How many people can trace their brewing roots back to their mom? Well, Michael Peticolas’s mom, Jacque Peticolas, started brewing a Mexican styled beer at her El Paso home in the mid-1990s. Poured from big brown 22 ounce bomber bottles, those copper colored light ales with a hint of apricot hit the spot, especially during the long hot Texas summers. That’s when we first experienced the satisfaction of drinking and sharing beer made at home that tasted better than the beer for sale down the street.
After practicing law for a decade, Michael Peticolas turned to his passion for craft beer. In 2010, he enrolled in the American Brewers Guild’s Intensive Brewing Science and Engineering program, wrote a business plan, and formed the Peticolas Brewing Company. The following year, he built a brewery and on December 30, 2011, Michael brewed his first batch of beer, an Imperial Red Ale called Velvet Hammer. During the first year of operations, Michael acted as the brewery’s sole brewer, cellarman, distributor, and brewery representative. Volunteers pitched in from day one and every brewery employee to date started as a volunteer having never worked at another brewery.
In its first year of operations, Peticolas Brewing Company won numerous local and national awards, including the biggest award in the brewing industry, a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF). A GABF gold medal is an objective measure that a beer is a world class example of a particular style. Peticolas Brewing’s Royal Scandal, an English pale ale, won the award after less than 2 months in the market. During its third year of operations, Peticolas Brewing brought home another gold medal at the GABF. This time Great Scot!, a Scottish Ale, won gold in the aged beer category. In 2017, the brewery hauled in a silver medal from the GABF for It’s Always Something, a Belgian Strong Ale. A complete list of awards issued to Peticolas Brewing is available here.
In 2013, Texas craft brewers elected Michael to the board of directors for the Texas Craft Brewers Guild. After serving for a year, the board elected Michael co-chair of the legislative committee, which seeks to expand the rights of Texas craft brewers via legislative measures. In an effort to further expand the rights of Texas craft brewers, Peticolas Brewing also sued the State of Texas in an effort to declare an anti-craft beer law unconstitutional. Litigation is ongoing, but a favorable judgment will be a victory for all Texas craft brewers. Peticolas’s legislative and judicial efforts, as well as its award winning beer, have established the brewery as a craft beer industry leader in Texas.
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