Stacie Andrews/Star photo
There is something new brewing in San Marcos.
Locally brewed beer will flow again as The Root Cellar prepares to unveil its latest creation: homebrewed beer.
Brewmaster Silas Parker, founder of Darkside Fermentation labors after hours in the Root Cellar honing his brewing style. Parker said he has been brewing beer for the past four years, but on a small scale.
“The hardest part of home brewing is you don’t get to brew often enough — you don’t have the necessary commercial equipment or space,” Parker said.
Parker apprenticed at the Wimberley Brewing Co. under brewmaster Mark Coleman from whom he crafted his own style and learned about the brewing process.
Kyle Mylius, owner of the Root Cellar, said Silas approached him with the idea of a joint venture utilizing the restaurant’s space and Parker’s equipment and system. Officially, Parker is not a Root Cellar employee, merely a “creative partner” in charge of brewing beer for the restaurant. Through this partnership, the small operation finished its first batch of beer in November, making the Root Cellar the only producing brew pub in San Marcos.
The operation is producing one barrel a week, the equivalent of two kegs of beer. Parker said they will be brewing root beer and ginger ale as the operation expands.
“It’s about time we had this in San Marcos,” Parker said. “The last establishments in San Marcos to brew beer were Café on the Square and Rocky LaRues. However, the operations were short lived.”
Parker says the main problem with other brew pubs is the beer is sold when it is still young, which alters the taste.
“You have to respect the beer and give it time,” Parker said. “This operation is not about money. This town needed someone to make beer.”
Silas hopes other places will follow suit to help bring the home-brewing culture to San Marcos on a larger scale.
“The glory of the homebrew beer — you don’t get hangovers,” Parker said. “Because of the natural fermentation process and the quality of yeast used, the beer is loaded with antioxidants and B-vitamins.”
Parker said he follows the traditional Belgian monastic system, dating to when monks brewed beer to supplement their monasteries. Parker takes pride in his ingredients of all traditional Belgian yeasts and pure unfiltered water drawn from the local aquifer.
Parker is brewing a Tripel beer. He has been toying with recipes, so no batch of beer will be identical.
The Root Cellar will hold a small tasting party Dec. 14 with musical guests, The Blue Hit. The beer will be available for public purchase after the unveiling.
“We want to get a lot of feedback from people,” Mylius said.
All labels for the beer will be printed on recycled paper bags and bottled by hand.
Mylius said the brewing project follows the organic concept of The Root Cellar, where everything served is made in-house.
“It’s one of the unique places in San Marcos, and we’ve worked to make it that way … this just takes it to another level,” Mylius said.
Mylius and Parker have thoughts for expansion. They hope to grow all their own hops and grain locally, which Mylius said can make the beer more uniquely San Marcos.
“I’ve gained a lot of respect for the process watching Silas work,” Mylius asid. “He’s a perfectionist, and the finished product will reflect it.”