Barker was recruited to Southern California years ago to build glider aircraft. It was there that he and Adam Caudill, Flying Man Brewing co-owner, met at landing zones. The two homebrewers would share beers at the sites, bringing in kegs of their home recipes, before a friend told them he would buy their beer at a store.
Fast forward a few years, and that is exactly what customers are doing. Flying Man Brewing now sells six-packs of its brews in more than 80 stores across Central Texas just a little more than a year after the brewery first opened its doors.
“Our immediate plan is to stay as hyperlocal as we can and build that market, but … we can go anywhere in Texas,” Caudill said.
Since Flying Man Brewing began production on its first batches of beer in September 2017, Barker, Caudill and Dan Wheeler—the company’s head brewer—have expanded their brewing operations to deliver separate varieties of beer.
Flying Man Brewing renovated its site to include an event space for weddings, birthday parties, cornhole tournaments and more. The brewery also added a canning line shortly after it opened to allow for outside sales of its beer.
But it is the recent addition of a pilot brewing system—essentially a smaller, less-expensive version of its larger brewing system—that will allow Flying Man Brewing to spread its wings. Beginning shortly after the new year, Barker and Caudill announced plans to pour new small-batch beers from the pilot system. The duo said they have already set their sights on releasing pale ales, experimental saisons, pale stouts and dark lagers through the pilot system.
“It’s a fun way to keep something fresh and new on the wall that you can only get here,” Barker said.
Flying Man Brewing is also set to release a series of quarterly IPAs on its Auto Rotator series, all done off the brewery’s pilot batch. This means new IPAs with hop selections and new recipes for the brewery with possibilities ranging from West Coast IPAs to hazy New England-style IPAs.
“Being able to utilize our pilot system to test the waters before we try the big batches is very beneficial,” Barker said.
Flying Man Brewing Co.
2400 Patterson Industrial Drive, Austin
Hours: Thu. 4:30-10 p.m., Fri. 3:30-10 p.m., Sat. noon-10 p.m., Sun. noon-7 p.m., closed Mon.-Wed.