Bishop Cider is a Texas craft cidery on the grow. The Bishop brand currently has a tasting room in the heart of the Bishop Arts neighborhood of Dallas. Bishop also operates three locations of its Cidercade concept (Dallas, Austin and Houston), which is basically a cool bar arcade with eats. Construction is currently underway on Cidercade Fort Worth, located just south of downtown. It will be the largest Cidercade to date at 25,000 sq ft (expected to open by the end of summer). To continue to grow, the company is also making some acquisitions — some for interesting reasons.
Bishop Cider just announced it has acquired Arlington, Texas’s Legal Draft Beer Co.‘s assets strictly for the equipment — “as new equipment lead-times have grown exponentially in recent years,” said the press release, noting “Bishop did not assume their liabilities and will not market beer bearing the Legal Draft brand.” But, the company hopes to open another Cidercade location at Legal Draft’s Arlington property around the end of the year. Photo below, but wait, there’s more.
Bishop Cider also announced it is in the processes of acquiring Wild Acre Brewing Co. in Fort Worth, Texas. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of May. Wild Acre beer will continue to be produced at the facility, but the brand will be getting a refresh, investments will be made in QA/QC equipment and recipes will be fine-tuned. From the press release:
“Rightfully so, Wild Acre has gained a lot of respect in Fort Worth. They have built a very impressive facility and the beer can hold its own against other local breweries, but I believe there is potential to compete on a larger stage,” says Joel Malone, CEO of Bishop Cider. Grant Wood is coming alongside the new management team to ensure the liquid is world class. Grant Wood was most recently the Co-Founder and Brewmaster of Revolver Brewing, prior to the acquisition by Molson Coors in 2016. Previously, Grant spent 16 years at Boston Beer Company, finishing there as the Senior Brewing Manager.
Wait, there’s more.
Bishop also owns TexBev, a company that specializes in full-service beverage manufacturing and co-packing. The Dallas-based company partners with brands to bring their liquid ideas to the masses while private labeling products for other customers. It’s experience includes beverage products ranging from hard seltzer to cold brew coffee to beer.
TexBev will relocate its operations from Dallas to Wild Acre’s Fort Worth facility and expand its capacity and capabilities with the addition of the equipment from Bishop’s Dallas cidery and Legal Draft’s Arlington brewery. There’s apparently plenty of room for more expansion at Forth Worth — the property comprises nearly 200,000 sq ft of warehouse space and sits on 21 acres. But wait, there’s more: Bishop will also be opening a one-of-a-kind entertainment concept at the site and details will be revealed in the fall.
Bishop has also decided to relocate and drastically expand Cidercade Dallas, but it will remain open at its current location until construction has been completed at the new site. At 79,000 sq ft, the new location is nearly 10 times larger. It will feature concepts, games and activities that aren’t offered anywhere else in Texas. The opening date has not been announced.
Let’s learn more
When Bishop Cider started in Dallas’ Bishop Arts District a decade ago, Joel Malone and Laura Malone (husband and wife cofounders) owned a quaint 700 sq ft cider bar, but Bishop has now grown into a leader in beverage manufacturing and beverage experiences.
Their business now comprises three brands:
- TexBev provides beverage co-packing services for its clients with a focus on specialized processes suchas tunnel pasteurization, hot fill, and retort sterilization. TexBev is a copacker of canned cold brew coffee, tea, juice, energy drinks, wine, beer, and RTDs.
- Cidercade has dozens of taps of Bishop Cider, serves artisan food, and offers an “entertainment buffet” where patrons pay a nominal admission fee and the games and activities are free to play.
- Bishop Cider, the company’s house brand of hard cider, is currently sold and distributed in Texas, Oklahoma, and select states in the northeast.
Once the new locations come online, Bishop Cider will operate over 300,000 sq ft of real estate, have seven on-premise locations and employ approximately 265 employees (currently 140). Bishop has averaged over 100 percent revenue growth YOY, sustained profitability even in 2020 when entertainment venues were closed due to the pandemic, and welcomed nearly one million customers through Cidercade locations in 2021.