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Good Line Beer Co. now has 'good problems' after pandemic journey to open

Good Line Chris and Shawn
Sarah Self-Walbrick
/
Texas Tech Public Media
Chris Troutman (left) and Shawn Phillips, owners of Good Line Brewery, have worked toward opening their business for five years. The pandemic brought unique challenges to the process.

Opening a business is never an easy process, but the years-long pandemic brought new challenges for entrepreneurs. The owners of Good Line Beer Co. learned that the hard way.

Chris Troutman and Shawn Phillips have been planning their brewery for years, before they even lived in Lubbock, where they saw an opportunity. It finally opened in June.

Good Line Building.jpg
Sarah Self-Walbrick
/
Texas Tech Public Media
Good Line Brewing Co. is located at 2611 Boston Ave.

The business partners met in college. After graduation, they landed in the growing Austin craft beer scene. The two started a blog that then turned into "Austin Beer Guide," a print magazine. They also started to concoct their own home brews.

When Austin started to feel fruitless, Phillips and Troutman headed to Lubbock with their families to start a new journey.

But that journey was still long from completion.

"Initially, we signed a lease here in March 2020," Troutman said. A week later, everything was shut down."

What happened next was a string of pandemic-related snafus. Supply chain issues affected just about every process as they remodeled their Tech Terrace shop to be a brewery and taproom. Shifting costs and economics impacted their budget.

“The days when I feel like ‘why hasn’t this happened yet? We’ve worked so hard. We’ve checked all of the boxes, why are we still not here?'" Troutman said in April. "I at least feel grateful that we haven’t opened and shuttered by now.”

A few months later, they now have good problems, like running out of beer sooner than expected because of the overwhelming support and demand they've received.

IMG_4942.JPG
Sarah Self-Walbrick
/
Texas Tech Public Media
Electric Candlelight is a schwarzbier from Good Line that tastes like coffee.

"After all of the bad problems to have, you know, getting everything here, building everything, the delays, the shut downs," Phillips said in June. "I’ll take the good problems.”

Hear more of Good Line Brewing Co.'s story in the audio at the top of this page.

Good Line is celebrating Oktoberfest on Friday and Saturday. Specials include German-inspired beer, pretzels and other food from the food truck Tastebuds.

Good Line is located at 2611 Boston Ave. and is open Wednesday through Sunday.

Sarah Self-Walbrick is the news director at Texas Tech Public Media, where she leads the news team and focuses on underreported stories in Lubbock. Sarah is a Lubbock native and a three-time graduate of Texas Tech University. She started her career at the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.