Bo Peep Pils

We named the Bo Peep Pils after Fred Thomas “Bo Peep” Scoggins…

In the 1960’s, Fred was married to Dickie Davis, a sheep & cattle rancher from Menard, Texas.  Unfortunately, the long-distance marriage proved to be too much for them.  Fred wasn’t ready or willing to give up the Katy Railroad to be a rancher in Menard.  Dickie wasn’t going to give up her ranch to be a railroad wife in Smithville full-time.  So they got a divorce but remained friends for many years.  As railroad men do, they teased Fred about “Bo Peep” losing his sheep.  He lived up on the hill next to the railroad track that runs along Upton Road.  That crossing became known as “Bo Peep Crossing” from then on, and it remains as such to this day.

The Smithville Sudwerks Bo Pils, or Bohemian Pilsner, is an easy-drinking authentic pilsner beer, crafted in the Plzen style which dates back to the 13th century with good King Winceslas II.  Brewed with traditional floor-malted Czech Pils barley and imported Czech Saaz hops, this smooth golden brew pours up with an incredible flavor-packed head.  The slow-pour Pils takes a few minutes if you have time to wait on perfection – a big fluffy cloud of aromatics and foam that we think would’ve reminded Fred “Bo Peep” Scoggins of that flock of sheep he lost.

El Chepe Mexican Lager        

El Chepe Express is an unforgettable train ride that winds through northern Mexico’s majestic Sierra Madre Occidental mountains on a 9-hour journey.  It rolls through the picturesque Copper Canyon from Chihuahua to the Pacific (CH-P, hence the name “Chepe”), and makes a few cultural stops along the way in the homelands of the colorful Tarahumara tribes.  The landscapes along the El Chepe route can vary dramatically from snow-capped peaks to tremendous waterfalls via the Barrancas de Cobre – the canyons of copper – that are several times the size of Arizona’s Grand Canyon.  It showcases the best of northern Mexico’s natural resources and hidden treasures!

In a nod to the mighty engines that offer up this exciting adventure, we brewed a flavorful Mexican lager worthy of the El Chepe name.  Golden, sweet, and light, this premium beer is delicioso on its own, or with a twist of lime.  Order one up and toast our southern neighbors, Salud!

Katy Flyer Kolsch

Established in 1865, the Missouri-Kansas-Texas line was affectionately known as the “Katy” (K-T).  The Katy was the first railroad to enter Texas from the north, and in 1896 set up passenger service on the Katy Flyer, running from St. Louis into southern Texas.  The Smithville railyard, a major hub on the MKT, housed a huge passenger depot and Railroad YMCA, to accommodate travelers who wanted to catch the Katy Flyer.  With stops in Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, and Galveston, the Katy Flyer played an important role in opening up Southwest Texas to business and settlement.  Nicknamed the “Fast Train to St Louis,” she ran from Galveston to St Louis in 37 hours in 1905.  For the Texas Centennial in 1936, the temporarily renamed Katy Centennial Flyer carried tourists to popular historic destinations along the Katy railroad routes throughout Texas.  By the end of World War II, rail transport began to decline, and the Katy Flyer took her last trip on June 30, 1965.  The song, “She Caught the Katy,” was released by James Rachell and Taj Mahal in 1968 to pay homage to the Katy Flyer.

We also nod our cap to the Katy Flyer – with our Sudwerks Kolsch.  Light, crisp, and easy-drinking, this specialty ale was first popularized in Koln, Germany.  Like the Katy Flyer, our Kolsch moves quickly through fermentation, producing a tasty drink comparable to a traditional Pilsner but with more fruity and vinous notes.  Pairing well with bratwurst and sauerkraut, catch a Katy Flyer Kolsch for a Texas-German treat!

Midnight Special Black Lager

The original Midnight Special was a passenger train that ran from St Louis to Chicago.  It would depart at 11:30pm nightly and arrive at Union Station in Chicago at 7am the following day.  In the heyday of overnight travel, from 1920 through 1945, the Midnight Special featured all Pullman Company trains, with as many as 12 sleeping cars.  The last Pullman Midnight Special ran on April 30, 1971.  Many songs arose around the fame and glory of the Midnight Special, but the songs often refer to other trains taking overnight routes.  The Lead Belly “Midnight Special” places it on a route from Houston; the Wilmer Watts and Frank Wilson song are based on a North Carolina train that ran through the night.  Only one recording, collected by the Lomaxes at the Mississippi State Penitentiary, actually identifies the Illinois Central Railroad, which ran the Midnight Special to Chicago and also had a route through Mississippi.  Another version refers to the Missouri Pacific’s Houston to New Orleans train called the Houstonian, which departed the Houston Union Station shortly before midnight.  Other versions of the Midnight Special song have no particular location, but one thing is sure – trains that ran through the night served a purpose for working folks and lived on in many songs through the decades.

We toast that dark train ride with a darker beer – our Midnight Special Black Lager.  Brewed with a combination of black malts and toasty 2-row barley, this schwartzbier follows the German style with deep brown and ruby tones.  Smooth, malty, and offering up hints of caramel and coffee, the Midnight Special is perfect for a late relaxing night-cap.