Partnership brings Fort Worth brewpub back from the brink

Posted Thursday, Apr. 04, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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It's been a struggle with fits and starts, but Fort Worth again has a real brewpub.

Cowtown has been without such a watering hole since the loss of Jamie Fulton's Covey in September 2010.

Then an ex-Lockheed Martin software engineer, Italian-born Carlo Galotto, used his life savings to transform a former dry cleaning establishment into a pizzeria-brewpub, Zio Carlo Magnolia Brew Pub.

Despite its name and opening more than a year late, the brewpub at 1001 Magnolia Ave. hadn't brewed a drop of ale when Galotto almost lost the venture following a now-famous, wine-fueled rant on Facebook in December 2011, during which he angrily attacked his clientele as spoiled liberal Democrats.

Galotto, who says he was an Obama supporter when sober, later publicly apologized.

But the business was about to collapse last summer when Fort Worth native Adam Gonzales returned from Austin and former Rahr & Sons brewer Austin Jones joined to craft a deal in three days to keep the business going.

Sales in March set a record, said Gonzales, a towering 6-foot-8-inch Paschal High grad with a flowing beard that would elicit the envy of Biblical prophets. The revamped management dropped $2 Lone Star longnecks and upgraded the prosciutto, now aged 30 months, up from 18.

The 27-year-old Gonzales brought restaurant business experience which Carlo, despite being a deft cook, had lacked. And while Carlo had been a home brewer, Jones brought professional-grade brewing talents. Gonzales declined to provide details but said the three are partners.

Some late bills were paid and fences mended, he told us.

The trio had hoped to start brewing in two months but it took six to get Galotto's equipment working.

"Pretty much anything that could go wrong was wrong," said Gonzales. "We still have problems with the fermenter."

Still, about 10 days ago, Zio Carlo's released its first product, Roman Empire Bitter. It's a truly delicious and interesting inaugural brew, with a rich copper hue, somewhat like an Extra Special Bitter with a bit of myrtle thrown in.

The pub will continue to offer beers from Belgium and noteworthy domestic micros, including Fort Worth's new Martin House Brewing Co. and Rahr, as well as Granbury's Revolver.

But the trio hopes to work up an ever-alternating selection of its own six brews by the end of summer.

"Craft brew drinkers are known to be promiscuous," he said, referring to their frequently shifting choice of suds, not necessarily their companions.

Airport's missing gates

When Dallas/Fort Worth Airport unveiled its newly-renovated first section of Terminal A last week, it looked like something was missing. There are no gates A1 through A7. Rather, the shiny terminal begins with A8.

Gates A1 through A7 were originally part of DFW's satellite facility, where passengers boarded smaller regional jets for American Eagle flights. American Eagle closed the satellite terminal in 2005, and the airport renovated and reopened it in 2011 as its corporate jet facility.

"There was no compelling reason to go to the expense of renumbering the entire terminal," said airport spokesman David Magana. "Keeping the gate numbering scheme this way could also allow the airport to make changes to the gate configurations in the future should the need arise."

Magana noted there are missing gate numbers at other terminals as well, which allows airport officials to make adjustments if they need to handle more regional jets or remove a gate number if it needs to handle more wide-body aircraft.

Price to receive award

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price has been selected Communicator of the Year by the Greater Fort Worth Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

She will be honored at a gala April 25 at the Fort Worth Club.

Price is being honored for her "open, constant communication" and her "push to make city processes and procedures more transparent," said Chris Smith, the chapter's president.

The chapter established the award in 2012 as part of the annual Worthy Awards, which honor excellence in the strategic communications field in the Fort Worth region. The award recognizes a community member outside the public relations profession who demonstrates leadership and effective communication when involved in a major event or issue affecting the Fort Worth area.

The chapter's board of directors considered a number of nominations before voting, but Price won by a significant margin, the group said.

"Since she was elected mayor in June of 2011, Mayor Price has been listening to the people and putting ideas into action," Smith said. "She's been out there, literally and figuratively. She's 'out there' in the media and speaking at numerous local events. She's 'out there' with her Waking Town Halls. She's 'out there' on the Fort Worth trails -- usually on her bicycle."

Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727

Jim Fuquay, 817-390-7552

Barry Shlachter, 817-390-7718

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