KELLER — Add Keller to the growing list of cities that have entered the craft beer world.The City Council recently approved plans for Shannon Brewery, which will offer a distinctly Keller flavor because it will use water from Samantha Springs.“In my opinion, the best water you can find is Samantha Springs water,” brewery owner Shannon Carter said. “And you can’t hold true to the wholesomeness of our products without the best water you can find.”Carter said his vision in creating the brewery was to bring to the market the sensation of wholesome Irish ales found in pubs overseas. Those beers use natural ingredients as the foundation of their unique tastes.Carter said he wants to brew with the “best stuff on Earth.”Samantha Springs runs through a honeycomb rock formation that is filled with white sand, which purifies the water and gives it a mineral content perfect for brewing, Carter said.The brewery will be at 818 N. Main St., next to the Samantha Springs bottling station. Because the natural spring water will be piped to the brewery, it will not need to be treated with chlorine or other chemicals, Carter said.Carter’s inspiration was his great-grandfather’s work as a home brewer in Ireland.“I kind of had this light bulb moment where I thought, ‘The process, not the recipe, is the key here,’ ” Carter said.The fire-brewed process uses a mash tun, a vessel in which grain is mixed with water to extract a sweet liquid called wort. The process allows temperature to be precisely controlled to turn off and on certain proteins, to caramelize sugars, and to give the unique flavor to the wort and thus the beer.The brewery uses non-genetically modified whole grain and whole flour hops as part of its signature flavor.Carter and his family moved to Keller from Austin two years ago to make the brewery a reality. After doing research on water, Carter found Samantha Springs to be the ideal source.Samantha Springs was originally named Double Springs after a nearby town with two springs about a mile apart. Joe McCombs now owns both springs, which had been “lost” for years before he rediscovered them.McCombs said he bought property with the first spring underneath and discovered the springs while setting up a fence to keep in his livestock.McCombs named the springs for his daughter, Samantha, who died at age 3 while waiting for a heart transplant.Samantha Springs produces about 200,000 gallons of water a day, according to the company’s website, samanthasprings.com.When Carter reached out to McCombs about starting the brewery, the idea of using the springs was the perfect joint effort, Carter said.The brewery will start selling its products in Northeast Tarrant County and branch out from there, hopefully statewide, Carter said.Besides beer, Carter will also sell carbonated lemonade for kids, as well as packaged goods, thanks to unusual licensing.The council approved the brewery to have an outdoor beer garden that can operate until 8 nightly. Special events may also be held within the brewery.Carter said that depending on the weather, the building should be up in 45 to 60 days and that he hopes to be brewing by March.Craft breweries are increasingly popular in North Texas. At least six breweries opened around Dallas in 2012, and others are up and running or in the works in Denton, Granbury, Grapevine, Fort Worth, Justin and Krum.
Taylor Prater, 817-390-7964 Twitter: @taylornprater