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The beer is here: Franconia Brewery sets up shop in McKinney
Franconia Brewery brewer Gavin Secchi works among the large vats that hold the company’s brews. Megan Millender/McKinney Courier-Gazette
By Brandi Hart, McKinney Courier-Gazette
McKinney will soon be known for more than just its wineries. The Franconia Brewery is ready to sell beer made from scratch by German brew master Dennis Wehrmann.
Wehrmann is making four different types of beer using only four ingredients and a recipe that has been passed down from his family and others in Germany since the late 1500s.
“We produce beer completely from scratch using four ingredients from the 1565 German Purity Law, which includes water, yeast, malted barley and hops,” Wehrmann said.
Franconia Brewery is housed in a 5,900-square-foot office building that recently opened at 495 McKinney Parkway. Wehrmann is renting the building.
Wehrmann’s family has a long history of working in the brewing industry. His great-grandfather was a master brewer and started the Franken Breu, which means Franconia Brewer in German, in Bavaria. Some of his uncles have worked as brewers, and his mother even works in a brewery lab.
Following in his long family tradition, Wehrmann moved to the United States in 2003 to work as master brewer for the Two Rows restaurants in Addison and elsewhere in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Here, he will brew and sell only draft and keg beers, he said. Wehrmann holds a diploma in brewery science and a masters brewing degree from German institutions.
One of his beers will be sold exclusively to Two Rows, and he will sell the following beers to anyone who wants to buy them: Franconia Gold, a light beer; an unnamed wheat beer; and a third beer that will either be a German Kolsch beer or a dark German beer.
One batch of beer can make 30 barrels, which is equivalent to 60 kegs. He is planning to brew 7,000 to 10,000 barrels of beer annually, Wehrmann said.
Wehrmann lives in Allen and chose to start his business in McKinney because he likes the city.
He and brewer Gavin Secchi will run the business, which is located north of US 380 and east of State Highway 5, off of McKinney Parkway, in an industrial park. This is the first brewery he has owned and operated. He said he is very excited to be continuing his dream of owning his own brewery and continuing his family business in America, right here in McKinney.
Wehrmann is also trying to be a good steward of the environment: He gives his leftover barley at the facility to a Prosper company, Koster Kettle, which feeds the barley to farm animals. He also uses electricity that is produced by turbines (wind energy) from the electricity company Green Mountain Energy. He also reuses 80 percent of the water used in the brewery, he said.
Wehrmann is also working on creating a Web site for his company: www.FranconiaBrewery.com.
Contact staff writer Brandi Hart at email@example.com. To post comments online, access this story at www.scntx.com.
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