TYLER, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Brian and Matt Gilstrap, founding brewmasters of ETX Brewing Company in Tyler, Texas, are tapping into the area’s demand for craft beer. The brothers, with co-owner Annie Gilstrap, were recently awarded a $20,000 Economic Development Program Plus (EDPPlus) grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas) and member institution American State Bank (ASB). The funds will be used for working capital and to purchase additional inventory and a microbrew system.
“We are a family-owned-and-operated business,” Brian Gilstrap said. “We are doing what we love, and our hearts are fully invested in this business. We are excited about the EDPPlus grant program, as it will allow us to purchase much-needed equipment and have additional working capital to help us quickly create new jobs in downtown Tyler.”
The pair has been brewing beer for 12 years and has spent the last four years preparing to launch their business. Renovations of the retail tire store at 221 S. Broadway began in May 2016. ETX Brewing Company celebrated its official grand opening on April 22. The Gilstraps were joined by representatives of ASB, FHLB Dallas and local dignitaries at a check presentation yesterday at the brewery.
“Tyler is experiencing growth and innovation through impactful economic partnerships like these,” said Tyler Councilman Darryl Bowdre. “Thank you to the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas, American State Bank and ETX Brewing Company for your investment in downtown Tyler.”
The Gilstraps worked with ASB Chief Lending Officer Bruce Thomson to open their small business.
“Brian and Matt presented a concise, well-thought-out and thorough business plan, which made them great candidates for the EDPPlus grant,” Mr. Thomson said. “I’ve been in banking 30 years, but I had not seen a grant program like this that couples the loan funding source with a grant to the borrower. The grant really helps a small business because they can fund needed capital expenditures or working capital needs without incurring additional debt. We were happy that we could assist Brian and Matt in the grant process.”
Noncompetitive EDPPlus grants are awarded in conjunction with EDP advances through FHLB Dallas members, like American State Bank. The grants are available on a first-come, first-served basis to promote and enhance small business development and job creation. As a result of the grant, ETX Brewing Company will purchase additional kegs and a one-barrel microbrew system in addition to additional working capital creating more jobs at the downtown brewery.
The extra kegs will allow ETX Brewing Company to increase distribution to local restaurants and pubs. The one-barrel microbrew system will allow the Gilstrap brothers to test recipes in smaller batches, as the brewery currently brews its products in larger quantities to meet demand using a 15-barrel system.
“The microbrew system lets them respond more quickly to requests from the market,” said ASB’s Mr. Thomson. “People come in looking for different flavors, so Brian and Matt knew if they could get a system that would let them brew smaller quantities, they could come to market faster with new products. If the recipe doesn’t meet their expectations, they were only out one barrel instead of 15.”
In 2016, FHLB Dallas awarded $1 million in EDPPlus grants in conjunction with EDP advances to 48 businesses in FHLB Dallas’ five-state District of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. Another $750,000 in EDPPlus funds was allocated for 2017.
“Tyler is fortunate to have the ETX Brewing Company invest in our community,” said Tom Mullins, president and CEO of the Tyler Economic Development Council. “They provide a great venue for additional downtown entertainment that residents and visitors alike can enjoy.”
Gustavo Molina, SVP and chief banking operations officer at FHLB Dallas, said the EDPPlus grant is a unique program in the marketplace.
“EDPPlus gives our members a competitive advantage,” Mr. Molina said. “The grant offers their customers a cash incentive, which positively contributes to the bottom line of a start-up.”
About American State Bank
American State Bank is a locally owned and managed community bank with five locations in Tyler and the surrounding area. The bank was founded in 1911 and has been serving East Texas for over 100 years. ASB continues to grow because of its focus on the clients first.
About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 11 district banks in the FHLBank System created by Congress in 1932. FHLB Dallas, with total assets of $57.5 billion as of March 31, 2017, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community investment by providing competitively priced loans and other credit products to approximately 850 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Texas. For more information, visit fhlb.com.