Newest brewery has Czech style
Tanglefoot Brewing is located inside Al's Bar-B-Q Barn. Plus, a Harvey House flashback and tips for making your old car last during the automotive chip shortage.
MONDAY NOVEMBER 1, 2021
Tanglefoot is a Czech brewery with an old West feel. Customers of all ages come to Temple’s newest brewery to drink old world-style beers and listen to Czech albums played on a small turntable.
Andy Martinec, owner of Tanglefoot Brewing, holds a cold pilsner drawn from a side-pull tap. The brewery is inside Al’s Bar-B-Q Barn. David Stone | Our Town Temple
By DAVID STONE, Our Town Temple exclusive
The newest addition to Temple’s burgeoning beer scene takes life at a slow pace. It also pays homage to the city’s heritage and culture.
Tanglefoot Brewing is located inside one of the city’s most iconic eateries — Al’s Bar-B-Q Barn at the intersection of 25 Street and Avenue M.
“This was a storage area inside the restaurant,” said brewery owner Andy Martinec, grandson of Al’s founder Alfred Martinec.
“I’ve been brewing professionally for nine years, and a couple years ago I joked about opening something in Temple,” he said. “When the pandemic hit, I decided to do it. I cleaned out the storage room, built a bar and started making beer.”
The small brewery is open two days a week. Andy spends weekdays as brewmaster at Black Star Coop, a brew pub in Austin that focuses on trendy micro beers. But at Tanglefoot, it’s all about traditional Czech pilsners.
“When it comes down to it, beer falls into two categories — ales and lagers,” Andy explained. “They are fermented differently and have different characteristics. Pilsner beers are lagers that originated in a region now known as Pilson in the Czech Republic.”
Tanglefoot is a throwback to early Temple and its notoriously bad streets. The city was built on rich black farmland, and its streets became a sticky mess after a moderate rain. Temple was a rough-and-ready railroad town on the Chisholm Trail and had a bar and brothel on every corner.
Legend has it, the muddy streets were impassable, especially after a pedestrian had imbibed in a bit of liquor.
The brewery features three pilsners and has another that will debut next month.
“My Czech style lagers are brewed using traditional methods and ingredients, and they are lagered for a minimum of two months,” he said. “Tanglefoot beers are named after the starting sugar content.”
For example, Andy makes a pale lager known as 10°. The sugar content of that beer is 10 percent and it has an alcohol content of about 4 percent.
Tanglefoot also brews a 13° Tmave’ dark pilsner and a 12° pale lager. All beers are brewed in 31 gallon barrels onsite.
“Since I brew in such small batches and I only have two fermentation chambers, inventory can be a bit tricky,” Andy said.
A fourth beer — a stout 22° Tmave’ — will come out mid December.
“The 13° Tmave’ is the most popular,” he said. “It’s easy to drink. The beer flows out of side-pull taps made in the Czech Republic and it creates a nice foam head, which is important in the Czech beer world.”
Andy describes Tanglefoot as a Czech brewery with an old West feel. Customers of all ages come in to drink old world-style beers and listen to Czech albums played on a small turntable.
Andy said he found most of the albums while cleaning out the storage room, and customers also bring in their favorites.
“We’re not trying to be trendy or upscale,” he said, “just quaint and traditional.”
While Andy actually opened in May, the opening was so quiet it was almost a secret. That changed about three weeks ago when he painted one end of the 52-year-old barbecue business bright blue and put up a Tanglefoot sign.
While Andy is taking the slow-road to growth, he does have plans for the brewery’s future.
“I’d like to create an outdoor space with patio tables and live music,” he said. “I’m not sure when that will happen, but I’d love to have some sort of party when I introduce the new beer.”
Tanglefoot is open 4-8 p.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
FLASHBACK THE TEMPLE HARVEY HOUSE
A train leaves the Temple station after stopping at Santa Fe Depot and the Harvey House Restaurant & Hotel. The Harvey House is directly above the train in the center of the photo. The ‘Houses’ were America’s first chain business.