Chance encounter leads to brewery in downtown WF

Wichita Falls Brewery
Wichita Falls Brewery

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - A new brewery is coming to downtown Wichita Falls.

City officials believe it is another step towards their downtown revitalization efforts.

Matt Bitsche was born and raised in Wichita Falls and has always had a passion for beer. He started home brewing in 2000.

"We wanted to do a brewpub or brewery here," Bitsche said. "My wife and I felt like it just wasn't the right time. Wichita Falls wasn't a proven market at that time."

So he moved to Austin to pursue a career in the craft brewing industry, which included creating Infamous Brewing Company in 2012.

Once he saw momentum in downtown Wichita Falls, he wanted on board.

"It was something that I had dreamed about before I left Wichita Falls. It was a romantic idea to put in a brewery in an old downtown historical building."

Russ Reynolds moved to Wichita Falls a year and a half ago and is now business partners with Bitsche.

A bumper sticker started it all.

"I flagged him down one day when I was mowing the yard," Reynolds said. "He stopped his truck. I said hey man I see you have a BN ARMY sticker on your truck. What's the deal? He said, "I have been a long time home brewer. I am actually coming back to Wichita Falls to start a new brewery. I was down in Austin with Infamous (for) the last five years. And I said, "do you need any help? And that has evolved into where we are at now."

Bitsche and Reynolds have a vision of distributing their beer throughout Texas.

The two are working to create a place for people to enjoy and help continue to energize downtown.

"That means bringing the community together," Bitsche said. "Bringing families in for picnics. People from outer lying communities to come in for a destination place. Just an overall gathering place."

"We are going to bring in people," Reynolds said. "We are going to create jobs. And the more support from the community, the better. I think it is going to be a big deal and we don't take that lightly. It's not lost on us."

Bitsche said he is excited to carry the Wichita Falls name and adds that it is something that he does not take lightly.

He adds he wants to give back to a community near and dear to his heart.

The city recently showed their support of the project by approving a resolution to spend $40,000 dollars on a fire suppression system for the building.

Bitsche and Reynolds said their target date, right now, is September 1st to open the doors.

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