In a state with several big brewing cities, the Dallas and Ft. Worth, Texas metroplex is surely a contender for the best brewing scene. And it’s only getting more impressive all the time.
During what has become known as the craft beer boom, more than a dozen breweries have opened for business throughout the area. We shine the spotlight on some of our favorite North Texas craft brewers, old and new.
Community Beer Company
Perhaps best known for its hopular Mosaic IPA, the breadth of the Community Beer Company’s scope extends beyond bitter and punchy. The Community Witbier, a Belgian White Ale and gold award-winner at this year’s World Beer Cup, is evidence of this. Located near the American Airlines Center, the brewery hosts an Open House and Tour every Saturday from 2 to 5 PM. The three-hour event includes an entertaining and educational tour, but is more about mingling with other Dallas craft beer lovers while sampling brews than anything else.
Deep Ellum Brewing Company
Another World Beer Cup gold award winner, Deep Ellum Brewing is Dallas’ largest craft brewer. The flagship Deep Ellum IPA remains a bestseller and may never go out of style, but craft beer lovers with a taste for hops rave about the DreamCrusher and Dallas Blonde as well.
Deep Ellum’s brews are widely known and consumed throughout Texas, but its downtown brewery is still the best place to try its limited releases and drink in the company of other fans. Located in the heart of Dallas’ Deep Ellum neighborhood, the eponymous brewery is the closest to AMLI Quadrangle of those on the list.
One of the Lonestar State’s brewing hotspots, Dallas’ Deep Ellum neighborhood just got hotter. BrainDead Brewing, a long-awaited brewpub, opened to great fanfare earlier this month. The brewpub is the result of years-long collaboration between former Deep Ellum Brewing Company brewmaster Andrew Huerter, restaurateur Sam Wynne, and craft beer aficionado Jeff Fryman.
BrainDead is still sorting out its in-house brewing situation, but don’t let that stop you from visiting. With 30 beers on tap, it has craft brews that pair well with each and every sinfully delicious pub eat on its menu. The award-winning brisket chili, bacon-and-brisket burgers, and gourmet grilled cheese have already proven their worth among the brewpub’s early visitors.
Four Corners Brewing Company
Housed in a warehouse in southwest Dallas’ unique Trinity Grove neighborhood, Four Corners Brewing Company is a dog-friendly, budget-friendly beer lovers’ destination. Featuring a brown ale, a light honey-rye, and a well-balanced IPA, the lineup is great for the ale lover. Its Block Party robust porter and El Super Bee de Saison brews make that lineup well-rounded. Four Corners offers free tours on Saturdays at noon and 1:30 PM, and its ale house is open every evening and weekday afternoons.
Firewheel Brewing Company
Inspired by a trip to Munich’s world-famous Oktoberfest in 2009, Brad Perkinson decided to turn notice of a downturn layoff into a chance to chase his dreams. The result, known throughout Dallas as FireWheel Brewery, has worked out in his favor. Four no-nonsense brewery tours are held each Saturday for 0 and include four samples and a complementary beer glass.
With creative names like Midnight Ninja (an American-style black ale), Redneck Redemption (an American amber), Slow Pitch (a traditional wheat beer) and StrIPA (a strawberry infused you-know-what), FireWheel Brewing Company is known for ingenuity on more than one front.
Rahr & Sons Brewing
Winner of a Grand Champion Award at the 2014 United States Beer Tasting Championship, Rahr and Son’s Blonde lager is a light force to be reckoned with. As is its Iron Thistle, a strong Scotch ale that roped in a silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2012. If we’re being honest, all of their craft brews can hold their own in categorical competitions.
Rahr & Sons Brewing, located in downtown Fort Worth, brews five year-round beers and seven seasonal brews. Since its founding in 2004, it has experienced tremendous growth. This hasn’t stopped it from carrying on a tradition of offering community-style brewery tours reminiscent of neighborhood block parties.
Franconia Brewing Company
Franconia Brewing Company boasts a German-born brewmaster who comes from a long line of brewers. In addition to its reputation for high-quality beer, Franconia is praised for its sustainable practices. The brewery operates out of a green building, uses as little energy as possible, and produces almost zero waste. Hops leftover after the brewing process are converted into cattle feed. And, since Franconia serves its local market, emissions released transporting its brew are kept to a minimum.
If homegrown hops and German brewing methods sounds like a recipe for something your taste buds would consider a success, plan a visit to Franconia’s McKinney brewery. Two-hour tours run every Saturday at 11 AM and cost .
Martin House Brewing Company
Another brewery committed to sustaining the environment, Martin House Brewing Company sells beer in cans rather than bottles. This Fort Worth brewery was founded by a group of four friends in late 2012. Its founders view their beer brewing operation as an adventure, and they’ve had a blast on their journey thus far.
The Martin House Brewing Company has also had success, as evidenced by the popularity of their tours and original craft brews. The Original Pretzel Stout beer contains crushed sourdough pretzels. The Hibiscus Saison has floral undertones that cannot be ignored. And the Imperial Texan is a red ale blasted with hops that has an international bitterness unit of 100. Tours and tastings take place on Thursdays at 6 PM and Saturdays at 2 PM.
Texas doesn’t just do beer. It does craft beer well. And if it isn’t the leader, Dallas is certainly at the front of the pack. If you’ve already done the brewery thing, know what you like, and just want to fill a growler with your favorite IPA or porter, you don’t even have to make it out to one of these breweries to do it. Gordon Biersch, Craft & Growler, and the Whole Foods on Park Lane all carry a selection of Dallas’ finest craft brews on tap. Fill up and bring the best Dallas craft brews back to your apartment.
What’s your favorite Dallas craft brew?
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