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New, veteran-owned Bay Area Brewing Company serves Rockport family style

Bay Area Brewing Co. team

It’s the newest business to open in Rockport; and, it’s veteran-owned. The Bay Area Brewing Company is “Rockport’s first family-friendly nano craft brewery,” said Diedra Amaya, co-founder and Navy veteran. “It’s a veteran-owned family haven. Our family-friendly space offers relaxation, board games, and a dedicated play area for kids.” The beverages available offer something for everyone in the family including craft beers, ciders, local wines, and craft sodas.

Photo of Will and Diedra Amaya

It all started when Diedra and her husband Will were in the Navy. The Amayas, pictured, toured many craft breweries over their vast military and family travels.

“Will was preparing to retire and had a two-year window to discover a hobby until it was my turn to retire,” said Diedra “I had given Will a home brew kit and starter equipment for the Christmas before he retired, and he absolutely loved the science in the whole project.”

As his interest in brewing grew, Will decided to go to brewing school using his GI Bill® benefits. “This was the turning point in Will’s vision from home brewing to opening a brew house,” said Diedra. “Many of the courses involved the business aspect.”

When the Amayas were ready to start a business, they came to the TVC Entrepreneur Program for Assistance.

“We researched what benefits there are in Texas that would assist us. We looked to TVC. They provided us with everything we needed to establish our business as a veteran-owned business,” said Will.

“The TVC Entrepreneur program was super easy to navigate and the staff was quick and thorough with guiding along our process,” said Diedra. “They helped us obtain our Veteran Verification Letter and submit the correct paperwork to the Texas State Comptroller. It gets overwhelming with all the requirements you need for a business permit, obtaining the location, doing the buildout, and all the permitting for that.”

The Veteran Verification Letter and other paperwork with the Comptroller got the Amayas a waiver of business development fees and waiving franchise taxes for five years. These are among the benefits the State of Texas provides newly formed veteran-owned businesses.

“As veterans, these resources, like the Texas Veterans Commission, it was really so wonderful to have a streamlined process,” said Diedra. “The mentorship that Megan (Megan Tamez, TVC Entrepreneur Program Director and Army veteran) was able to provide just made me feel like I had accomplished something really quick and I was able to move on to the next thing. It was really great.”

The Amayas selected Rockport as the site of their business due to their love of the area and knowing their business would be a unique enjoyment for the community.

“Rockport is close to where Will grew up in Kingsville and close to where we met while stationed at Naval Station Ingleside, so we knew for a long time this is where we were going to return to after our military careers,” said Diedra.  “There was also no place in Rockport that had the family-friendly environment like that of all the breweries we had previously visited and enjoyed.  We knew we could absolutely create the atmosphere Rockport would appreciate and visitors would be sure to return.”

The Bay Area Brewing Company just opened in late April to an appreciative customer base. “The community has rallied for our opening and has been very supportive of our new vision for this small-town vibe,” said Diedra. “Our best-selling beers are the Tex Mex Lager and Copano Cruiser Blonde Ale. Will’s goal is to create approachable classic beer flavors that can be enjoyed by the standard beer drinkers to the enthusiast.”

Texas veterans with a business dream, connect with the TVC Entrepreneur team.

ribbon cutting for Bay Area Brewing

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