By Cody Thompson
LOVELADY – As you make your way down FM 2915, between Lovelady and Weldon, you will find a dirt road that catty-corners into a dense pine forest. Approximately a mile down said dirt road you will come across a large house, reminiscent of old Italian vineyard homes, accompanied by a small stable-like structure of similar design. A simple, wooden sign can be found on the side of the smaller building that reads: “Dej Buh Stesti Brewery.”
Founded in 2015 by brew-master, Dennis Gore, the Stesti Brewing Company is the physical manifestation of a lifelong passion and years of hard work and dedication.
“My husband (Dennis) is currently a surgeon as well as a professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston,” Gore’s wife and Stesti Brewing Co. business manager Ana Gore told the Messenger on Thursday. “But he’s always had a passion for brewing and has wanted to do this for as long as I can remember.”
Dennis Gore’s dedication to the craft of brewing beer saw him travel to Plzeň (Pronounced “Pills”), Czech Republic to study under the brew-masters of the world-renown Pilsner Urquell Brewery, home of the world’s first-ever pilsner-type blond lager.
“Through a mutual friend of ours and the brew-master of Pilsner Urquell, our brew-master (Dennis Gore) was able to go overseas and study how to make Czech-style beer,” Ana Gore said.
Dennis Gore brought the recipes of the Czech brew-masters back to the states and combined it with an American brewing technique to create the Stesti Brewing Co.’s signature taste.
“We brew a similar beer to the Czechs, but we tweak it a little bit with cascade hops, which is an American hops,” Ana Gore said. “That was actually a recommendation by the brew-masters in Plzeň. They thought the American palate wouldn’t like the bitterness of the Czech-style hops, so they suggested that we make the beer a little smoother by using the cascade hops.”
This technique of combining the Czech and American brewing traditions led to the creation of the Stesti Brewing Co.’s three signature beers: the Stesti Pivo Pils, Stesti Authentic Bohemian Lager and Stesti Dark Lager.
“The Pivo Pils is made in the traditional Czech style, but we add more of the cascade hops to make it lighter and more aromatic, while the Bohemian Lager is more of a middle ground between a lighter, more American beer and the more bitter Czech beers,” Ana Gore said. “The Dark Lager is more obviously our darker beer and mixes six different types of malts and a longer fermentation process.”
Since its inception, the Stesti Brewing Co. has found its way into stores and restaurants across East Texas and the greater Houston area.
“We self-distribute all of our beer and, so far, we’ve found our way into markets from here (Lovelady) to Houston, as well as College Station and Crockett,” Ana Gore said. “You can actually find our beers in stores, as well, at H-E-B, Whole Foods and Spec’s Wines, Spirits and Finer Foods.”
The original name of the brewery was the Dej Buh Stesti Brewery, but was later shortened to the Stesti Brewing Co., according to Ana Gore.
“The name originated from a saying that the Czech brew-masters would always say to Dennis. Every day, when he would go to his brewing class, the brew-masters would say, “Dej buh stesti,” which means, “God gives happiness,” Ana gore said. “When he came back we thought it would be a cool name for a brewery, but shortened it to make it easier to remember.”
The Stesti Brewing Co. offers monthly group tours and tastings of the facilities.
“It costs $10 per person to come on the group tour, but people can also request private tours on our website or Facebook page,” Ana Gore said.
The next group tour is scheduled for Saturday, June 17.
“Our next tour is the day before Father’s Day, so that could make an interesting idea for anyone looking for a gift for their father,” Ana Gore said.
The Stesti Pivo Pils, Bohemian Lager and Dark Lager will be the featured beers at the Davy Crockett Classic Bike Race on Saturday, July 8 and Sunday, July 9.
For more information about the Stesti Brewing Co. or to schedule a tour of the facilities, visit www.stestibrewingcompany.com or visit the Stesti Brewing Company Facebook Page.