All in all, 2015 was a banner year for craft beer in the DFW area, with several breweries opening across the region. Not to be outdone, 2016 is turning out to be yet another great year for the craft beer boom happening across the country.
It seems like each month there's another brewery announcing intentions to set up shop. Yet, despite claims of a "craft beer bubble," it seems like people just can't get enough local craft beer. But in reality, as Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head, recently told the Chicago Tribune: "I wouldn’t call it a bubble moment, because that implies that this is a trend that is going to disappear." And people aren't going to stop enjoy unique and excellent beer any time soon. Here's a rundown of the 11 North Texas breweries planning to open by the end of 2016.
Whistle Post Brewing Co.
219 W. Division St., Pilot Point
Pilot Point's first-ever brewery is slated to open on June 11. Information on Whistle Post has been sparse, as the brewers have only announced one production beer: Rooster Shooter Texas Lager. Whistle Post is owned by JEM Beverage Co., which also owns Western Son Distillery, who moved to Pilot Point last year. The head brewer of Whistle Post is Blake Morrison, who was previously a brewer at Cedar Creek Brewery.
HopFusion Ale Works
200 E Broadway Ave., Fort Worth
One of the many businesses taking part in the Southside revitalization in Fort Worth, HopFusion Ale Works is aiming to open in July. There are hints of a soft opening starting "in about a week or so," but no formal opening has been announced. HopFusion plans to put out cans and kegs of four "signature series" brews: Honey Vanilla Blonde Ale, a 5.8 percent ABV blonde ale made with honey, Mexican vanilla and brown sugar; Hairpin Rye Pale Ale, a 6.38 percent ABV brew made with "a copious amount of hops" according to the brewery; Steampipe Black Rye IPA, a 7.8 percent ABV beer the brewery describes as having "deep pepper, citrus and dark-roasted notes"; and the 8.63 percent ABV Fur Slipper Imperial Milk Stout, which the brewery says has notes of "roasted hazelnut, dark chocolate and toffee." HopFusion is founded by Macy Moore and Matt Hill, who, like so many other local brewers, started out home brewing.
Wild Acre Brewing Co.
1734 E El Paso St., Fort Worth
Named after the Hell's Half Acre area of Fort Worth, which was known for its debauchery in the 19th century, Wild Acre Brewing Co. will have four beers in can and on tap upon opening: Tarantula Hawk Indian Red Ale, Soul Pleasure Southern Stout, Billy Jenkins Session Bock and Moonlight Shine Wheat Ale. It will be located in the former Ranch Style Beans complex, an industrial area in near east side Fort Worth. Founded by John Pritchett, who used to work for Ben E. Keith, Wild Acre is expected to open over the summer, but currently no date has been announced, though it looks to be soon based on their recent Facebook posts.
Legal Draft Beer Co.
500 E. Division St., Arlington
Opening just down the street from Division Brewing in Arlington, Legal Draft Beer Co. has yet to announce an official opening date, but brewers are shooting for mid-July. According to their Twitter account, they're testing their first batches. Once they launch, Legal Draft will have five beers on the lineup: Legal Blonde Gold Lager, a Munich lager described as "golden in color with a light body and crisp, refreshing finish"; Accused Amber Lager, a Vienna lager which the brewery describes as having "a color reminiscent of a Texas sunset"; Presumed Innocent IPA, an IPA with a "light haze and a tangy, aromatic hop note"; Hung Jury Hefeweizen, a traditional German weissbier with a "banana and clove" aroma; and Chief Justice Stout, described as a "stout brewed with roasted malts for a sweet chocolate taste and rich, smooth feel." The legal system theme comes from founder Greg McCarthy's background as an attorney. Head Brewer Henryk Orlick is an experienced brewer, having worked most recently at Big Bend Brewing Co., but has also spent time at Abita Brewing, Red Oak Brewing and Pacific Western Brewery.
Manhattan Project Beer Co.
15103 Surveyor Blvd., Addison
Launching in October from space inside the Bitter Sisters Brewery, Manhattan Project Beer Co. is a project from Karl and Misty Sanford and Jeremy Brodt. Having won a number of home-brewing awards, Manhattan Project is working with Bitter Sisters as an alternating proprietorship, "a term used to describe an arrangement in which two or more people take turns using the physical premises of a brewery," according to the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. There's a theme to these brews. At BrewRiot they served a beer called Plutonium 239, named after an isotope important in the production of nuclear weapons, and their 6 percent ABV American wheat ale, called Half-Life, is described as having "citrus characteristics" with "stone fruit and pine" flavors. Based on the photos from their Facebook page, they will also have a gose called Bikini Atoll, which is listed at 4.8 percent ABV, and Oak Ridge Farmhouse, a 6.5 percent ABV saison.
Thirsty Bro Brewing
141 E. Main St., Royse City
Expected to open in June, the wonderfully named ThirstyBro Brewing will be the first microbrewery in Royse City. Having received a $25,000 grant from Royse City, Terry Gordon's Thirty Bro Brewing is planning to open with nine beers on tap: Bro-Mance, an American style lager; Licking Dog, a porter; Brother's Keeper IPA; Gettin' Figgy Wit' It, a 5.1 percent ABV pale ale; a fruity pale ale called Not My Hobby; and more, including another IPA and a breakfast stout. Gordon spent years working in the beverage industry before finally opening his dream business. A large portion of the grant Gordon received is being used to renovate the historic building where Thirsty Bro will operate.
Armadillo Ale Works
221 S. Bell Ave., Denton
As the Observer reported last August, Armadillo Ale Works will return this year after being off the market since early 2015. Having partnered with North Texas Brewing Co., Armadillo expects to have their beers back on the market this summer, with a grand opening of their new location and taproom in Denton this fall. Upon launching this summer, Armadillo will have a new beer: Honey Please, a blonde ale made with Texas wildflower honey and mesquite beans. For those who are new to the Dallas craft beer scene, Armadillo Ale Works was best known for their Quakertown Stout, Greenbelt Farmhouse Ale and their limited releases, including a watermelon kolsch that has been sorely missed.
Steam Theory Brewing Co.
Lower Greenville, Dallas
Expected to open in the fall as a brewpub at an undisclosed Lower Greenville address, Steam Theory Brewing Co. is currently operating as a catering business. While information has been limited, Steam Theory, owned by Chuck Homola and Jonathan Barrows, is hoping to have as many as 24 house brews, according to their website. Indications are that brewmaster Kirk Roberts will rotate beers based on the season. Steam Theory will also serve food from executive chef Michael Weinstein.
Denton County Brewing Co.
200 E. McKinney St., Denton
North Texas graduate Seth Morgan, who's been home brewing for the last 11 years, is set to open Denton's second brewery after spending the last two years getting the ball rolling. Last year, the Denton City Council changed zoning laws, allowing breweries to open near the downtown area. Morgan will open Denton County Brewing Co. just across from City Hall. Expected to open in December, this spot is licensed as a brewpub.
Hemisphere Brewing Co.
2015 Kristy Lane, Rockwall
Hemisphere Brewing Co., which was originally supposed to open in Richardson, will open later this year in Rockwall, where founders Ruben Garcia and Brandon Mullins are from. Owners are looking at a late summer opening, but nothing is official until they receive their TABC licenses. Hemisphere's location will put them just a two minute walk from Woodcreek Brewing Co.
3840 Main St., Rowlett
Founded by chef Kevin Lefere and home brewer Ryan Pyle, Bankhead Brewing Co., which gets its name from the historic Bankhead Highway, is a brewpub and restaurant slated to open sometime this summer. While no dates have been announced, Bankhead is expected to open for a long soft opening before the official grand open. The brewpub will be located right in the heart of Rowlett, on Main Street.
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