Brew pub unveils new suds
New beers debut on First Street, and a downtown park that's still in the dream stage. Welcome to your weekend!
FRIDAY, AUGUST 13, 2021
FIRE BASE BREWING COMPANY
Stacy Zemp and J.D. McBride stand in the brewing room at Fire Base Brewing Company in downtown Temple.
New brews join Fire Base family
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple exclusive
This is a big weekend for beer lovers.
Two new brews will be introduced to the downtown world at Fire Base Brewing Company, including a unique beverage that has been aged for three months inside an oak bourbon barrel.
“It’s a very limited beer,” said J.D. McBride, co-owner of the First Street brewery along with partner Stacy Zemp. “As it ages, the beer picks up wood flavors from the barrel and develops a slight bourbon taste.”
The bourbon beer was transferred out of the cask last weekend into a holding tank, where it awaits this weekend’s festivities.
“Sunday is bottling day,” McBride said proudly. “This is our first barrel-aged beer, and it’s a good one. But, it’s a very limited run. We’ll get about 250 bottles out of it.”
While the aged bourbon beer is big news at Fire Base, it’s not their only brew about to debut.
“We also are introducing a single-malt, single-hop IPA,” he said. “Members of our Mug Club will have access Friday and it will go on sale to the public Saturday.”
Fire Base Brewing Company opened in May 2020 and struggled through the pandemic months and sparse crowds. But, McBride and Zemp are hoping those days are behind them.
“Business is definitely getting better,” Zemp said. “We have a lot of events — like live music and trivia nights — and we have a lot of regular customers.”
The bar’s picnic tables invite a sense of community and getting to know other patrons.
“Our customers go out of their way to introduce themselves to newcomers,” McBride said. “It’s a friendly place.”
McBride, a native of Juneau, Alaska, served in the Marine Corps then the Army before getting into the bar business. The couple — Zemp is from Las Vegas — came to Central Texas to visit friends and decided to call the area home.
“I had a military buddy who retired here, and we came to visit,” McBride said. “There’s a huge veteran population here, and the folks are super friendly. We like it, and we like being a part of Temple’s downtown boom.”
McBride didn’t just wake up one day and decide to open a bar. That decision was about eight years in the making.
“I was a homebrewer,” said. “I was recovering from knee surgery and got into it. I really enjoyed brewing as a hobby.”
So how did McBride and Zemp come up with the name Fire Base?
“It’s a military term,” he said. “A fire base is a forward firing position that provides artillery fire to support infantry. With Fort Hood nearby, we decided it was a good fit.”
The Fire Base Brewing Company keeps about 13 beers on tap at all times.
“We have seven house beers and six rotational beers,” Zemp said. “We switch those out regularly.”
McBride and Zemp collaborated with the folks at Moose & Goose Winery in Temple on a hard cider, the only brew not made on location. Like Fire Base, Moose & Goose is veteran owned and operated.
In addition to regular offerings and seasonal beers — a special Oktoberfest brew is in the works — Fire Base also creates malt beverages for special occasions.
“We created a special beer for a couple’s wedding day,” McBride said. “With their input, we made a beer just for them, and we had a keg of it at their reception.”
McBride and Zemp have also worked with Temple firefighters to create a beer that was sold as a fundraiser.
“It’s a unique way for us to give back to the community,” McBride said. “It’s something we plan to do regularly.”
So, what’s there to do at Fire House? Drinking tasty beer comes to mind, but Zemp is quick to point out the bar’s many activities.
“We have Trivia Night every Thursday, and a themed trivia night once a month,” she said. “The theme might be music from the ‘80s — something like that.”
Fire Base is home to live music on Friday nights, and the bar hosts a food truck every day except Sunday, she said.
On occasion, Fire Base — with the city’s permission — shuts down First Street and hosts a block party.
A section of First Street in front of Fire Base Brewing Company was blocked off during last week’s First Friday for games, live music and whole lot of summer fun.
A GREEN IDEA FOR DOWNTOWN TEMPLE
This architectural drawing shows the 4th Street Parking Garage that will be built at 4th Street and Central Avenue in downtown Temple. The drawing, prepared by KPA Engineering, shows a pocket park across Central on land currently owned by Bell County. The park is still in the idea stage and approval would be needed by both the county and the city before a plan could be implemented. The tall building on the left is the Hawn Hotel, and renovations on that building, the adjoining Arcadia Theater and the former Sears building are expected to begin soon. Across Fourth Street from “idea” park would be an expanded Bird Creek Burgers & Brew Pub. Central Plaza, an apartment community in the 1929 Professional Building, also is in the immediate area. Construction on the parking garage is expected to start this fall.
What’s happening, Temple?
August 13, Friday - Karaoke Night at Spare Time, 9 p.m.
August 13, Friday - SmokinMaxx Carter live at Fire Base Brewing Co. 6:30 p.m.
August 13, Friday - Bell County Cutting Horse Show, Bell County Expo Center Equine/Livestock Complex.
August 13, Friday - Love Connection Matchmaking at Corky’s. 7:30 p.m.
August 13, Friday - Broken Time & Midnight Tradesmen at O’Briens. Two hot Bell County Bands! 9 p.m.
August 13, Friday - Bell County Kennel Club, Bell County Expo Center.
August 13, Friday - Hyway Traveler, Bo’s Barn Dance Hall, 8 p.m.
August 14, Saturday - Clear the Shelter animal adoption event. Temple Animal Shelter. Noon to 4 p.m.
August 14, Saturday - Downtown Temple Farmer’s Market. 2 N. Main Street. 8 a.m.
August 14, Saturday - Bell County Kennel Club, Bell County Expo Center.
August 14, Saturday - Texas Senior Pro Rodeo, Bell County Expo Center Equine/Livestock Complex.
August 14, Saturday - Name That Tune Bingo at Fire Base Brewing Co. Featuring mixtapes of the 1980s and 90s. 7:30 p.m.
August 14, Saturday - The Damn Moore Boys & Co. at O’Briens. 9 p.m.
August 14, Saturday - Broken Arrow at Bo’s Barn Dance Hall, 9 p.m.
August 15, Sunday - Bell County Kennel Club, Bell County Expo Center.
August 15, Sunday - Texas Senior Pro Rodeo, Bell County Expo Center Equine/Livestock Complex.
August 16, Monday - Short Story Reading Group at Temple Public Library. 6 p.m.
August 17, Tuesday - An evening with winemaker Tom Parmeson of Parmeson Wines. Four-course wine dinner at Pignetti’s. 6:45 p.m.
August 17, Tuesday - Taroks Card Party and Lessons at Czech Heritage Museum and Genealogy Center. Learn and play the 1400’s European card game brought to Texas by Czechs in the 1800s. 7 p.m.
August 19, Thursday - Temple City Council, City Hall. 5 p.m.
August 20, Friday - Coffee with a Cop, Bella Blue Cafe, 7-10 a.m.
August 21, Saturday - Bob Schneider, Texas Music Series,Cultural Activities Center. 7:30 p.m.
September 11, Saturday - Pink Fishing’s Reeling in the Cure, 6th annual bass tournament. Proceeds benefit breast cancer patients and cancer research. Cedar Ridge Park. 6 a.m. Call (254) 681-0102 for details.
September 18, Saturday - Dale Watson, Texas Music Series, Cultural Activities Center. 7:30 p.m.
October 9, Saturday - Shinyribs, Texas Music Series,Cultural Activities Center. 7:30 p.m.
November 6, Saturday - Chris Hillman, Texas Music Series,Cultural Activities Center. 7:30 p.m.
Have an event you would like to promote? Email info to OurTownTemple@gmail.com with “What’s Happening” in the subject line. Keep it short and sweet — what, when and where. You may include a short description. You must include a phone number for verification purposes. The phone number will not be published unless requested by submitter.
Our Town Classifieds
REMODELING KITCHEN AND MUST SELL KItchenAid Dishwasher. It is in great shape. $100. (254) 913-8309.
HAVING A GARAGE SALE? Let your friends know with an Our Town classified.
HEY, REAL ESTATE AGENTS — Here’s a perfect place for your newest listing!
SELLING YOUR CAR? Post it right here!
BIG MEDICINE BALL — 40-pound soft-sided Rage Fitness medicine ball. Great for Atlas drills. Like new. $40. (254) 624-4010
MAKE GREAT SMOOTHIES — Vitamin. Great condition. Comes with two pitchers. Also great for salsas. $200. (254) 624-4010
LOOKING FOR SOMETHING? HAVE SOMETHING TO SELL? List it here!
PLYO BOX: Soft-sided, 20x24x30 plyometric box. Great condition. $40. (254) 624-4010
Subscribers get FREE classifieds up to 25 words. Email info to OurTownTemple@gmail.com
Our Town Deals
FREE COFFEE WITH PURCHASE OF ANY BREAKFAST ITEM — Easy As Pie, 1217 S 1st St A, Temple.
To list your business in Our Town Deals, call (254) 624-4010