Loco Meaux (1)

St. Luke’s United Methodist Church Senior Pastor Ben Bagley and his family prepare to dig in to pizzas Thursday at Loco Meauxin Kilgore. The restaurant has six pizza styles on its menu, and patrons can build their own pie from a selection of ingredients and toppings.

KILGORE — Kilgore’s first-ever brew pub is attracting plenty of customers eager to try its selection of craft beer and Cajun-inspired cuisine.

“This is the third week. It’s been going good,” Ty King, owner of Loco Meaux Brew Pub at 302 E. Main St., said Thursday. “Yesterday, on a rainy Wednesday night, it was standing room only.”

The pub is attached to King’s other business, My Brewing Solutions, which sells ingredients, supplies and equipment for locals who brew their own beer and wine at home. The home brew shop opened in Longview in 2011 and King moved it to Kilgore in 2014, first setting up at Longview Street before eventually moving to Main.

He’s supplied East Texas home brewers with the gear they need for years, but the new business enables him to put his own recipes on tap.

Loco Meaux currently has four brews on its tap menu: a German Alt, Fire Road Helles, 717 Sober Town Lager and an India Pale Lager.

Each beer on tap is a lager, a type of beer made with bottom-fermenting yeast and conditioned at low temperatures. Lagers typically have a crisp, refreshing flavor.

The choice of this style of beer is an intentional one, King said, ideal for introducing craft beer to the City of Stars. He hopes to serve brews that will please local palates.

“I’m trying to get something that I figure Kilgore people will drink.”

King plans to introduce more styles of beer in the near future.

“I’ll graduate to bring in some pale ales and some IPAs (India Pale Ales). A dark beer is next, a porter is coming up and then a cerveza.”

The recipes for the brews are the product of years of home brewing experience, incorporating some of King’s favorite ingredients.

“It’s just recipes where I like the grains, I like the different hops, I like the yeast. The best products.”

King, who operates the pub along with his wife, Vicky, is aiming to hire additional employees to complement the two cooks currently on staff. On Thursday, a “Help Wanted” sign was posted on the door to Loco Meaux.

In addition to craft beer, the pub also serves handcrafted food, from starters like pretzel bites with homemade beer cheese to pizzas with artisan fire-finished crusts.

Patrons can choose from six styles of pizza or create their own from a selection of ingredients and toppings. King said many locals are placing call-in orders to get Loco Meaux cuisine at home or at the office.

Several of the pizzas showcase the pub’s Cajun inspiration. The “Meaux Cheese” pizza features Loco Beer Frado cheese sauce and the “Gumbeaux” pizza includes couyon sauce, andouille sausage and boudin along with vegetables.

“I wanted to go along with a Cajun scheme for the food. It’s ‘Loco Meaux’ and it’s South Louisiana where the ‘meaux’ comes from,” King said, explaining “meaux” is a Louisiana French term for an old, established building located in a downtown area. The “Loco Meaux” name is a play on the term “locomotive” and the Spanish word for “crazy”.

The beers are already receiving positive ratings on Untappd, a social app for sharing beer recommendations, and Google reviews are praising the menu.

Loco Meaux Brew Pub is open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.