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Austin Brewery Thirsty Planet Suddenly Closes, Impacting Texas Beverage Companies

The brewery’s shutter happened without any notice, affecting businesses like Meridian Hive and SoCo Homebrew

A wooden table with a bunch of beer glasses on top of it.
Thirsty Planet’s beers.
Thirsty Planet/Facebook
Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

Far south Austin brewery Thirsty Planet Brewing seems to have closed suddenly in August, as first reported by Craft Beer Austin.

The 8201 South Congress Avenue address had been home to the brewery, as well as the at-home brewing supply shop SoCo Homebrew. Thirsty also had been producing products for alcoholic honey beverage company Meridian Hive and Austin cidery company Argus Cidery; it also served as a distribution hub for bottled water company Richard’s Rainwater and canned tea company Weird Tea, according to Craft Beer Austin.

Austin Chronicle reports that Thirsty Planet was locked out of the South Congress space “allegedly for back rent” starting on August 7. Thirsty Planet co-owner Brian Smittle said that the brewery was closing to Community Impact on August 15, but made it seem like the closure would take place over a period of time. Thirsty Planet’s Google listing is flagged as “permanently closed” and the status was confirmed by the business on August 16. The brewery’s official website and social media accounts don’t note the shutter. Eater has reached out to Thirsty Planet for more information.

Meridian Hive has been using Thirsty Planet to make, package, and store its products since 2022. On August 7, CEO Cayce Rivers tells Eater that he got a phone call from Thirsty Planet’s operations manager, who told him “that the locks had been changed on the building and that no one was being allowed in.” The meadery was in the middle of a canning production at the time for a new drink release. He issued a statement published on Facebook and Instagram on August 13. He cited that “an unforeseen development occurred that has temporarily disrupted our production” and that “the relationship between Thirsty Planet Brewing and their landlord has encountered difficulties, leading to the unexpected change in access to the production facility.”

Meridian’s products had to sit in the locked Thirsty space while the company went through negotiations for two weeks and were eventually allowed to go back in and finish producing their products, including the new Pink Lemonade drink. Rivers tells Eater that they’re looking for a new packaging and production partner.

SoCo posted on Facebook that it had to temporarily close its shop on August 7 “due to unforeseen circumstances.” Two days later, it posted that it was “forced out of our building on Monday morning without notice” on August 9. Founder Joseph Butler tells Eater that “our previous location was forced to suddenly close due to a legal dispute between the building owner and the brewery that we subleased from.” It managed to find a new location to work out of on 7601 South Congress Avenue, Building 6, next to the Last Stand Brewing Company. While there is no official opening date yet, the store is accepting online and pickup orders right now.

A rep for Richard’s Rainwater shared that “we’re unable to comment on this situation.” Eater has reached out to Argus Cidery and Weird Tea for more information,

Thirsty Planet’s space included a location of taco truck Un Mundo de Sabor, which had announced on August 10 that it has to be “closed for the foreseeable future” because “there’s been an unexpected closure of Thirsty Planet Brewery” on August 10. The truck moved over to far south Austin bar Bodhi’s Hideaway.

Owner Brian Smittle started Thirsty Planet in 2010, and opened this taproom in April 2023. It’s most known for its Thirsty Goat amber ale.

Thirsty Planet Brewing Company

8201 South Congress Avenue, , TX 78745 (512) 579-0679 Visit Website