TEMPLE — Back in November, my husband participated in Rucks on Main over Veterans Day weekend. One of his co-workers and his wife were sporting Fire Base Brewing Company T-shirts and told us about their favorite brewery in the city.
Fast-forward a few months and we finally made it over the brewery to see what the fuss was all about. The small veteran-owned, family-friendly brewery is located right in the heart of downtown Temple and has miraculously found success after opening in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
After hearing that they host a trivia night every Thursday, I talked my family into going. We’re THAT family – the ones with all the useless knowledge about random things stuck in their heads. My husband is the history buff, my son is the science geek, my daughter is the gamer and I have all the entertainment knowledge, so all together, I figured we were pretty set for any type of question.
Trivia begins at 7 p.m., so we arrived around 6:30 p.m. to relax and grab a bite to eat from the food truck outside before trivia began. The trivia was unique. It’s not simply someone reading off questions, but there were pictures involved, music involved and opportunities for bonus points. By the end of the night, the Cruz family took home, not only top prize, but also the bonus rounds, thanks to my son and daughter.
I was given the opportunity to return for a behind-the-scenes look at how beer is made right there on the premises. My husband and I don’t really drink alcohol (except while on a cruise), and definitely not beer, because I usually think beer smells sour. Surprisingly, the beer at Fire Base didn’t have that sour smell, so I think the next time I go, I’ll give it a try.
The inside of the brewhouse is patriotic, without being over-the-top or gawdy-looking. OD-green, black and tan colors, with beautiful metal insignias from all the military branches as decoration. The owners – Duane Dockstader, JD McBride and Stacy Zemp – did most of the renovations for the building and opened, first to carry-out only on May 1, then to in-person seating on May 22. Of course, that was high COVID season, so they had to shut down for several months before reopening. Despite the challenges, McBride said he believes it’s made them more resilient. (Spoken like a true Soldier.)
The brewery has become quite popular among service members and veterans, with people giving them unit patches, flags, artwork and more. They keep 10 varieties of beer on tap at any given time, but have made 17 different varieties since opening for business. Among their different varieties, they have lagers, ales, pilsners and porter. The most popular is a pilsner they call the “Texas Beer.”
They also have a couple of varieties that have been made in collaboration with other local breweries. One of the favorites is the “Plumley’s Porter,” named in memory of the late Command Sgt. Maj. Basil Plumley, who is regarded as one of the toughest Soldiers to ever put on the uniform.
For the serious beer drinkers, Fire Base also has Founder’s Mugs that line the wall behind the bar. For $300, the 20-ounce mugs provide the customer with a lifetime membership. Every Friday is “Founder’s Fridays,” which entitles the founders with a free drink on their first pour. After that, they pay the same as a regular pour, but receive four additional ounces of beer, because of the size of the mug. The membership also provides them with 10% off of merchandise. The Founder’s Mugs have become quite popular and there are only 10 mugs left, as I write.
I would highly recommend the Fire Base Brewing Co. for a date night, night out with friends or with family. My entire crew had a great time. They are also available for private events.
Fire Base Brewing Co. is located at 8 South 1st Street in Temple. Check out their website, https://firebasebrewing.com, for updated hours and upcoming events.