Arlington's Best-Kept Beer Secrets — Including a Diner That Gives Beer Away For Free

The growler selection at Arlington's Kool Keg rivals many Dallas bottle shops.
The growler selection at Arlington's Kool Keg rivals many Dallas bottle shops.
Courtesy of Kool Keg

Good beer isn't relegated to Dallas proper, which people living in the suburbs have long known. Some of Dallas' most interesting new beer is coming from beyond 635. In honor of North Texas Beer Week, we headed to one of these suburbs to find the town's best-kept beer secrets:

Arlington's Division Brewing opened this winter.
Arlington's Division Brewing opened this winter.
Brent Nuss

Division Brewing
506 E. Main St., Arlington
Cooled by an industrial-sized fan, a long-haired black and white pooch lay on the concrete at the family-and-pet-friendly Division Brewing as co-owner Sean Cooley poured Frankenfroth on tap.

The open-concept brewery shares an outdoor back patio and sometimes live music, with Cosmic Crow Collective, a vintage boutique and gallery on Abram Street, allowing beer lovers to shop, drink a beer or play a board game at a place where the tastes and aromas of craft beers are appreciated much like fine art.
Pointing toward a stack of wooden wine barrels that houses the beer as it ages, Cooley said the brand’s RosaLee is a top seller.

Out of curiosity, I tried the Onion Man, a light, oniony soup-flavored cold beer which Cooley said did not include onions but experimental hops.

“Ahh,” said a satisfied patron who was bellied up to the bar. “I’ll be back,” said another.

Kool Keg serves good beer with good vibes.
Kool Keg serves good beer with good vibes.
Courtesy of Kool Keg

Kool Keg
207 S. East St., Arlington
Kool Keg serves a variety of 30 craft beers, and bartender Tad Loftis recommended the Digital Pour app to manage the menu. Yellow Rose by Lone Pint is a best seller, Loftis said, describing the brew as a single-hopped, single-malt IPA with a simple flavor that is well-balanced and well-drafted.

The bar’s Red Bud Cucumber was served at precisely the right cool for its crisp cucumber flavor, and Loftis pointed out that one of the good things about craft breweries is that since most are small, the fruits and vegetables used are mostly local and fresh.

Loftis said he believes there is plenty of room for expansion in the craft beer market. He also talked about the art behind the beer labels and how people come together for the brew while also sharing their passions for art and music.

“It’s not just selling beer,” he says. “It’s getting people into the culture. It’s a lot better than just the beer. It’s all the people that come with it.”

Legal Draft is fast becoming a heavy-hitter in the DFW beer scene.
Legal Draft is fast becoming a heavy-hitter in the DFW beer scene.
Courtesy of Legal Draft

Legal Draft Beer Co.
500 E. Division St., Arlington
Owner Greg McCarthy, an attorney for 30 years, said he was looking for the next thing in life when he founded Legal Draft Beer Co.

“The great state of Texas simply doesn’t have enough great craft beer,” reads the brand’s website. “We’re here to help.”

Legal Draft, whose brew is crafted by a German-trained brewmeister, sells a lot of Legal Blonde, but this fall, a bestseller is the Roasted Pumpkin Spice which “smells like pumpkin but tastes like beer,” McCarthy says.

Presumed Innocent, Chief Justice Stout and Accused Amber, which goes down smooth, were among the lineup at a craft beer tasting event held recently at Viridian’s Farmer’s Market. During the pour, McCarthy shared how his wife, Sherrie, isn’t a beer drinker, but that doesn’t stop her from whipping up a mudslide using the stout, some ice cream and a bit of Baileys.

Dirty Job doesn't have a brewery location just yet, but husband and wife duo Derek and Lashawn Hubenak (left) hope to open the brewery with Justin Watson (right) soon in downtown Mansfield.
Dirty Job doesn't have a brewery location just yet, but husband and wife duo Derek and Lashawn Hubenak (left) hope to open the brewery with Justin Watson (right) soon in downtown Mansfield.
Courtesy of Dirty Job Brewing

Dirty Job Brewing
Location: TBA
Dirty Job Brewing is looking to open a brewery in downtown Mansfield, which owner Derek Hubenak says is hopping.

“It’s a dirty job,” Hubenak says through a handlebar mustache. “And someone’s gotta brew it.”

Hubenak, along with his wife, Lashawn, and Justin Watson, were among the craft brewers pouring at Viridian’s Farmers Market this October. 'Tis the Saison, “a golden saison with a cantaloupe kick” was among the samplings. Some of Dirty Job’s creation’s contain fruit such as the Agave Davida, a wheat beer mix of agave nectar and blueberries, an award-winning Raspberry Beeret and Pear Bear.

“That’s the one that’s going to put us on the map,” Watson says of the cucumber IPA.



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