Sitta Brew Hub opens to the community near Ellington Field
I can’t think of a better community involved in the craft beer industry than the pillar that holds it all together – the homebrew community. After a few heartbreaking closures of local homebrew shops in the South Houston area including B&S Brewers Guild, DeFalco’s Clear Lake, and more recently Hoppin’ Grape Homebrew Supply, you start questioning yourself on why anyone would want to get involved in a business that seems challenging to maintain. Take a moment to listen to Kelly Meyer’s interview with DeFalco’s Homebrew Shop late owner Scott Birdwell. Birdwell has valuable advice for anyone interested in exploring this career path – give it a listen. As consumers, we need to acknowledge, accept, and understand that these businesses, like all small businesses, fundamentally rely on the community that surrounds them for survival. Community matters! Yes, homebrewing competitions and brewing for gold medals continues to gain popularity as craft beer grows but for most, the activity of homebrewing (or going as far as owning a shop) requires time, money and brewing education. I asked John Black, leader of The Bay Area Mashtronauts, for his feedback on the subject.
“Small business owners often put their heart and soul into their business, and too often consumers forget that to save a buck ordering online. If we lose sight of that, those small businesses will not survive. I’ve seen that play out firsthand in our community multiple times and I can’t help but wonder what more I could have done to help.”John Black – Mission Commander for The Bay Area Mastronauts
Absolutely on point.
Since Hoppin’ Grape store closing in May 2022, homebrewers have struggled with delay on their online orders and a limited ingredient availability for basic brewing needs. Most members of the B.A.M Homebrew club live in the Clear Lake area, and if they can’t wait for their ingredients, they have to make the long drive into Houston to visit Farm Boy Brew Shop on N. Shepherd. Forgetting your salts, yeast or other ingredient OR worse – having equipment troubles on brew day is a real pain in the arse. With the lack of local expertise nearby to help, homebrewers don’t get that extra bit of support they need to keep the brew day going.
We are happy to hear that Saturday November 4th, at 11am, Sitta Brew Hub, a new small homebrew business, will open it’s doors to offer up quality key ingredients and supplies for fermented beverages, including craft beer! Kevin Sitta, owner and operator of Sitta Brew Hub, has been a hobby homebrewer for over 10 years. Kevin will be joined by his wife, Liz Sitta during opening weekend.
“To be honest, I am opening up this homebrew shop for selfish reasons – not to get rich but have access to ingredients I need to brew beer!”Kevin Sitta
Name sound familiar? Kevin Sitta has been active throughout the homebrew community, even entering the realm of professional brewing by way of lending a hand at several breweries in town including Vallensons’ Brewing & Bakfish Brewing in Pearland and Saloon Door Brewery in Webster. In tandem with Hoppin Grape and Vallensons, Kevin participated and won a veterans homebrew competition and had the opportunity to brew his winning recipe at Vallensons’, which was named Sitting Warrior West Coast IPA. This brew raised money that were put towards Semper Fi & America’s Fund charity funds. Well done! Sitta has plans to get the store fully operational over the next year, with focus on keeping key brewing ingredients regularly in stock.
“When Hoppin Grape closed, it was apparent there was a real need to serve this community and that is what I am interested in doing.”Kevin Sitta
Sitta Brew Hub will feature and stock all major ingredients required for brewing including specialty and base grains, fresh hops and yeast, ready-to- brew kits, brewing hardware and eventually offer private brewing events so that you can brew up your own batch of beer with personalized labeling to enjoy at home. Sitta plans to keep his professional career working in the IT industry while balancing time to manage the business affairs. Meanwhile, Dean Simpson will be the friendly face behind the counter, playing a key role in the day to day operations at Sitta Brew Hub. Simpson, who became a homebrewing enthusiast during his time in the military, thereafter managed a local homebrew shop named Homebrew Party (sounds fun!). This was, at one time, San Antonio’s only source for homebrewing supplies. His retail experience he gained there, the brewing knowledge has has acquired since, and his education in the hospitality industry will contribute to Sitta’s entrepreneurial vision.
In addition to a retail storefront, Sitta Brew Hub will host beer tasting events and plans to expand into bar hardware servicing very soon. Want a discount? Join a local hombrew club. Sitta plans to provide this perk for all club members across the state.
Swing by the new homebrew shop next weekend during the soft opening event and say hello to Kevin and Dean. And be sure to share your upcoming homebrewing plans – they are ready to support you!
Sitta Brew Hub is located at 618 FM 1959 Houston TX near Ellington Field.
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