Jen: This is the PKF Texas: Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, this week’s guest host, and I’m here again with Rassul Zarinfar, the founder and CEO of Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company. Welcome back to the Playbook, Rassul.
Rassul: Thank you so much for having me.
Jen: Now, we’ve kind of seen over the last few years kind of a rise in microbreweries in Texas. So why now, and what trends are you seeing in the industry?
Rassul: Yeah. That’s a great question. And, honestly, I think if you rewind three years, it’s kind of puzzling as to why the trend hadn’t started sooner. Houston has always been a foodie city. It’s always been fashion forward in all these culinary trends. And the beer was kind of lagging behind in terms of not having really interesting things to say and sitting on the same plate as some of the most amazing world-class food, I think, on the planet.
And I think just in the last couple of years, Houstonians have started looking into their glass and they’re starting to see, “Oh, wait. You can do that with beer? That’s really interesting,” and that’s really cool, too. And then there’s been this huge local movement in terms of being more aware of where your ingredients are coming from and who’s behind the idea and who’s behind the beer in their glass. And I think that’s a culinary trend that we’re now seeing on the beverage side as well.
Jen: Now, has the regulatory environment changed at all? ‘Cause I know Colorado has a ton of microbreweries.
Rassul: Yeah. Yeah. The regulatory environment changed in a really substantive way about a year ago, but we saw this investment before the laws really changed. And so we got up and running before the laws changed, and now the laws have gotten even better for craft brewers because I think people in Austin saw the trend. They see the tax dollars that can come in. They see the growth. I mean we’ve gone from 2 employees up to 14 employees now just in two years.
Rassul: Yeah. And it’s a real engine for growth and a high-end local product as well, high quality. So it’s good growth. It’s great growth for the city.
Jen: Perfect. Well, thanks so much for sharing that with us. Appreciate it.
Rassul: Thanks for having me.
Jen: This has been another Thought Leader Production brought to you by the PKF Texas: Entrepreneur’s Playbook. Tune in next week for another chapter.