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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The Wild Garlic celebrates 5 years

Photo courtesy of Tanner Purdum/The Wild Garlic
Wild Garlic

The Wild Garlic Pizza is celebrating five years of business for the wood-fired artisan pizza pop-up with an anniversary party at their location next to KinderHill Brew Lab.

The anniversary will be held on Friday, July 21, from 5 – 10 p.m. at 800 South Bryan Avenue across from Polite Coffee Roasters. The night will include fresh pizza, locally brewed beer, prize drawings and cornhole, according to the Founder and Owner of The Wild Garlic Tanner Purdum.

Purdum worked in Louisiana for several years at Magpie Cafe and SHAYA, where he served celebrities like Beyoncé and Jay-Z and had a quick chat with Lady Gaga while taking out the trash, he said. After clocking out of these restaurants at 2 or 3 a.m., Purdum got a fresh start in Bryan along with easier hours after welcoming his first son with his wife, Carlee Smith.

“I was like, ‘Let’s do a food truck,’” Purdum said. “I know what I’m going to do because whatever I do, it has to be a changing menu, seasonal, local … just the always changing, creative mindset.”

Purdum stuck to just that. Customer favorites consist of a peach compote pizza with jalapenos and prosciutto and a scratch-made mole with homemade chorizo pizza created by Johan Román, Purdum’s first employee.

“I was like, ‘How can I make a name for myself in a town that has five pizzerias?’” Purdum said. “There really is no limit. It is fun when everyone gets involved. I only have so many ideas … I’m there to kind of help reign in the ideas and train them to think with that structure.”

To ensure the freshest produce, Purdum said he shops at The Farmers’ Market in Brazos Valley every Saturday. If what he needs isn’t there, his next steps are reaching out to Millican Farms, just 20 minutes from Bryan.

“I get as much as I can locally,” Purdum said. “I’ll go to [The] Farm Patch and get organically … I’ll do HEB if I have to. I can’t be perfect 100% — not yet, but one day.”

Purdum has always loved the idea of beer pairing with food, he said, which made KinderHill Brew Lab the perfect business pairing. Founders Laura Hill, Ph.D., Class of 2014, and Jason Kinderman both worked in the brewing industry and started dating before they became business partners. Since opening in May of 2021, they have brewed over 200 different beers onsite.

“We’re a very small brewery,” Kinderman said. “We can brew a lot of different styles. Coming from larger breweries … we had some crazy ideas from our travels. We knew we wanted to do a strawberry Pop Tart beer … so we did that last year.”

If you’re not a beer person, don’t fret. KinderHill has a seasonal cocktail menu that introduces new flavors regularly. Recent cocktails include the ‘Moon Tiara Mule’ with blue butterfly pea infused vodka and ‘Ube Wan Kenobi’ with an ube rum punch, according to their Instagram.

“[KinderHill has] both traditional styles of beer and both really weird, off-the-wall combinations as well,” Hill said. “So that’s one of the fun things about being small, is you have that flexibility to change things on a weekly basis.”

Kinderman and Hill ran into Purdum at Lowe’s by chance, and the three bonded over gardening and the need to know where their food comes from, Kinderman said. Within a few months, KinderHill made The Wild Garlic their permanent food truck.

“Tanner is an incredibly talented chef,” Hill said. “He’s worked at James Beard award-winning restaurants in New Orleans and [is] just one of the most creative people we know.”

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About the Contributor
Anna Deardorff
Anna Deardorff, Special Sections Editor
Anna is a communication senior from Frisco, minoring in journalism. Anna is the Special Sections Editor of Maroon Life Magazine for spring of 2024.
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