First Look: Fulbrook Ale Works

Todd@HoustonBeerScene

Another week, another new brewery! This is the busiest stretch of local openings I’ve seen!

I visited Fulbrook Ale Works in Richmond on the first day of the soft opening. They’re located on FM 359, not far from the Grand Parkway and Highway 90-A. Brahman Winery/Running Walker Brewery is located less than a mile away, making this an easy twofer for brewery hunters. Fulbrook is located in the former Texian Brewing location — who sold the brewery — but will be contract brewing out of Fulbrook.

The brewery is not drastically different from the Texian set-up: A large warehouse which houses the brewhouse, taps, and picnic-table seating. (Note: There’s plenty of parking, but some of it is a series of grassy, unpaved lots, so beware if there’s been a big rain.) There’s also some outdoor seating, and Fulbrook reports to be pet-friendly. I arrived shortly after opening, but there were already a handful of people seeking out new beer. It wasn’t crowded, but business was continuing to pick-up when I left a couple of hours later. The vibe is the same relaxed, family-friendly environment you find in most of the suburban Houston-area breweries — if it’s not broke, don’t fix it, right? Fulbrook has an Army theme which is fitting as one of the partners and their head brewer is a U.S. Army veteran. The theme is most noted in the beer names and the Army vehicle that greets you when you arrive. Their t-shirts are also in that familiar olive color that screams U.S. Army. The brewery does not have a kitchen, but there was a food truck present during my visit. All in all, about what I expected — tried and true!

Fulbrook follows what I call the “Saint Arnold model”, you get a pint glass and tokens for three beers for fifteen dollars. You can bring back the glass and then buy tokens for beers, a la carte, for five dollars. Speaking of the tokens, the tokens at Fulbrook are unique and consist of a pressed ceramic coin that looks almost like a doubloon.

BeerToken1A

Five beers were available during my visit representing a nice variety of styles. Here is a rundown of the of the beers:
Bayonet – American Pale Ale: Fulbrook’s interpretation is lightly hopped and has a clean malt flavor. Hopheads might be disappointed, but I think it’s a solid choice for their easy-drinking beer. This is Fulbrook’s lightest offering and the beer I started with.
BRD – American IPA: A bit on the malty side but not lacking in Amarillo hop flavor and should scratch the itch that hopheads might miss when drinking Bayonet. If you’re wondering about the name, BRD stands for Beer Ready to Drink, a play on the military survival food, MRE – Meals Ready to Eat.
M998 – Belgian Quad: This is an enjoyable Quad that seemed more focused on yeast character than malty body. M998 is named for the type of military Humvee that sits in front of the brewery.
Frag Out – Saison: is an 8.4% Saison that is bursting with citrusy yeast character and sweet malt. There’s a nice, active mouthfeel that accentuates the big flavor that makes for a pleasantly assertive Saison. Frag Out is almost too easy to drink for the ABV – be careful. Frag Out was my favorite beer from this visit.
Half Right Face – Imperial Milk Stout: This beer has a full, roasty, and slightly sweet flavor.

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Overall, this was a strong debut line-up and I’m interested to see where they go from here. With a huge space with plenty of potential, it’s easy to picture Fulbrook being a popular addition to the growing scene in Fort Bend County.

As always, cheers and drink local!

Address: 1125 FM 359 Road, Richmond, Texas, TX 77406
Phone: (832) 980-9675
Website: http://fulbrookaleworks.com/
Hours: Fri – 3:00-10:00, Sat – 11:00-10:00 – check Facebook as these are their ongoing soft open hours and may change.

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