Flix will expand its brewhouse capacity in Round Rock by 50 percent or more this summer by growing from a 3.5 barrel system to a 7 barrel prospero system as well as adding a 15 barrel fermenter and 2 additional serving tanks. In addition, the location added three auditoriums in the fall to go from a six-screen theater to nine screens.
Flix Brewhouse brews a variety of original beers on site.[/caption]
"Between [the expansion] and how things have been growing—our beer sales are up about 2.5 percent—we can't keep up with production anymore so we said it's time to upgrade the brewery and make some improvements," said Greg Johnson, director of sales and marketing for Flix.
Johnson said the expanded beer production capabilities will allow Flix to serve popular beers longer, such as the Round Rock Lager. Johnson said lagers take longer to ferment than ales, so many breweries opt to brew more ales. Johnson said Flix will be able to serve the Round Rocker Lager over a longer period in the summer.
Johnson said while some may write off the theater's beer production as a novelty, it is "central to the culture" of the business. Johnson said Flix's original beers have won medals across the county, including its Generation Alt beer, which won the silver medal in the German-style altbier category at the Great American Beer Festival in 2015.
Flix started in Round Rock in 2011 after CEO Allan Reagan built the facility for another theater. Johnson said that deal did not happen, but Reagan combined the movie theater dining concept with a brewery he was looking to start.
"It's been tremendously successful, beyond our wildest expectations," Johnson said.
Johnson said Flix has been successful in Round Rock because the theater attracts residents from the city as well as nearby communities such as Cedar Park, Leander, Pflugerville and Hutto.
"They like the proximity to Austin, but they prefer to live outside the crazy urban city center," Johnson said. "They still want something cool and unique—it’s just been a concept that’s been received incredibly well."
Johnson said Flix is now expanding to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Little Elm, a suburb outside Dallas. He said the company has locations in Des Moines, Iowa, and Carmel, Indiana, which recently held its one-year anniversary.
The theater chain is looking to expand elsewhere in and outside Texas as well, he said.
"We're heavily looking in the outlaying areas of Houston and we're looking at San Antonio," he said. "We've been looking to get into the West Texas market as well."
He said Texas has more cinema-dining concepts than every other state combined, so the company is looking closely at markets outside the state. He said the company intends to be in 15 locations by 2020.
"We’re not afraid to expand to any state to bring our unique brand of beer, food and movies," he said. "We get to bring a lot of jobs, make people happy, expand and do more of what we do."