Greater Houston’s craft beer community suffered a major loss over the holidays. Chad Daniel, co-founder of family-owned B-52 Brewing, died in a tragic motorcycle accident. He was in thirties.
“The craft beer industry has lost one amazing person,” a post on the brewery’s Facebook page reads. “We hope you had the opportunity to meet Chad and understand his immense passion for craft beer. He always believed in pushing outside the envelope. He is sorely missed and will be remembered forever at the brewery.”
In the post, the brewery promised to “continue Chad’s legacy and to keep pushing forward with the vision he had.”
Chad and his brother Brent opened B-52 in the summer of 2014 on six wooded acres in Conroe. The Houston natives named the brewery for the planes, not the new wave band, and started selling their beer commercially.
That wouldn’t have been legal or possible even a year earlier. When Texas first legalized brewpubs back in 1933, owners were restricted to selling their products onsite.
The rule remained in place until a major overhaul of the beer code in June 2013. The Daniels traded their state brewery license for a brewpub license to reap the benefits of the long-awaited changes.
The passage of five Senate Bills doubled the cap on brewpub production, allowed brewpubs to distribute their beer through third-party distributors, and permitted them to sell limited amounts of their beer directly to retailers.
The new off-site distribution rule also allowed brewpubs like B-52 (set up like a traditional shipping brewery) to sell to-go beer.
The densely wooded brewery, about an hour North of Houston, is dog-friendly and was built into converted shipping containers. It resembles a shady park with its picnic tables, ping pong, and cornhole.
The brewers at B-52 care about classics, like their traditional German Pils and time-honored Wheat IPA. But they’re not afraid to experiment, as seen in their Sangria, a Saison aged in red and white wine barrels, and their electrolytic Berliner, Brawndo: the Thirst Mutilator.
Despite the tragic loss of his brother, Brent Daniel plans to keep the brewery going while honoring Chad Daniel’s spirit.