Having previously announced expansion into the Houston market, Freetail Brewing Co. will announce the indefinite suspension of plans for a second location — citing concerns over access to capital.
“As I moved forward with the Freetail Houston project, I began to run into an increasing level of resistance in capital markets. A brewpub is a good project for downtown Houston, but the deal is simply not there for me at this time,” explained Freetail Founder & CEO, Scott Metzger. “When we announced the project on May 17, we also stated there were financial considerations to be addressed. Those considerations are ultimately what put this project on hold indefinitely, and no other reason. To move forward with the project at this time would be irresponsible and an injustice to my company and the City of Houston.
“For now my focus will be to continue growing our successful original location, which has internal expansion needs of its own, and moving forward in the battle for fair reform of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, as it relates to the activities of our state’s brewpubs and breweries,” added Metzger.
Beer, TX adds some details.
Houston officials had worked closely with Metzger and the owner of the downtown property and felt Freetail was “a fantastic fit for us,” said Angie Bertinot, spokeswoman for the Houston Downtown Management District.
“We’re incredibly disappointed, without a doubt,” she said. “This is something the district really went after.”
She said the district had asked Metzger to consider extending his self-imposed deadline of last Friday. Officials had hoped he would keep trying to raise money until closer to the mid-August date set in the letter of intent signed back in May. “But,” Bertinot added, “we can’t go raise money for him, obviously.”
The brewer said he still believes Houston is a viable location, but he realized he did not have enough contacts among potential investors. He also said continuing economic uncertainties may have investors leery.
“If things change, then we want to revisit Houston,” he said.
“Economic uncertainties”? I blame Eric Cantor. Freetail had announced their intent to open a Houston location in May. I hope they are able to get the funding they need to try again soon.