Couple Begins Building Odessa Brew Pub

By Corey Paul
Odessa American, Texas

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Lisa and Lee Friske say they’ve saved for years to develop their own brew pub and now they are ready to make it a reality. As more people in Odessa opt for craft beers, the Friskes are at the front of the line to capture the craft brewer market.

Odessa American, Texas

The entrepreneurs behind an Odessa craft brewery broke ground Friday on the site where they are building the pub near the Parks Legado Town Center.

The owners, Lisa and Lee Friske, say they plan to open Odessa Restaurant & Brewing Company around this time next year.

Their plans call for about 65 employees — including cooks, servers and brewers — at a giant pub able to seat hundreds of customers.

The Friskes said they will serve about 10 beers brewed in house, with a range of different brews including various ales and an award-winning light lager. The brews will likely rotate, the couple said.

The Friskes said they are still developing the menu with the help of a general manager, but it will include burgers, BBQ and other pub fare, along with beer pairing recommendations.

Pub-goers will be able to see the brewery from the dining areas, separated by glass.

The Friskes said they saved for years to develop the brew pub, after selling their business A&F Welding Supply in 2012. Lee Friske said that under the terms of the deal, he worked for the buyer of the company, Matheson, for two years before leaving his job to work on developing the brewery full time with Lisa Friske.

“It’s incredible after all this time to be finally breaking ground,” Lee Friske said during a ceremony at the site on Friday.

Lee Friske said he studied brewing in Chicago, Canada, California and Germany.

“Texas has been a lager state for many years, and it was harder for other craft brewers to come in and introduce different beers,” Lisa Friske said, adding that has steadily shifted in Odessa with more people opting for craft beers like those brewed by Big Bend Brewing Company in Alpine.

Mike Mitchell, a member of the Basin Brewers, a local home brewing club, reasoned that no one has tried to open a brew pub until now because of the “tremendous investment” building a proper brewery requires and local beer drinkers’ slow adoption of craft beers, which saw a surge in popularity in recent years.

“We’re happy and we wish them all the best of success,” Mitchell said. ” . . . We are just long, long, long overdue for a brew pub out here.”

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