Five years ago, Lubbock’s craft beer scene looked nothing like it does today.
Originally from Austin, Texas, the long-time friends and craft beer enthusiasts, Chris Troutman and Shawn Phillips, planned to one day open a brewery together. Upon researching the Lubbock market in 2016 when only one craft brewery served the city, Triple J Chophouse and Brew Company, what they found here far exceeded expectations. Today, Good Line Beer Co. is the seventh brewery in Lubbock, with plans for more openings in the near future.
Both “married to Lubbock” as they say, Chris and Shawn followed their wives back home to the “Hub City” and made their dream a reality in 2018. A true garage start-up, Chris and Shawn perfected the recipes while home brewing and piloting their business plan in the midst of searching for a place to set up shop. Located in the historic Tech Terrace neighborhood, the partners bought what they believed to be the perfect blank canvas of a building. Like any work of art, what visitors see today when visiting Good Line’s creative space reflects years of hard work bringing the brewery to life.
Each detail was thoughtfully curated down to the shadows that cast on the floor to silently tell the crew it’s five o’clock somewhere. Local partnerships with artists like Dirk Fowler, who also happens to be the brewery’s first investor, offer a glimpse into Lubbock’s robust art scene throughout the taproom. Not only do Chris and Shawn showcase their creativity through craft beer, but they also pay tribute to their musical connections through the names of each beer and even the logo, which illustrates the G as a record.
Before making their way to Lubbock, Chris and Shawn brewed as a hobby and were the masterminds behind the Austin Beer Guide, a local publication started in 2011 when the total number of breweries in the Lone Star’s capitol city were only a fraction of what they are today. Being immersed in the culture and community for over a decade, they point to Lubbock as reflecting many of the same characteristics as a community on the precipice of a booming craft brew scene including a growing interest from locals in small businesses, craft meats putting Lubbock’s barbecue scene on the map, local coffee shops roasting their own beans and the popularity of Texas High Plains wine rising.
“This city is on the cusp of a lot of big great things and we hope we can be an addition to that with what we are doing here at the brewery,” Shawn said.
With just one month under their belt, the future holds untapped potential for Good Line. When asked about the process of starting a brewery in Lubbock, Chris emphasizes what other local brewers attribute to the overall success of Lubbock’s brewing industry: the support and engagement of the locals.
“People embrace more local creativity in businesses here. I think that is what galvanized the thought of opening a brewery in Lubbock; that the community would embrace it and support it,” Chris said.
Chris credits the West Texas hospitality and supportive community to the growth of the local industry. Lubbock offers both brewers and beer drinkers alike the opportunity to witness first-hand the collaborative nature among Lubbock’s brewers.
“In Lubbock, the support among brewers is intentional. We are all working toward that. We get together and talk shop on the patio and work to support one another because in Lubbock a rising tide floats all boats,” he said.
Inspired by their love of beer, the partners have come a long way since brewing their first batch in 2005. While explaining how their story may be typical among the brewing community, he shares why that is the case. “Craft beer is an easy thing to fall in love with. I mean, the product is great, but the whole culture around it; the collaborative nature, the creativity of it; it is an art form.”
Being among visionaries and a city with a burgeoning arts scene inspires creatives, like Chris and Shawn, to express their art through a variety of mediums including craft beer.
While beer drinkers frequent Good Line, whose name came after a series of ideas that also offered “good lines” but never quite fit the vibe of the taproom, they will notice a friendly energy that was intentional when conceptualizing the brewery.
“We have established what we want this taproom to be,” Shawn said. “We are very family friendly. Being located in a neighborhood sparked conversations about how we don’t want Good Line to be a bar. We want people to think of this as a coffee shop where you can come in and have a beer or two, see where it’s made, while also playing games, catching up with an old friend, and bringing your dog out on the patio.”
Experience the burgeoning craft brew scene and enjoy a pint of the crowd favorite, Catastrophe Girlfriend, at Lubbock’s most recently opened brewery, Good Line Beer Co.
By: McKenna Dowdle
By: McKenna Dowdle
By: McKenna Dowdle
By: Visit Lubbock Interns