Family run brewery finds the perfect mix
About three and a half years ago, over a few glasses of Brian Royo's home-brewed beer with his wife, Jennifer, and his parents, Melanie and Gil, someone off-handedly mentioned the possibility of Royo starting his own brewery. After all, he had been brewing his own beer at home for years to no small amount of success, Jennifer said.
Now just three and a half years later, No Label Brewery is moving into its new facility, with larger storage tanks and the ability to produce more of the beer that is rapidly gaining in popularity. The new facility is within walking distance of its original location on First Street and allows the Royo's to have their popular weekly beer tastings indoors.
Every Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m., No Label Brewery hosts beer tastings, with the event often featuring local food selections and live music. The tastings typically draw about 300 people.
"I don't think we were expecting everything to happen this fast," she said. "You don't think [owning a business] can be a reality until it actually starts happening."
After it was decided opening a brewery was a feasible and potentially profitable endeavor, the Royo's had to quickly come up with a name for their company.
"My husband is always messing with things, pulling labels off of bottles," Jennifer said. "He thought it would be cool to have the name etched into the bottle, to have no label."
Hence the name No Label Brewery, which Jennifer said also reflects the four owners' personality differences.
"We tried to think of a name that represented all four of us, 'a beer for everybody' sort of saying," Jennifer said.
Etching the name directly on bottles proved too costly, so the Royo's stuck with the traditional method of printing labels on their bottles, which they recently began to produce. Until August of this year, No Label only produced keg beer. Now the company sells its beers in about 115 bars and 75 stores in the Houston area.
"We are really thankful for the success we've had so far," Jennifer said.
No Label Brewery's line of brews offer the traditional and not-so-traditional selections, ranging from pale ales and dark ambers to jalapeo ales.
"Brian still home brews and he will play around with recipes," Jennifer said. "That's pretty much how all of the recipes got started. They brought [the flavor] to the brewery, talked about it and decided to try it."
Next up for No Label Brewery is 1st Street Blonde Ale, which Jennifer says will feature Katy-inspired colors on its label.
"It will be a tribute to Katy," she said.
No Label Brewery Beers
- El Jefe: A traditional German Hefeweizen, light and refreshing with strong notes of banana, cloves and citrus. Named after Jennifer Royo, the brewer's wife and co-owner.
- Ridgeback Ale: A dark American Amber with strong flavors of caramel and roasted malts. Balanced with just the right amount of cascade and golden hops for a sweet but slightly bitter ale. Named after the family dog, Hailey.
- Don Jalapeo Ale: A jalapeo ale that is very drinkable with a slight spicy burn at the end. Based on No Label's Pale Horse Ale, this beer is brewed with 60 pounds of jalapeos.
- Black Wit-O: A dark wheat ale brewed with a touch of star anise at the end of the boil, giving it a clean smooth finish with a hint of licorice.
No Label Brewery, 5373 First St., Katy, 281-693-7545, www.nolabelbrew.com