Denton County Brewing Co. may be the second fully operational brewery in Denton since it filed paperwork to open with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
Seth Morgan, a graduate of the University of North Texas and a longtime Denton resident, has been working to open a brewery for about two years. A home brewer for the past 11 years and a beer fanatic since his time in England in the 1990s, he hopes to open Denton CBC by the end of the year.
"The past 22 years I've been in the financial services industry, but I've been passionate about beer for a really long time," Morgan said. "I've been home brewing for 11 years and totally love it, and finally said, 'I really want to do this.'"
That was in 2014, when he began researching how to make beer on a larger scale. He went to the Craft Brewers Conference in Denver, went to beer school with the American Brewers Guild, and in 2015, started work on business operations.
Things also swung in Morgan's favor when the Denton City Council voted last July to change zoning codes for businesses that brew beer commercially, meaning breweries could come to the heart of downtown.
Once this happened, finding a space got a lot easier. Before the zoning change, only one brewery existed in Denton: Audacity Brew House, which opened in October 2014 on Shady Oaks Drive.
Morgan's company now has space at 200 E. McKinney St., right next to craft beer bottle and growler shop The Bearded Monk, and across the street from Denton City Hall.
Morgan and the architect and designer for the space will meet with city planning officials next Thursday to review their permit applications before filing them to begin construction work on the space.
The TABC permit is expected to be approved in August, which means Morgan can then start brewing his home recipes in industrial equipment, which will take a few months.
Ideally, the brewery will be open by Christmas, he said.
The brewery will feature a constant selection of staples, as well as rotating taps every few weeks.
Additionally, Morgan said he hopes to host home-brew competitions, where the prize is getting a whole batch made at the brewery and proceeds from the beer's sales going to a local charity.
"I really, really love Denton, and I want to do anything I can to make it a better place," he said. "I want to do anything we can to promote craft beer and really partner with the community and different organizations locally."
Jenna Duncan is a staff writer for the Denton Record Chronicle.