It's been about 10 years since the North Texas craft beer scene started to take off. In 2010 there were two lone brewers: Rahr and Sons Brewing in Fort Worth and Franconia in McKinney. Now the area has close to 100 breweries and brewpubs.
Despite our best efforts, we haven't tried each brewery nor every beer at each, but below are some shining examples of what our local craft beer scene has to offer. For this list, we decided to stay close to Dallas — and our first cousin 'burbs — as a way to set a boundary instead of trying to run a full zone coverage from Weatherford to Rockwall. Here are a dozen plus that we find offer an engaging space with good beer and grub to soak it up.
3 Nations Brewing
1033 Vandergriff Drive, Carrollton
3 Nations started in a small warehouse in a dry area of Farmers Branch in 2015, opening a taproom two years later. They quickly outgrew their space and moved to their current location in 2019, which was built in a shed next to a historic grain silo. The family- and pet-friendly brewery has two taprooms, a large indoor beer hall, a second-floor mezzanine, an outdoor biergarten and grill. Their beer is a fresh take on old-world styles, with 16 on tap and a new beer release every Friday. Staples include the Mango Smash IPA, Royal Blood Orange Ale and Haze Wizard NEIPA. Their Biergarten Grill serves burgers, street tacos and favorites cooked up by a long-time food vendor at the State Fair of Texas. Weekly events include bingo, cornhole league, trivia, live music and monthly holiday events, dog rescues, anniversary parties and more.
2530 Butler St. (Medical District)
Celestial opened in 2018, and Founders Matt and Molly Reynolds always dreamed of opening a brewery together where they could combine their love of beer, art, science and space. With an out-of-this-world brewery theme, Celestial lovingly refers to fresh, hop-forward beers as “Space Juice.” They have a medium size taproom with a back patio and are working on a satellite location to increase their production and distribution capacity while freeing up more room in the current taproom. Every month they choose two charities as their “Missions.” Customers receive a token with their beer flights to drop into the charity box of their choice, which results in donations to charities like CASA, In My Shoes, DFW Pug Rescue and Texas Trees Foundation. They partner with 2nd Kitchen to have food delivered straight to the taproom from Maple Landing. Events include weekly trivia and rotating fitness classes, and an annual Adult Science Fair and Best in Show Dog Show.
Community Beer Co.
3110 Commonwealth Drive (Pegasus Park)
Community Beer Co. started out in the Design District in 2013, but after becoming the third-largest independent brewer in Texas, it needed more space for production and visitors alike. They recently debuted their new two-story space, with a full outdoor biergarten and Community Kitchen, a restaurant scheduled to debut next to the taproom by this summer. They’ve been working hard to put together a calendar of events at the new facility, from dog adoptions and fitness classes to live music, pop-up food vendors and special beer tappings. To make up for lost time, they plan to have two anniversary parties this year. Back in 2017, they formed The Community Greater Good charity to raise funds for charitable causes across Texas. Flagship brews include Honey Citrus Blonde, Community Bock and Mosaic IPA, the best-selling independent IPA in DFW.
Four Corners Brewing Co.
1311 S. Ervay St. (Cedars District)
Four Corners Brewing Co. started as a home-brewing hobby in 2004 and moved into its first space, an old mechanic shop in 2012, launching the brand we know today. The Four Corners name was inspired by an intersection in the founder’s neighborhood of Oak Cliff. As the company grew, it opened its current taproom just south of downtown in 2017, which quadrupled the size. In 2018, they were acquired by Constellation brands (Modelo, Corona). They have a full kitchen of taproom comida, featuring street tacos and fried enchilada balls. Weekly events include lotería night, bingo and various activities such as pilates bootcamp. Sip flagships like Local Buzz Honey-Rye Golden Ale and El Chingón IPA on their pet-friendly patio or in their taprooms.
Lakewood Brewing Co.
2302 Executive Drive, Garland
Lakewood Brewing, a family-owned, independent brewery, is coming up on its 10th anniversary in September. To celebrate, they’ve been working on some extensive updates to the taproom and beer garden, as well as a complete makeover outside with artificial turf, shade, cooling fans and expanded entertainment options. They’ve also added an Instagrammable mural on the outside of the building, and will be adding a full kitchen to go along with their 20 beers on tap. They’re most known for their Temptress Imperial Milk Stout, but other staples include Tangerine Queen Wheat and Big-D Double IPA, as well as seasonal and limited releases. They host weekly bingo and special events and tapping parties. Social impact is one of their core values, and they regularly support charities like Spin in the Spectrum, which teaches kids on the autism spectrum to DJ.
Manhattan Project Beer Co.
2215 Sulphur St. (West Dallas)
In 2010, Karl and Misty Sanford collaborated with their friend Jeremy Brodt to create a beer for their wedding. The synergy of the three led them to create Manhattan Beer Project in 2013. Brodt has been brewing for over a decade, using a highly detailed and scientific approach. They have a full kitchen that serves lunch and dinner every day except Sunday afternoons, when they cook up brunch. Menu standouts include Thai fried chicken and a cheeseburger made with grass-fed beef from a local ranch, Happy Hollow Beef. Flagship brews include Necessary Evil Pilsner, Fallout Hefeweizen and Half-Life Hazy IPA. They also have a coffee bar.
Oak Cliff Brewing Co.
1300 S. Polk St., No. 222 (Oak Cliff)
As the revitalization of Oak Cliff and the beer-making revolution caught traction, the heart of Oak Cliff was lacking unique craft beer destinations. That changed in 2018 when Oak Cliff Brewing Co. opened in the historical Tyler Station. Founder and general manager Joel Denton is a third-generation Oak Cliff native. They partner with Oak Cliff Cultural Center for monthly lotería nights and host art markets and yoga sessions. Their core beer lineup consists of Oak Cliff Hefeweizen, Lager, Black Lager and Lee Hazy Oswald Hazy IPA. They also have a Paleta Weisse series, a sour wheat ale that they rotate with different seasonal fruits. You’ll find a food truck in the biergarten four days a week and pop-up tacos in the taproom every Friday and Saturday.
Oak Highlands Brewery
10484 Brockwood Road (Lake Highlands)
Oak Highlands Brewery opened its large taproom in 2015 with the slogan “Beer Above All” in-mind. The brewery has upward of 20 different beers on tap at a time, including taproom exclusives, year-round staples and seasonal brews like the Small Batch Series. They’ve partnered with a variety of local food vendors. Their event lineup is vast with special events like pitmaster workshops, comedy shows, launch parties and weekly events such as "Bingo and Tacos." They wanted to create a family-friendly space where parents feel comfortable bringing kids and are also dog-friendly both in the taproom and on the patio. Every quarter, 10% of the sales of their Charity altruistic ale benefit a different local nonprofit. This quarter, they’re partnering with Second Chance SPCA, which supplies needed medical care, food and shelter to rescue dogs and cats at local municipal shelters.
ODD Muse Brewing Co.
4488 Spring Valley Road, Farmers Branch
ODD Muse opened their taproom and biergarten at the end of 2019 with the philosophy that “beer should be a gateway to community, friendship, inclusion and culture. Beer is meant to be shared and enjoyed with people, any people.” Everyone is welcome in this taproom filled with art from local artists — from the walls to the beer can labels. They strive to incorporate culture and creativity into their brewery. ODD Muse was named after the owner and brewer Bobby Diaz’s two daughters, Olivia and Daniella Diaz. It’s also a nod to the idea that inspiration can come from unconventional and unexpected places. They host a wide variety of events like comedy shows, trivia nights and paint-along sessions with local artists and have rotating local food vendors on site Friday-Sunday.
On Rotation Brewery & Kitchen
7701 Lemmon Ave., No. 200 (Love Field Area)
On Rotation started in Lakewood in 2015 but moved to the building that was once The Braniff Airlines Operations and Maintenance Base at Love Field in 2021. The new aviation-themed space allowed them to increase their small-batch brewing capacity and add a full kitchen that serves gluten-free fried chicken and from-scratch sides. Sip fresh house beers like Jalapeño Saison, rotating IPA series Flocculation of Seagulls and the Café Au Lait Chicory Coffee Milk Stout in their outdoor courtyard. Unique to this brewpub are 40 taps of ever-rotating craft beer, cider and hard seltzer, including a variety of guest brews. They typically release at least one new beer a week and host events like CLEAN SLATE Wednesday with discounts on end-of-the-keg brews, trivia every Tuesday and brunch on Sundays, with other special events throughout the month.
Pegasus City Brewery
1508 Commerce St. (Downtown)
Pegasus City Brewery started out in a production brewery in the Design District in 2017 then opened this second location in the historical Dallas Power and Light building. Here they have a beautiful art deco tap room with a pilot brewing system. A large biergarten on the side is perfect on pleasant days. Their beer can designs are based on points of interest in Dallas, like the art for the porter Sixth Floor, which includes one yellow light in a window of the Book Depository. Their flagship beer, Highpoint, is a light English mild ale ("porch ale") with a toasty malt aroma. The German hefeweizen, Great Hall Hefe, named for the Hall of State in the esplanade at Fair Park, has the trademark banana and cloves with a hint of citrus. They host markets with local vendors at their downtown brewery and often have food trucks in their courtyard. They're close to the AT&T Discovery District, which makes for a full fun day trip.
Peticolas Brewing Co.
1301 Pace St. (Design District)
Many in North Texas may point to Velvet Hammer, an aptly named 9% ABV smooth imperial red ale, as the beer that brought them into the warm folds of the craft beer world. Peticolas opened in 2011, for the first year a one-man show run by owner and founder Micheal Peticolas. Since then they've become a staple of the Dallas beer scene with a portfolio of lauded beers like Great Scot!, a mild, malty and slightly sweet Scottish ale. For a lighter option, try Golden Opportunity, a clean Kolsch perfect for a patio and a burger. They've yet to dive into a large distribution contract; they proudly self-distribute, so you'll only find their beer in North Texas bars, restaurants or at their brewery, which is sort of how we like it. They always seem to have something fun going on, like the Velvet Hammer 5K and a Willie Nelson birthday block party.
Texas Ale Project
1001 North Riverfront Blvd. (Design District)
Texas Ale Project celebrated its seventh anniversary in April with a '70s-themed costume party. Their taproom has a large outdoor biergarten and indoor tables in the same space they brew their beer. They offer a large variety of beers and hard seltzers, named TAPWTR, and frequently release new flavors. Most recently, they released a Blood Orange Mimosa hard seltzer and Mexican IPA. In 2021, they launched Pantera Golden Ale, a collaboration with the legendary Dallas band Pantera. They host Thursday trivia, live music Saturdays and plan various special events throughout the year.
9850 Walnut Hill Lane (Lake Highlands)
Vector opened their family-owned and operated brewpub just over two years ago at the start of COVID-19. It wasn’t easy, but they pivoted their business strategy to offer to-go service and packaged beer. Once they were able to open the taproom to the public, they were ready with eight beer taps, which rotate frequently but often offer staples like Bullpen Classic American Lager, Ballyvaughan Dry Irish-Style Stout and Monospace Single-Hop Hazy IPA. They also offer a full menu of appetizers, salads, pasta and stone deck pizzas, served inside the taproom or their mural-filled biergarten. They hold weekly Monotone Trivia, quarterly drag shows and other special events like Rocky Horror Picture Show screenings and Prom Redux for adults. They partner with the community to host spirit nights and PTA events for local schools, along with partnering with the Lake Highlands Junior Women’s League and local shelters for animal rescue events.