Celebrities brewing their own beer is nothing new. Members of the ’90s boyband Hanson have done it (when they were much older, that is). So has actor Adrian Grenier of TV’s Entourage fame (in partnership with former Nike designer Justin Hawkins). Now, Supernatural star Jensen Ackles and British film director Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes) have jumped on the bandwagon as well, with the opening of their very own breweries in their respective home towns.
Last week, Ackles informed his 5.7 million followers on Instagram that his family-owned brewery, Family Business Beer Co., would start operations on January 10 in Dripping Springs, about 21 miles south-west of Austin, Texas. The business is so named as the actor-cum-director’s partners include his wife Danneel, her brother Gino Graul, and their parents Ed and Debby Graul, all of whom are craft beer enthusiasts.
In an interview with Eater Austin, Jensen revealed that he and his brother-in-law often brewed their own beers whilst living in California. After the family moved to Austin, he and Danneel fell in love with the local beer scene, so much so that in 2014, when the Dripping Springs property came to their attention, they decided that they should open their own brewery.
According to the Family Business website, the 15-acre brewery is “located in hill country and boasts a variety of hand-crafted beers and one of Austin’s finest food trucks.” It currently brews a variety of beers ranging from lagers to ales to barrel-aged stouts, with head brewer Nate Seale asserting that the Hamilton Pale Ale will become the brewery’s signature beer.
As for the premises, with knowledge of what beer-loving folks in the region are like, the Ackles spared no effort in ensuring that the place is family and pet-friendly. The indoor taproom has a modern design with a stylish wood bar at one end and a stage for live music performances at the other. Outdoor facilities include picnic tables, patio deck, and a playground. According to Eater Austin, the proper brewery itself comprises three 30-barrel and two 15-barrel fermentation tanks and will have conducted tours in the future.
Being part of a close-knit and beer-loving family, Jensen just has one wish for those who plan on dropping in at Family Business.
“We want people to come not just to enjoy the beer, but also enjoy the experience.”
Meanwhile, over in England, film director and self-confessed beer lover Guy Ritchie achieved his life-long dream of building and owning his own microbrewery.
Lock, Stock, And Two Smokin’ Beer Barrels: A Guy & His Beer
Located on Ritchie’s 1,100-acre Wiltshire estate in Dorset, the 20-barrel brewery – named Gritchie Brewing Company – is housed in a converted barn, which the King Arthur: Legend of the Sword helmer proudly featured with before-and-after images on his personal Instagram account last December.
And the brewery has already launched its first beer. Named “English Lore,” it is a four percent ABV pale ale, brewed from Maris Otter barley grown on the estate, and a mixture of traditional English hops and newer varieties. In an interview with UK’s Your Valley News,Ritchie describes the beer as “a medium-bodied beer with a touch of caramel, a layering of floral and honey notes and bright flecks of citrus and orange marmalade,” which he believes both beer lovers and non-beer-lovers will enjoy.
The 49-year-old film director, who used to part-own The Punchbowl pub and dining room in Mayfair, London, goes on to explain why he wanted to build his own brewery.
“I’ve always been a big cask ale fan and a regular pub-goer and I’ve been wanting to brew my own beer for years… I love the full spectrum of different beer styles, but especially real ale because it is so unique to England. I’m fascinated by the historical origins of the beer brewing culture in the UK and hope to draw from that heritage.”
Currently, English Lore is available only to local pubs in the vicinity of the Wiltshire brewery. However, plans are in place to make it available to F&B establishments throughout the country, as well as bottled for worldwide shipping. Ritchie, who’s currently working on Disney’s live-action Aladdin due out in 2019, also has plans for future beers which may be named Bitta Ritchie and Ashcombe Ale (named after his residential country home in Dorset).
So, if you are a lover of beers and happen to be in close proximity of either Austin, Texas or Dorset in Southwest England, take some time to check out the craft beers brewed by Jensen Ackles and Guy Ritchie respectively.
For a closer look at Ackles’ Family Business Beer Co, watch the video below.