Meet Ryan & Traci Dixon.
Ryan grew up watching Mr. Rogers, loving the concepts of factories and how things are created. In his teenage years, he dreamt of building a skateboard park, and started a clothing company with t-shirt designs he was endlessly mustering up in his brain. He also began to fall in love with audio engineering and live music which later led him to pursue a degree in this very thing.
Traci grew up with a passion for people. From early in childhood, she was known for saying, “I love you” daily to friends and family. She grew up with an entrepreneur, carpenter father who showed her how to take something and create beauty from it. After getting a degree in Business Administration, her passion for utilizing business to create community and cultivate people expanded.
Ryan & Traci met and fell in love in Lubbock, Texas. After starting their family, their desire to be closer to extended family led them to relocate to East Texas, where Traci was raised. Continuing on their path of creating and entrepreneurship, they opened a coffee shop and recording studio in the small town of Quitman. Studio Java was a local favorite for after Friday night football games and day-time coffee drinkers.
All of these details are important to the history and story of True Vine Brewing because this is where it all started. Past dreams and the pieces of the puzzle become assets to what happens next!
Life continued to progress and moved the Dixon family to Tyler. Ryan & Traci both loved cooking and creating in the kitchen, which is what sparked Ryan’s initial interest in creating beer. After some research, homebrewing started. In the kitchen at first and then on to the garage. Then a book was read that completely changed the game.
Meet True Vine Brewing Company.
After a recommendation from friend who learned of Ryan’s new found love of beer making, he read The Search for God and Guinness. A dream was planted in the hearts of Ryan & Traci after reading about the Guinness family and the impact they made in Dublin, Ireland. The question of could something like this be done right here in Tyler, Texas? Could creating a product also create community in a real and authentic way? Yes. The Guinness family proved that.
What started very grassroots in the Dixon’s garage, started to grow into big dreams. A brewery was to become a reality and there was much work to be done. All of the Dixon’s life experiences and passion to this point became clear and would play out in every aspect of this brewery from creating beer, to running a business, to community and loving people to even designing brewery t-shirts!
Homebrewing grew to 10-gallon batches of beer, developing the first recipes that stuck– Mermaids and Unicorns, Rose City Pale Ale (now an IPA), to name a few that I’m sure you’ll recognize today as some of True Vine’s top brands! Developing a business plan and determining core values of “Integrity, Community, Love” which True Vine upholds tightly to this day. Partnering with friends and family who believed in their dreams to get it launched. Tyler, Texas was about to get its very first brewery.
True Vine officially opened to the public in 2014 in a micro-warehouse on Englewood Avenue in West downtown Tyler. Opening only once a month for brewery events called “Open Taps”, the 2000 square foot brewery and taproom quickly became very, very tight. The community embraced these events from the beginning proving people were truly thirsty for something like True Vine. Live music filled the air of the “backyard” and beers flowed as thousands would visit this dilapidated space that you had to enter through a dark alley. It was clear that this small but special space had created a ton of great memories but expansion was in deed necessary to continue on.
The Dixons met some new friends who frequented True Vine on Englewood, Jim and Janice Lowden who would soon partner with and help take the vision to the next level. A new location was acquired in Fall of 2017 and the now larger True Vine team begin the resurrection of yet another dilapidated building on Earl Campbell Parkway. Again, taking something most view as ugly and turning it into something beautiful. After months of hard work, True Vine opened the doors of the Earl Campbell facility on March 30th, 2018. Here, live music has grown into a weekly occurrence and beer production has greatly increased to meet the ever-growing demand in the taproom as well as distribution across Texas.
In February of 2020, True Vine opened a taproom and wine bar in Downtown Tyler located right on the square. This is the first step in what our vision is for taking the True Vine experience all over Texas. To foster community, over great craft beer of course.
The Dixon’s life motto is to always leave a place better than the way they found it. From the people they serve, to the beer they brew, to the community they live in.
“When people step inside True Vine Brewing Company, we want them to feel connected, loved and inspired knowing that there is beauty inside. And to enjoy a great, handcrafted brew while doing so.” – Ryan Dixon
Cheers to big dreams, small starts, growth and making a difference!