This week, North Texas' latest craft brewery will officially make the transition out of a home brewer's dream journals and into our real-life pint glasses. The Collective Brewing Project, based in Fort Worth but currently renting a temporary space in Haltom City, will release their first two beers on Thursday night at Brewed and again on Friday night at Pour House.
The first two releases are Mustache Rye'd, a porter with a rye malt base and a mix of US and UK hops; and Pale Galaxy, an easy-drinking IPA with a tropical hop character.
Their taproom and brew space is under construction, but by the looks of their Facebook pictures it's shaping up to be a sleek spot. Housed in a 1925 building close to Fort Worth's Near Southside neighborhood (Cowtown's version of the Bishop Arts District), Collective Brewing Project has secured a brewpub license that will allow it to sell growler fills and bottles of their own beer on-site (Thanks, 83rd Texas Legislature!).
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Mike Goldfuss, co-founder and co-owner, has been working toward opening the brewery full-time since last February, when he quit his job in New York City and moved back to North Texas. His partner, Ryan Deyo, is a full-time firefighter as well as head brewer. Ryan and Mike met in high school and were roommates in college, and they've been working to familiarize themselves with the ins and outs of owning a brewery by volunteering for nearby Martin House. "We exchanged free labor for the opportunity to learn as much as we possibly could from them," Mike told me.
Even though they're starting small, it seems like they're planning well for the future. When I called, Mike was in the middle of bottling a series of sours that won't be ready until they move in to their taproom in August. "So far, we're operating as a nano-brewery, meaning we're working with a three-and-a-half-barrel system," he said. "That allows us to do things like sours, which use wild fermentation and can be hard to control on a large scale." The sours series, along with their commitment to the taproom model and their plans to brew sessionable beers, makes me think that Collective Brewing Project is angling to bring to D/FW's craft beer scene what Jester King Brewery brought to Austin -- a stable of well-made brews accented by loads of small-batch one-offs, all centered on the taproom experience.
Now, we should probably actually taste their beers before we expect too much. Make your way out to Fort Worth this week, Dallas beer ambassadors, and check them out. If you don't travel west of Hampton, Mike and Ryan will be in Lewisville at the Best Little Brewfest in Texas later this month. After that? "We're just going to start pouring our beer and see what happens," Mike said.