Beyond the BinaryFood + Drink

Expanding on the Beer Binary

Hannah Schaible celebrates craft beer and queer community at Frost Town Brewing.

Hannah Schaible (Courtesy)

Frost Town Brewing, named after one of Houston’s oldest downtown areas, is the perfect place for local queers, cheers, and beers. Hannah Schaible is Frost Town’s nonbinary chief marketing officer who has segued from a career in professional basketball to the world of craft brewing. They invite everyone to come visit and enjoy a pint in the downtown brewery’s beautifully inviting space.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 28-year-old Orlando native had a promising future playing professional basketball abroad. “I played in college at George Washington University and was very successful. I had the amazing opportunity to play professionally in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Newcastle, England, where I was also able to get my master’s degree,” they explain. “It was a wonderful time, and I’m truly blessed for everything that basketball has given me.”

When their husband, John, decided to move back to his hometown of Houston, the pair relocated and set out to bring Frost Town Brewing to fruition. “The brewery is family-owned: myself, John, and the rest of his family. I do most of the customer-facing things—social media, design, event planning, decorations, and the different programs we want to work with or bring into the brewery. Frost Town hosts weekly trivia nights, game nights, a run club, and even ‘Emo Yoga.’”

The two-story brewery boasts a sprawling outdoor space and a spacious interior that was designed with the intention of helping customers feel right at home. “We really focused on finding that balance between a welcoming space and being light and colorful,” Schaible notes. “We got this great compliment one time on a Reddit forum where somebody suggested Frost as a good place to work remotely. Oddly enough, this brewery has a very ‘coffee shop’ vibe to it. We want it to feel homey.”

Frost Town Brewing

Frost Town beers cater to a range of palettes. “We offer light lagers, dark lagers, ambers—it’s pretty special to be able to have such a big lager program,” they explain. “We have three fantastic core light beers that are always around. We also have a Southern-style pre-Prohibition pilsner, and more.”

The queer-friendly brewery is also a favorite with Astros fans because of its proximity to Minute Maid Park. Schaible notes that Frost Town serves customers of all backgrounds. “We have an interesting crowd—it’s a welcoming place where worlds collide.”

Being a fully affirming brewery in Texas doesn’t come without its fair share of social-media trolls, however. “John and I have our pronouns in our Instagram bios, and I remember a comment that said, ‘You can spot the liberals in the beer world when they got pronouns in their bios!’” To those prospective customers who have an unfounded fear of pronouns, Schaible simply says, “It’s okay, you’ll be fine.”

But beyond the occasional rude remarks the brewery has received, the former pro basketball player points out that their customers’ support has eclipsed any negativity. “The people who have become regulars show that things are skewing in a good way. They find the space welcoming with a queer focus [that they see from] the queer-related events that we’re able to put together.”

“If you want to connect to community and support small businesses, breweries are the way to do that.” —Hannah Schaible

Being nonbinary in the craft brewery world is territory that Schaible has to navigate regularly. “The concept of being nonbinary is still so new to people, and they don’t understand it. It’s a learning curve for a lot of people, and a big part of the difficulty that I’ve seen is the fact that I am a business partner with my cis male spouse.” The perception that their husband is in some way more qualified in the beer world is just one sexist microaggression Schaible points to. “I think the craft beer world is moving into a space of being more welcoming [as they] realize that there has always been a ton of different kinds of people that work in beer. They’re just a little slow to recognize that. We’re getting there, but obviously not as quickly as would be ideal.”

For those who are curious about stepping into the world of local breweries, Schaible invites folks looking for a great place to enjoy a frosty pint to stop by Frost Town Brewing. “Most Houston breweries are small businesses. You might even be served by the brewers who actually own it. A special thing about craft beer is that it is brewed for people who visit the brewery. So much passion is put in the beer that they’re serving across the bar. If you want to connect to community and support small businesses, breweries are the way to do that.”

Keep up with  Frost Town Brewing on Instagram @frosttownbrew.

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Zach McKenzie

Zachary McKenzie is a marketing professional and freelance writer in Houston, TX. He received his bachelor's degree from The University of Texas at Austin in 2014 and has lived in Houston since. Zachary is a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters and enjoys spending his free time with friends, exploring the richness and diversity of Houston.
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