For years, Ty King’s only been able to see the shining metal vats in his mind’s eye.
Finally, he’s put the order in, and the four tanks are on their way to Kilgore. Soon enough, he’ll be buffing his new brewing equipment to a mirror-finish.
King’s Loco Meaux brewpub won’t really exist until the heart of the business arrives downtown: 868 gallons of brewing space. For now, the future restaurant is one-half of the first floor of an East Main Street building, unfinished, filled with building materials and tools, steadily taking shape as King and his crew tackle one job after another on their task list.
He’s glad to be under the gun now, the clock ticking as the key equipment heads this way.
“They’re on a 20-week schedule,” he said. “We’re going to be setting it up as it comes.
“It’s been something I’ve wanted to do all my life,” a dream that fermented through years of work in oilfields around the world, “trying to get the money to do something like this later in life.”
King opened his initial My Brewing Solutions operation in Longview in 2011. He made Kilgore home base in 2014 at 119 S. Longview Street. His sister, Dena King, bought the business’ new headquarters in 2015, and the pair set to cleaning out the former junk shop and renovating the two-story building, addressed as 302 and 304 E. Main St.
My Brewing Solutions relocation and the ongoing construction of the brewpub has been an open secret since.
“I’ve been working on this building for two years,” King said, closing his Longview Street store in mid-June to put the finishing touches on his 302 E. Main St. supply storefront and re-opening in early August.
With MBS settled and back in business in its freshly-renovated space, Loco Meaux’s on King’s mind. He’s eager to explain the roots of the pub’s moniker.
“South Louisiana, baby,” King said. On one hand, the name pays homage to the locomotive heritage of the brewpub’s hometown: “It’s kind of a train town, Kilgore is.
For King, “‘Loco’ is a little crazy. ‘Meaux’ is an old, establishing building downtown in French.”
Further down the road, King has plans to revitalize the facade of his two-tone, khaki-and-burgundy building.
“It’s gonna look good when we’re finished. The whole front of it’s going to look different,” he said. “It’s not going to be the ugliest building in town anymore.”
It’ll need the update to be a comfortable home for the brand-new brewing setup.
Each of the coming vats has a seven-barrel capacity. At 31 gallons to a barrel, that’s 217 gallons per brew.
“It will be a total of a 28-barrel system,” King said. “I can do four different beers. It’s an all-fire, all-grain brewing system.”
Beyond the libations, the pub’s starting menu will feature hoagies and signature pizza. King will expand the options as the eatery builds clientele and character.
In addition to the remaining renovations and installation of the vats, there’s licensing ahead as well. King is counting down to various deadlines, ready to get the operation underway as soon as setup is complete and he has an official green light.
Starting out, the veteran brewer plans to keep his concoctions confined to Loco Meaux – “I’m not going to distribute any beers, it’s all in the house.” – but once the necessary licensing is in hand, future plans include perfecting some hometown brews for connoisseurs beyond the brewpub.
“I kinda want to put Kilgore on the map in cans or bottles in stores,” King said.
Learn more about My Brewing Solutions and keep up to date on King’s Loco Meaux brewpub via mybrewingsolutions.com or 903-576-1876.