Tomball native Chris Juergen has long dreamed of launching his own brewery. Previously the Brewmaster for Karbach Brewing and currently an Assistant Professor of Brewery Operations at Texas A&M University, Juregen has dedicated his career to perfecting brewing operations. It was during his time earning a degree from the University of California, Davis Master Brewers Program in 2009 that he began to consider how to turn his dream into reality.
When the time came nearly a decade later to put his plan into action, Juergen and his company, CCJ Collaborations, broadly surveyed greater Houston for a place where their brewery and restaurant concept could thrive. Juergen’s team, which includes his wife, Holly, a fellow graduate of the UC-Davis Master Brewers Program, found many areas in the region to be overly saturated with similar projects. Tomball, a growing city with the capacity to welcome the exact concept Juergen had in mind, was the perfect fit for CCJ Collaborations.
Why Locate in Tomball?
“As a hometown boy, I am thrilled to bring this project to Tomball,” said Juergen, who is leaving Karbach to pursue this opportunity. “Tomball is a place that fits this project and allows us to be a part of a welcoming community. We want to start by focusing hyper-local and doing that in Tomball makes sense.”
While the hometown pull was certainly strong, many other factors drew Juergen and his team to Tomball. Securing the ideal location for their brewery dream in the Tomball Business & Technology Park was a significant piece of the puzzle.
“We immediately fell in love with the property in the Business & Technology Park. It is the perfect size and environment for our project,” offered Juergen. “The Park has all the necessary infrastructure and space to make it family friendly with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.”
CCJ Collaborations will build 10,500 square-feet of brewery, restaurant, packaging, and distribution space on 4.6 acres. The project will have significant indoor and outdoor space, including a beer garden, as the company plans to utilize the wooded land that surrounds the project.
“Where its located in the Park, we can develop that outdoor feel. We are going to keep as many trees as we can. It is not going to be a concrete jungle,” added Juergen.
The project is scheduled to break ground in the fourth quarter of 2020 and plans to open during the second quarter of 2021. Designed by Ziegler Cooper Architects, the facility will be a metal panel building with many windows creating views into the brewery and restaurant.
“The modern industrial structure is going to be clean, crisp, and elegant,” said Juergen. “It is a well-thought-out design to create an attractive, inviting environment.”
Partnering With TEDC
The Tomball Economic Development Corporation (TEDC) board approved an incentive agreement on August 11 with CCJ Collaborations for the construction of the project. The $254,502 agreement is based upon 30% of the 5-year net benefit to the City of Tomball of $848,399. The project’s estimated capital investment is more than $4 million, and it is anticipated to create 55 jobs within the first two years of operation.
An economic analysis conducted for TEDC expects the new project to generate $22.8 million in direct economic output over the next 10 years. Spin-off businesses in the community are expected to produce $7.9 million in economic output.
“The staff and board of the TEDC have been completely supportive since day one,” said Juergen. “They have helped us navigate the process to where we are now. We are very appreciative of their backing.”
“As a Tomball native, Chris understands Tomball’s culture and how the use of an indoor and outdoor environment for his brewery and restaurant fit perfectly with Tomball’s growth as a food and entertainment destination,” said Kelly Violette, Executive Director of the TEDC. “We welcome CCJ Collaborations as a unique venue in the Tomball Business and Technology Park.”
A name for the brewery will be announced soon, adding to growing anticipation of the project from Tomball’s supportive community. When the brewery opens next year, for Juergen, it will be the culmination of a dream. For Tomball, his hometown, it will be a chance to celebrate the success of one of their own.