Wild Acre Brewing Co. Headed to Ridglea Hills

The former Kroger store at the corner of Camp Bowie Boulevard and Clayton Road has long sat vacant, with its eerily empty parking lot and blue paint fading away.

Now, let’s just say things are about to get — ahem — hopping.

Construction is underway on Wild Acre Brewing Co.’s second location at 6479 Camp Bowie Blvd. Bruce Conti, who owns the Ranch Style Beans plant that was repurposed nearly three years ago to become Wild Acre’s first location, also owns the Camp Bowie property. He and Wild Acre founder John Pritchett are partners in the company. 

The building's current look. Construction is already underway. 

The majority of the 57,000-square-foot building will be subdivided into office space, with about half of that becoming a coworking space. Pritchett says he and Conti are planning to include a Wild Acre in the design as well, in about 3,000 square feet of the overall space, which Wild Acre will be leasing. It will be more than a simple taproom — plans are underway to add a working brewery with a beer garden and restaurant into the building's reconfiguration.

"The co-working space will actually wrap around the brewery," Pritchett says.

In order for that to happen, Wild Acre still has one major zoning and permitting hurdle to clear. At a Fort Worth Zoning Commission hearing held last Wednesday, Wild Acre presented its case for rezoning that would allow for a variance, "since there was no mention of breweries at all when the zoning was originally drawn up for this area of Camp Bowie," Pritchett says. Brewing and microbrewing weren't a thing back then.

The Montessori School, housed just across Clayton Road, along with the Ridglea Hills Neighborhood Association, the Ridglea Hills Area Association and the Camp Bowie District are all in support of the proposed variance and would welcome the addition of Pritchett's proposed brewery/beer garden/restaurant concept as part of the overall redesign of the building.

The Zoning Commission gave its unanimous approval to the project this week, and the case is on the docket for the City Council's May 7 meeting, where Wild Acre expects to receive final approval.

While Wild Acre will be a working brewery, any beers produced at the new Ridglea Hills location would be for on-site consumption only. Pritchett says he hopes to be brewing at this location before the end of 2019.

"Realistically, it might be the beginning of 2020 before we are up and running," he says.