Nine Band Brewery in Allen opened its taproom doors for the first time over the weekend, because people in Allen deserve to slug high-ABV beers under the auspices of locavorism, too, OK?
Large, handmade wooden tables and stools fill the room, and a number of TVs line each wall. Open seating made finding a spot difficult on opening night. Happy-houring office workers and a few UT Dallas students packed the room.
Past the tables is an indoor-outdoor bar that connects to the patio, where three taps await: Nine Band Pale Ale, Cactus Cat Kolsch and Toad Choker Barleywine. On the patio, more tables and chairs and, on this night, propane heaters under the wooden awning. Live music howled.
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Nine Band's namesake beer is an American-style pale ale that will be appreciated by fans of hoppy beers. With a coppery, amber color, the Nine Band Pale Ale has a flavor that is hoppier than the typical APA but avoids bitterness. This is easily Nine Band's best offering. But while it's a good beer, it's not going to blow anyone away.
If you are looking for something lighter, Nine Band's kolsch is a worthy option. While it has some sweeter hints, there is a dry bite in its aftertaste and a slight, almost-grassy flavor comes through. A pretty standard kolsch.
No local brewery is complete without a beer that can give a solid buzz from a single pint, which is where Nine Band's barleywine comes in. The well-named Toad Choker has a strong taste but is a nice balance between hoppy and sweet. Unfortunately, the boozy flavor is not masked at all, so this barleywine is not for everyone, though it might appeal to fans of sweeter imperial IPAs.
The taproom is open Monday through Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m. on Fridays. Nine Band's beers should hit taps in bars around Dallas soon.