In 2016, after Dusty Knight sold Double Horn Brewing Company, which he founded with wife Tracy, he wasn’t expecting to return to the business of making craft beers.
However, on January 1, he signed paperwork to take over the Marble Falls establishment with a group of investors.
Their mission: to make Double Horn great again in 2020.
Knight laughed at the motto, but he’s serious about returning Double Horn to its original status in the community and even expanding it.
“I’ve brought together a team of investors, and we’re dedicated to bringing it back to what it was,” he said.
After several years of home brewing, Knight came up with the concept for Double Horn, a craft brewery that also sold food, including innovative appetizers. He shopped the idea to about 15 banks before Taylor Smith, at what was then American Bank of Texas, saw his vision.
In May 2011, the Knights and a group of investors opened Double Horn Brewing Company, the first craft brewery in Marble Falls.
Knight admitted it took time to get their feet under them. Part of the process was educating people about craft beers. He kept commercial beers on hand, including a selection of popular light beers. When someone would order one, staff would say: “Sure, but would you like to try our blonde ale?”
Many gave the craft selection a chance.
In 2016, after building a strong menu, a selection of beers, and a healthy brand, Knight and the original investors decided to sell.
Knight kept an eye on the business and didn’t always think it was on the best path, but it was no longer his.
Things changed in the fall of 2019 when the owner asked Knight if he had any interest in buying the business back. He did, but he had to find the right investors.
And he’s confident he has.
Along with Knight and wife Tracy, the ownership team consists of Anna and Robert Womack, Lauren and Mark Hayden, and Logan Hoff. Each brings their own strengths to the team, but they all have a love for the business.
Hoff is the head brewer at Double Horn and has worked for the craft brewery for a number of years.
The team is working on several improvements, including renovating the restaurant area and tweaking the menu. Knight wants to focus on the restaurant’s strengths — pizzas and burgers — and bring back interesting and innovative appetizers such as the Brachos (homemade potato chips topped with bratwurst and cheese).
The goal is to have all the changes done by March 1.
They also want to give back to the community that has supported the business by holding fundraisers and regular charity nights.
The landscape has changed since the Knights opened Double Horn in 2011. Two more craft breweries have opened in Marble Falls: Save the World Brewing Company and Bear King Brewing Company.
Knight sees that as a win for Double Horn and the local beer scene.
“When Save the World opened, it brought more people here for beer,” Knight said. “And now, with Bear King, it’s all helped Marble Falls become more of a beer destination.”
After a three-year absence, Knight is ready to get back to work.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to do it again,” Knight added.
Double Horn Brewing Company is located at 208 Avenue H in Marble Falls.