Celestial Beerworks, which opened in fall 2018 in the Medical District, is a friendly little brewery on a rather pleasant trajectory. Along with its easily accessed, central location, the brains behind the beer offer enthusiasts plenty of reasons to put this place on their schedules. Owner Matt Reynolds is a respected vet of the Dallas beer scene thanks not only to his home-brewing history but also his time crafting suds for Malai Kitchen.
On a recent Saturday visit, shortly after the brewery opened its doors at noon, the taproom was full, thanks to the Dallas Brew Bus, which had made Celestial its first of three stops for the day. There were still a few stools to be grabbed, and once the tour group departed for its next stop, there was plenty of space. The same, however, couldn’t be said for the available beers on tap.
By 1:15 p.m., three of the nine draft offerings were unavailable, including perhaps the most distinctive of the possible selections, the Bar Graph with Pink Pearl Apples and Raspberry. I managed to swipe a taste before it was vanquished, though. An American pale wheat ale weighing in at a sessional 5 percent ABV, the tart sweetness of the pink pearl gave off a grapefruit-like flavor and smell, not to mention a similar, near-neon look. The wheaty-ness mellowed out the sharp fruit for a highly pleasing, smoother than expected sip.
That encouraging sample was the first of the three 8-ounce pours I had selected for my $14 “mission.” If you’re looking for quality over quantity, perhaps the 8-ounce components make for a more substantial sampling experience compared to a typical flight, which often consists of at least four samples of around 5 or 6 ounces.
Another intriguing aspect to the sizes and prices at Celestial is that instead of pouring full pints for customers ordering a single beer, only 12-ounce glasses are offered. The prices for these 12-ounce pours ranged from $6.50 to $7, which is around what you might pay at any other local taproom for a 16-ounce serving, if not a tad bit more.
The other two choices in my mission were certainly top-notch. The Ad Reinhardt, a 10 percent ABV imperial stout brewed with locally roasted coffee, was as rich, toasty and comforting as one would hope an impartial stout would be, while the 8 percent ABV Apollo 11 imperial IPA was a tasty, hazy, stone fruit-heavy New England-style IPA that finished far smoother than many trendy hazy IPAs.
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Fittingly, the colorful, kitschy decor consisted of everything from a sparkling disco ball to murals filled with spaceships and constellations. A family sitting nearby brought their own board games to play while sipping, even though the brewery provides plenty of games for such revelry. The large outdoor blacktop area is outfitted with a number of picnic tables for days when the weather cooperates. And when it’s time to leave, Celestial makes most of its beers available to purchase in a “crowler” ranging in price from $11 to $14. A few choices are also available in four-packs of 16-ounce cans running $18-$20.
There’s much to like about this new brewery, and as long as Celestial Beerworks keeps shooting for the moon, it should continue to star in plenty of local brew tours.
Celestial Beerworks, 2530 Butler St. (Medical District)