A Tour of Thirsty Bro
A 32-mile trip east down Interstate 30 from the metropolis of Dallas with a population that hovers just a smidge over 12,000, Royse City is a soon-to-be-bustling town that plays home to one very cool establishment aptly named Thirsty Bro Brewing Company. Owned by state-hopping nomads and former corporate execs, Terry and Cathe Gordon bounced around from state to state chasing someone else’s dream until one day they decided to take a chance and chase their own.
If I had to describe Terry and Cathe’s collective personality with one word I’d tell you no, I’m going to use six. Down to earth and generously welcoming. To be honest, many of us could stand to take a cue from their inviting and neighborly mentality.
After spending some time with them both and tasting their amazing craft beer selections, I imagined Terry as a mad scientist (the good kind, naturally) back in his lab among the boilers, fermenters and tanks. Formulating the perfect flavor with a pinch of this, a dash of that, and maybe even a huge metal handle that he pulls down as lightning strikes his latest creation. And this coming from someone who is learning to love craft beer as this website journey continues, so that’s saying something.
Let me speak to that last sentiment of being a craft beer noob before I get back to my amazing hosts, Terry and Cathe. When I first got to Thirsty Bro, I was wanting to try something close to my go-to light beer (that shall not be named) but as I tried the complex flavor assortments of the craft beer flight I went on, I almost immediately stopped caring about light beer. I didn’t want or crave it, and when I was presented with their obligatory “light beer” option called “My Closest Bud” I have to be honest and say I didn’t want that bud close to me at all. While, yes, technically it was a craft beer, it paled in comparison to the others on the menu. Sorry for the tangent, now back to our regularly scheduled programming…
Terry and Cathe Gordon. Craft beer gurus in Royse City, Texas. Cathe, the amiable wife of the Gordon duo, runs the front of house and tends to the packed houses Friday through Sunday in their BYOF (Bring Your Own Food) intimate brewhouse setting. Terry, the aforementioned scientist in the lab, runs the back of house and is responsible for the downright tasty elixirs that they offer to eager newcomers and excited regulars. This is a perfect spot to mention that all of their craft beers are gluten-reduced except for “Heff Dat,” a delightfully crafted Hefeweizen.
For the Gordons, Thirsty Bro Brewing isn’t some hobby (take that, Bud Light!) they figured would be fun to do on the side. For this couple, craft beer is serious business. Just how serious? How about serious enough for Terry to have gone to Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago. Dubbed “America’s Brewing School,” this is the preeminent brewmaster training ground and the oldest brewing school located in the United States, in operation since its founding in 1868 by German immigrant chemist John Ewald Siebel. Now, I don’t want to derail this train and go on about Mr. Seibel, but this guy was no joke. He is still regarded as a rockstar in the brewing world and Terry Gordon learned to brew craft beer from his predecessors.
Back to Cathe. She cracked me up and she was such a delight to speak with. I especially honed in on an analogy she gave me when it comes to people not being open-minded to new things when in a new environment: “When you go to a steak house, you go there for steak.” This was not necessarily meant towards me, but it was meant for me. I went there hoping to try a light beer-esque something or another when I should’ve been ready and willing to try whatever they brought. Sort of like the lyrics in “Run Around” by Blues Traveler where it says:
But I know no matter what the waitress brings
I shall drink it and always be full.
Yeah, I will drink it and always be full.
Maybe it’s just me, but that’s what immediately came to mind. That, and the saying: “When in Rome…”
Cathe Gordon told me that although they were wine connoisseurs while living in California, they always enjoyed craft beer as well. She said that wine and beer are parallel in many ways. It requires the same passion. In wine you harvest grapes, with beer you harvest grains, flavors and additives. It’s the same process and the same palate with both. And might I say that this complex process that boggles my mind produces an outcome that delights my taste buds here at Thirsty Bro Brewing Company.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a shout-out to their supplier Country Malt Group who has been instrumental in Thirsty Bro’s success. Additionally, Homebrew Headquarters continues to be invaluable when creating their test batches. If you’re an aspiring craft brew HQ, look these companies up.
While Terry had to get back to the lab, Cathe remained and I asked her two final questions.
If you could sum up Thirsty Bro in one word, what would it be? She told me there are two words: “Always thirsty.” That seemed appropriate because I was still thirsty. It just made sense and I went on to the next, all-important question:
What is your favorite color? She replied with “translucent.“ Of course, this begged a follow-up question: Why?
She said it was “because you to get to see everything… everything has color.”
I should end this article with that because it perfectly sums up Terry and Cathe’s whole mentality behind Thirsty Bro. It’s all about coming together, with an open mind, to share some really good craft beer with people from all walks of life. End of story.