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Blog & Photography by:
Maryssa Rose Chavez and Jinni J 

St. Elmo Brewery was bread (hehe), and brewed here in South Austin and to our convenience is one of our neighbors here at the Yard.
In this Art Talk, we were lucky to learn from Tim Bullock one of the co-owners of St. Elmo Brewing, as to how St. Elmo Brewing  came to be the well beloved brew house that it is today. With their diverse array of brews in addition to their welcoming, atmospheric outdoor seating area, it is hard to find a place that feels so close to that classic Austin feel. We are excited for you to learn all about their creative alchemy in each beer and the thought and intention that goes not only into each pour, but into the smallest details such as the designs on each of their cans. Austin owned, Austin brewed. ❤️

Photography by: Jinni J

Maryssa:
I love beer, big-huge fan, could you describe the moment that you knew beer was what you wanted to do, and not just to drink, but to share and get creative with?

Tim:
I started homebrewing beer in 2007. My good friends and I realized that we could make pretty good beer for really cheap. We imagined having parties with beer that we made by hand and thought it would be so fun. We never really had many of those parties but continued making the beer. I eventually got a job in the beer business and realized that the whole industry was centered around being around other people and sharing what you made; just like those homebrew parties. It’s a blast.

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Maryssa:
Why did you decide that St. Elmo was the area you wanted to build your brewery?

Tim:
We started the search in 2015. At that time, there wasn’t too much happening down here, south of Ben White. Plus St Elmo Brewing is not so bad a name.

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Maryssa:
All the artwork on your beer cans are always really well done, could you describe your process for choosing what will go on what beer can?

Tim:
We work with a very competent designer, Keith Davis Young. We have regular conversations with him about what we’re trying to convey on the beer can. Sometimes it’s as simple as changing a color or a typeface. Sometimes it involves a few iterations of what our intention is with the can. The designer does a lot of heavy lifting when it comes to us providing abstract concepts. So we tend to try to be relatively concrete with what we are looking for. Overall, it is a very, very pleasing process.

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Maryssa:
Do you work/commission with freelance illustrators from anywhere when it comes to designing the cans, or is this done by someone in house?

Tim:
We typically are relying on our one designer. But we have branched out on occasion.

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Maryssa:
I had to ask this one; I am sure you get asked quite often, but what is your favorite type of beer? For instance I am a big Gose and Sour fan.

Tim:
Goses and Sours are excellent. I have a hard time picking an absolute favorite. But if I’m thinking about the past few months, it’s hard to get away from IPAs. A low bitterness, sub-6.5% hazy really holds my attention these days.

Photography by: Maryssa Rose Chavez


Maryssa:
Top 3 shout outs, to your top 3 fav people go-- !

Tim:
My wife, Heather Gallagher. She’s a phenomenal photographer, activist, and mother to our son, Lee. She is changing the world. Subscript on my son, Lee. He kicks all the butts. The St. Elmo Team, I love everyone that I work with and love being challenged by all of them every day. So many good convos being had behind the bar and in the brewery.
I have a core group of friends who I interact with everyday. I’ve known all of them for at least 30 years. We all live in different cities, and we have grown together, a part, and back in so many ways.

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Maryssa:
Why is it important to you to have your brand printed on garments and create such amazing merch (t-shirts, bandanas, hats, etc) ?

Tim:
Everything that we do is a statement. We try to make sure any and everything that our logo is on means something to us.

Photography by: Maryssa Rose Chavez

Maryssa:
What does the future of the Austin Beer scene look like to you now that the city is growing?

Tim:
I think we will see a plateau for the next few years. In some sense, the beer scene has been like a family tree. You see some of the older breweries form offshoots and then some more offshoots from there. I think we might be in a bit of an incubation period, where, in another 2 years, we will see even more offshoots start to form a bit further out from downtown.

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Maryssa:
I would love to know your favorite breweries outside of Austin?

Tim:
Places to visit? I really haven’t travelled much in the past year. I’m eager to travel again and visit new places.
I always loved visiting Cerebral in Denver. Avery in Boulder is pretty ridiculous...definitely a NEED-TO-VISIT brewery if you’re in the area. It’s been a while since I toured anywhere in the Northeast.
I’m not much of a prescriptionist; I don’t so much judge other places for what they are OR aren’t doing in other parts of the country. If you’re in business, you are doing what you need to do to make sure you stay in business. That's usually a reflection of local taste. That’s what’s fun about visiting other places; finding out what other people like and learning why.

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Maryssa:
Do you think there is beer in other alternate universes/planets/galaxies?

Tim:
Yep!

Photographs from St. Elmo Brewery Co. Instagram 

Huge thank you to Tim for this awesome interview and the amount of insight you were able to provide for us. Beer is good but supporting local businesses is even better. Right now St. Elmo Brewing Co. is open and they have an awesome Beer to Go service as well. Go and check them out, you won't regret it! You can find all things St. Elmo Brewing on their Website and on their Instagram. ✌️