With all the challenges of building a beer brewery from the ground up, Mike Goldfuss and Ryan Deyo, co-owners of The Collective Brewing Project, have a few things already going for them. Chief among these is experience putting in long hours at a physically demanding job, something breweries demand in spades. After the duo graduated from Texas A&M University, Goldfuss went into construction in New York City and Deyo took a position as a firefighter.

But the longtime friends soon decided they’d rather work for themselves, and do it making beer.

Goldfuss said he picked up home brewing as a hobby in 2006, with Deyo following suit soon after. The experience inspired them to make a go at it for a living, but Goldfuss says there’s been more than a few surprises along the way.

“Every home brewer out there would like to start a brewery,” he said. “I wouldn’t change anything about what we’ve done, but it’s been difficult. Just because you can brew doesn’t mean you can handle opening a brewery.”

The duo is working out of Haltom City and have plans to open a new location in Fort Worth’s Near Southside District in mid-August. (Yes, there will be opening festivities.) Until then, you’re most likely to catch them serving one of three beers (Mustache Rye'd Porter, Pale Galaxy, Fantastikolsch) out of their refrigerated van, complete with custom beer taps built into the side. Or, you can find their brews anytime at The Bearded Lady, The Pour House, or Brewed.

I met Goldfuss and Deyo two weeks ago at The Best Little Brewfest in Texas and can attest to their beer’s superlative quality and drinkability. The Mustache Rye'd Porter is a well-balanced dark beer that could be enjoyed anytime of year, something Deyo said was important to him. Mark you calendars, you can try these brewskies for yourself July 13 at the fourth annual Fat Tire Festival at Gateway Park.  

Still in the early phase of his ambitious project, Goldfuss says he tries to keep the often exhausting 12 hour days in perspective. A friend recently quipped that Goldfuss is “living the dream.” After replying that it doesn’t always feel like it, his friend offered a sage reminder.

“You may not have known what your dream was when you started,” he said.

“But now you are living it.”