Salado charging station

A universal charging station powers up electric vehicles at the Barrow Brewing Co. in Salado.

SALADO — A local brewery is now powered up with a new charging station for electric vehicles.

Barrow Brewing Co., 108 Royal St. in Salado, installed the universal charging station a month ago next to its beer garden since the brewery hosts many customers from large metro areas given its close proximity to Interstate 35, the state’s busiest highway.

KD Hill, co-owner of the brewery, said the business had sought to install a charging station for years since none existed between Georgetown and Belton.

“We have been waiting to do this a couple of years,” Hill said.

The brewery hosts food trucks and its electrical infrastructure on site proved ideal to add a charging station, Hill said.

“We feel like this is the way the world is going,” Hill said, adding that the charging station is a good business tool since it will help attract customers to Salado.

The brewery’s charging station is now listed on two popular websites PlugShare and ChargeHub, which lists sites where motorists can charge electric vehicles.

The Salado charging station, universal to all electric cars, is one of several in Bell County, according to ChargeHub and PlugShare.

Stations in Bell County include Expo Inn & Suites, 230 W. Loop 121 in Belton; Don Ringler Chevy, 7777 S. General Bruce Drive in Temple, Johnson Brothers Ford, 7355 S. General Bruce in Temple; Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Temple, 2401 S. 31st St. in Temple; Baylor Scott & White McLane Children’s Medical Center, 1901 SW HK Dodgen Loop in Temple; Courtyard Marriott, 1721 E. Central Texas Expressway in Killeen; Bates Nissan, 5501 E. Central Texas Expressway in Killeen; and Best Western hotel, 511 Pan American Drive in Harker Heights.

Bonner Morren, an Austin dentist, was traveling home from Dallas with family members, when their Tesla had a low battery in Salado.

James Sharp, owner of the Yellow House B&B in Salado, directed Morren to the Barrow’s charging station a few miles away.

“We were running on empty,” Morren said. “At the Barrow, it was perfect. We enjoyed craft brews while we charged the car.”

Before he found the Barrow’s charging station, Morren said, he was planning to spend $500 to hire a tow truck to take the car from Salado to Round Rock.

The new Salado charging station comes as federal officials have pledged to create a Joint Office of Energy and Transportation to support the deployment of $7.5 billion from President Joe Biden’s infrastructure law that seeks to build a national electric vehicle charging network. The network aims to focus on filling gaps in rural, disadvantaged and hard-to-reach locations.