GRAYSON COUNTY, TX - A new plan to unite local businesses and improve the tourism here in Texoma was announced at Grayson College.
Grayson College and the cities of Sherman and Denison announced the establishment of the Texoma Craft Beverage Alliance.
It's a group of industries focused on developing the craft beverage industry here in Texoma.
And they are hoping to grow more than just grapes...they're hoping to grow the local economy.
"We're announcing the establishment of the Texoma Craft Beverage Alliance," said Jeremy McMillen, president of Grayson College.
The alliance will consist of local wineries, breweries, and distilleries hoping to cash in on a growing interest in craft beverages.
McMillen said they've taught viticulture, the science and production of grape growing, for decades.
But now it's really taking off.
"We're trying to bring in more folks to plant grapes, to put in wineries and then to responsibly produce and consume those craft beverages," said Andrew Synder, director of viticulture at Grayson College.
"The tourism impact is huge.What we know about the beer and wine tourist and distilling tourist is that they stay longer and they spend more money," said McMillien
Texoma is home to 12 wineries, 2 breweries and one distillery.
"What's awesome about it is, yes we're bringing people to the brewery, but we're also bringing people to our community to eat at our restaurants, stay at our hotels, shop at our places downtown. So we're excited about putting this deal together, not only for us, but for our community as well," said Jeremy Roberts, owner of 903 Brewers in Sherman.
The Craft Beverage Alliance also released a 20 year plan with the hopes of opening a commercial winery that they hope will be the toast of Texoma and the world.
"Our long-term goal is to be internationally known as the center for fermentation sciences and have partnerships that don't just span across Texoma, but across Texas, across the nation and the world." said McMillen.
"Sherman has been wet for not even ten years. So to have a brewery in Sherman and to have the support of not only the city but the community, it's just something that we didn't expect and we credit that to our growth. If it wasn't for the community rallying behind us then we wouldn't be sending our beer to Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, Houston. Its the community that's helping us grow," said Roberts.
The Alliance eventually plans to develop a wine, beer, distilled spirits and winery trail.
A map of all the craft beverage makers in the area.