Checking Out the Deal at Four Bullets Brewery in Richardson

Four Bullets bills itself as the "smallest brewery in Dallas," and it's easy to miss. Located in an older building close to a DART rail line near Arapaho Road and Central Expressway, Four Bullets feels like a garage someone's uncle converted into his home-brewing man-cave. It has an assortment of furniture from various sources, English-themed decorations and a large garage door opening to a back porch with plenty of seating. Football plays on a few TVs, and oversized Jenga and boards for cornhole complete the suburban rec-room feel.

Four Bullets was meant to open up in Wylie, but those plans fell apart when its creators, Andrew Smeeton and Jeff Douglas, learned the house they had been converting was in a dry part of Collin County. That forced a reboot, and the brewery opened in May, offering Dallas a taste of home-grown, English-inspired ales.

We paid the brewery a visit to see how it has overcome the bad hand dealt by Texas' booze regulations.

At the door, $10 gets you a Four Bullets glass and three small playing cards to exchange for beers.  ("Four bullets" is slang for four aces, and the card theme carries through in the names of the beers and the brewery's decor.)

Four Bullets is offering three beers year-round: an Irish red ale, an American pale ale and a brown ale, with a traditional English pub ale set to join the lineup. Called "Royal Flush," the Irish red ale is medium bodied and slightly malty. With a smooth mouth feel and slightly malty aftertaste, the amber-colored beer is good, but won't stand out in comparison with other local red ales. It has 5.2 percent ABV. "Two Pair Pale Ale" is their best beer, hoppy-flavored and medium-bodied with a traditional APA's copper color and the standard bitter aftertaste; at 6.4 percent ABV, it's their strongest beer, but not as strong as some APAs. "Blackjack Brown Ale" has a semi-sweetness that comes through in its very malty flavor. Its color leans more toward dark amber than brown, and like their other offerings, the brown ale is relatively light in alcohol at only 5.5 percent ABV.