He upset the settlers because he required them to show their titles for their lands. If they could not produce a title, they faced having to give over their land to Edwards. Edwards was also accused of nepotism. The Mexican government saw his policies as too heavy-handed, so they revoked Edwards’ grant. This sparked Edwards’ idea to gain independence from Mexico. He and a group of 36 men met at the Stone Fort in Nacogdoches and declared the Republic of Fredonia. Their rebellion was unsuccessful, but it triggered events that led to the Texas Revolution.
Fredonia Brewery History
The name Fredonia suggests “a place of freedom.” Fredonia Brewery is a place of freedom and so much more. They embody the spirit of Texas and honor the history of their town. Their motto is “Brewed with the independent spirit that created Texas,” and the names of their beers are associated with Nacogdoches, such as Professional Texan and Banita Blonde. They also have a pizza kitchen called Rebellion Pizza Kitchen, and they have a giant Texas flag in their brewhouse.
Paul Murray, the Co-owner and Head Brewer, started out as a homebrewer, and he originated the Nac Brew Club. Now the Tap Room and Operations Manager, Jack Sullivan, is the president. Most of the staff are part of the homebrew club, so they are all very knowledgeable about beer.
Fredonia Brewery opened on March 4, 2017. Before becoming a brewery this land was home to a couple of different businesses. In the 90s, it was Nacogdoches Floral, which was a little house on the spot where the beer garden is now. Unfortunately, the house burned down, and they moved to a different location. The space then became Dragonfly Nursery. The beautiful pergolas in the beer garden were left over from the nursery.
There is so much history in Nacogdoches. It’s a great place to visit. You could stay at The Fredonia Hotel, just a block and a half away from Fredonia Brewery. You could walk to the brewery! There you will find a beautiful indoor and outdoor space, a friendly and knowledgeable staff, and diverse choices of great beer. The Fredonia Hotel offers pet-friendly rooms and the brewery has a dog-friendly beer garden, so you could even bring your dog.
When Fredonia Brewery opened, they featured 6 beers. Now they have 14 taps. You can also find 6 packs in the market at Total Wines, Specs, Kroger, and H-E-B. Check their website for specific locations that sell their beer. Beers available in 6 packs include:
- Professional Texan – a crisp, refreshing Kolsch
- Banita Blonde – a slightly sweet American Blonde Ale
- Nine Flags – a nice malty Amber Ale
- Angry Axe – a nicely hopped IPA
- Hefeweizen – a Hefeweizen full of banana notes
- Brewberry – a tart Blueberry Cream Ale
- Curb Feeler – a light American Pilsner named after a notorious curb right next to the brewery
While at the brewery, we enjoyed the Lanana Lager, a Mexican Larger. It was a nice easy drinker. Another beer to note is the Altest Town in Texas, a limited release with a cause. Proceeds from this beer go toward preserving history in Nacogdoches. BSG donated all the malt, hops, and yeast for this beer. $1 from each sale goes toward preserving and restoring Nacogdoches historical sites, including Zion Hill Baptist Church, the oldest church in town, and Clay House, a house in the Zion Hill Historic District that will be converted into a museum honoring African Americans’ contributions to the neighborhood.
What’s Going on at the Brewery?
From trivia nights and concerts to festivals and new beer releases, the folks at Fredonia Brewery have a lot going on. Here are a few events they have coming up:
- Thursdays are Lonestar Trivia Nights with J. Soul. Each Thursday has a music and dress theme for the night. Some past themes include the 60s, yacht rock, the 90s, and Pride. Trivia starts at 7:00 pm.
- Saturday nights feature live music in the beer garden.
- In August, they will release their Octoberfest beer, which is a dark and malty Marzen. In September, they will release their official SFA (Stephen F. Austin University) beer. In the fall, they will also release Macho Milk in cans. It’s made with an Ethiopian medium roast coffee.
- At the end of September, they will release the products of their barrel program. Pine Cove Porter and Stone Fort Dry Irish Stout were aged in Maker’s Mark barrels.
- On the 4th of July, they will have Freedonia Fest. It will be the first Sunday that they will be open to the public.
- On October 30th, they will have the SFA Brass Ensemble to celebrate SFA’s homecoming. Lederhosen are encouraged!
- In June, Nacogdoches holds the Texas Blueberry Festival. The brewery is very popular that day because they feature Brewberry, their delicious Blueberry Cream Ale. They also sell commemorative glassware, but they go quick. This year they were sold out by 1:00 pm!
Whether you visit the oldest town in Texas for the day or make a weekend out of it, it is definitely worth the trip. Fredonia Brewery has cultivated a fun, welcoming environment, rich in history and a good time. It is dog-friendly and kid-friendly, and you’re sure to meet some great people. You can enjoy pizza from their pizza kitchen, or they usually have a food truck on site. Make sure you take a look at their beer wall inside. Their can collection is composed of over 2,400 unique cans!
Fredonia Brewery Hours:
Thursday: 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Friday: 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Saturday: 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Sunday: 12:00 pm – 6:00m pm
Thank you, Paul, Jack, and Alex for making our visit so special and memorable. We enjoyed the great beer and wonderful conversations. Thank you for welcoming us and sharing the history of Nacogdoches and the brewery.
If you’d like to hear more about this must-visit brewery and town, listen to our podcast. And tell us what you think. We would love to hear your feedback. Leave a comment or reach out to us on social media.