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Armadillo Ale Works set to brew with new location, competition

Armadillo Ale Works set to brew with new location, competition

Armadillo Ale Works set to brew with new location, competition
September 01
13:09 2015

Matt Payne | Senior Staff Writer
@MattePaper

Yianni Arestis and Bobby Mullins aren’t interested in ruthlessly contending with other bars and taprooms.

By offering their in-house ales to be brewed on-site in a new location at 215 S Bell Ave., the business partners are striving to establish a threshold in Denton’s thriving drinking locale.

“Our vision is to provide a welcoming gateway into this accelerating drinking scene,” Arestis said. “Sometimes people will want liquor, and we’re not going to have that here. It’s truly a showcase for our beers and our brands.”

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Bobby Mullins, left, and Yianni Arestis, right, became friends while attending UNT. Now, they are business partners and hope to open shop by next summer. Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer

Arestis is the co-founder of Armadillo Ale Works. He and his partner Mullins have been brewing their own beer since 2009.

In 2012, they contracted with Deep Ellum Brewing Company to use their facilities until they found a space of their own.

“I am proud of all of the Armadillo beers that were brewed at the DEBC facility and I’m humbled by their reception in the market,” Mullins said. “The cult following was totally unexpected, as was the gold medal for Imperial Stout at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival.”

Although the the contract with Deep Ellum expired earlier this year, the two have witnessed their brand gain traction outside Denton. But trying to establish their brewery within city boundaries has brought some challenges.

“We didn’t get to start construction of a brewery in 2012 as we had originally intended,” Arestis said. “We were simultaneously contending with finding an appropriately sized venue, along with waiting for zoning legislation to go through in the city council.”

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The old Stanford Muffler & Automotive space is getting an upgrade to brewery after being purchased by two UNT alumni. Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer

Arestis and Mullins were not able to implant a facility into their selected location until Ordinance No. 651 was passed with a 5-1 vote on July 21. It allowed brewing plants to be sized up to 10,000-square-feet.

“It was only a matter of time, and the entire process was pretty straightforward,” Arestis said. “The hoops of endless meetings were simply time-consuming and something that had to run its course.”

The duo’s successful 2011 Kickstarter campaign highlighted Denton’s desire for locally-brewed beer. More than 350 backers contributed over $30,000 to fund the establishment of Armadillo Ale Works.

“I don’t expect many hurdles,” Mullins said. “Our accounts and fans have been loyal and supportive while our products have been absent from the market. I trust that we’ll be able to pick up where we left off.”

Audacity Brew House owner Doug Smith said he has already noticed overwhelming support from thirsty Dentonites.

“We had a huge welcoming the first weekend of whenever we opened our doors,” Smith said. “A couple of thousand people came through and were excited to try out Denton’s first microbrewery.”

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The warehouse offers enough space to brew many types of beer and all ingredients used will be local. Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer

Smith said new breweries are opening doors for the city’s growing beer culture.

“Whenever you’re into craft beers, you rarely stick to one. You want to try them all,” Smith said. “I think we’re just at the beginning of more breweries coming in to educate the community on different beers out there.”

A unifying factor between Armadillo Ale Works and Audacity Brew House is a mutual respect among drinking venues, each offering a different product and experience.

“As a beer enthusiast, you may have your favorite beer or brewery, but you want to try them all,” Smith said. “I’m a craft beer owner here in Denton. I wish I had a local brewery to go and visit as well. I’m excited to see where Armadillo Ale Works goes from here.”

Armadillo Ale Works is projected to open the summer of 2016 with a retail front, taproom and on-site brewery.

Featured Image: Bobby Mullins, left, and Yianni Arestis, right, pose in front of the old Stanford Muffler & Automotive space they purchased to launch their business, Armadillo Ale Works. Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer 

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