Francisco “Pancho” Lozano, 55, is Owner of Pancho’s Brewing Lab, Homebrewing Supply Store, 3427 New Boston Rd, Texarkana, TX 75501, where his dream of brewing his own business has become a reality.
Lozano’s love of brewing began when he discovered the periodic table at 11 years of age. loving math and science, he later earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry and Master’s Degree in Business Administration, the perfect recipe for someone who would later go on to own his own brewing lab.
As a native to Los Angeles, California who later moved to Monterrey, Mexico for most of his adolescence, he developed a love for various spices and flavors. It wasn’t until 1985 that he moved back to America in San Antonio, Texas.
For over thirteen years, Lozano perfected his home brew while working full-time during the day as the Quality and Regulatory executive in a local pharmaceutical company. After being laid off, Lozano decided to pursue his dream rather than seek more conventional employment.
It seemed logical, the closest home brew shop from Texarkana is in Shreveport, about seventy-five miles away.
“After losing my ‘real job,’ I decided to open Pancho’s Brewing Lab and offer equipment and ingredients for home brewing to the Texarkana community.”
To his relief, the response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive. Many of the customers are elated to find a local shop where they can find tangible products, things they can see, touch, smell.
Lozano offers more than just beer homebrewing kits, there are wine kits available too. This summer, the wine homebrewing bundles have been among the best sellers, according to Lozano.
His recommended kits are the pale-ales and IPAs which are more bitter,hoppy beers with fruity notes. Despite his commitment to his new venture, Lozano still finds time to engineer products from his imagination. His pride and joy is a 20 gallon water cooler, Pancho’s Keg Kooler™
“The significance of it is that this cooler is big enough to fit a 5 gallon corney keg. He explained further, “previous to Pancho’s Keg Kooler™(PKK), if you wanted to take your home-brewed keg, you have to use an piece of equipment called jockey box. Jockey boxes work, but are a bit pricey and are a bit temperamental,sometimes you still have to keep your keg in a bucket half-filled with ice. With my PKK, the keg and ice goes inside so there are no issues that you encounter using jockey boxes.”
As you can see, there is a lot on his burner, but his current goal is to just exceed his bottom line and make a profit for his first year. Using those profits, he would expand to include filling growlers, tools used to transport kegs-something every beer geek can get enthusiastic about in the future.
In addition to the many product lines, Lozano also holds monthly meet ups for local home brewers and wants to eventually hold brewing classes in his lab. Currently, home brewer classes are held every second Monday of the month at 7:00 PM in the store. For winemakers, meetings are held the third Monday of the month at 7:00 PM.
Classes come highly recommended for both novice and experienced brewers. Lozano explained the process pretty simply, comparing it to playing golf. With crushed, malted grain, hot water (~155 F) is added, activating the enzymes in the malt which then convert the starches in the grains into sugar. The yeast then eats the sugar and converts it to ethanol and carbon dioxide which are released into the atmosphere.
“In order to play golf, you need one ball and one club, nothing else. From there you can invest time and money as far as you want to,” he explained. “Making beer is no different. You can be as frugal as adding baker’s yeast to diluted malt extract, or you can invest thousands of dollars in a state-of-the-line nano-brewing equipment.”
In the end, you have created beer.
For those of us who can barely boil water, brewing beer may not be our thing, but for Lozano, it’s an art on perfectly mixing malts, hops, adjuncts, and yeasts into something that satisfies his soul.
“I like making beer because I like to transform raw ingredients into a succulent and enjoyable drink,” he divulged. Think of base malt as you different type of canvases, and the other ingredients as your paints. With the right combination you can make a masterpiece!”
Sample his brews at Dine on the Line this October 6, 2018, or visit Pancho’s Brewing Lab store: