Last September, which seems like a lifetime ago, things were looking good for the craft beer industry in Dallas. Selling beer to-go was finally legal, and beer drinkers were ready for it.
In the past 10 years, the number of brewers in North Texas has grown from two to around 70. Clearing the long-standing legal obstacle was great news for many of them. But the pandemic has brought a new and daunting series of hurdles to clear in the last few months.
Local brewery owners have had to make decisions, sometimes on the fly, about how to safely reopen taprooms, whether to produce new beers when customers are staying home, what to do when mandated to close on short notice, how to set up online ordering and, most recently, how to figure out if it’s legal to reopen.
Even under normal circumstances, running a brewery and bringing new beers to market is a chain of collaboration with many moving parts. In the rapidly changing conditions brought on by a pandemic, breweries depend on their relationships with customers, vendors and suppliers to an even greater degree.
If you’re a supporter of the local beer industry in Dallas, you might appreciate a glimpse of some of the good things that come from those relationships. When given a chance to recognize those who’ve made difficult circumstances a little easier to navigate, owners and staff from these Dallas breweries were eager to give a shout out.
3 Nations Brewing1033 East Vandergriff Drive, Carrollton
“3 Nations Brewing would like to recognize owner John Culp and the entire Beer Dudes team for their customer service during these challenging months,” says John Royer, a business manager and investor of 3 Nations. “We have called on their expertise to help us with needed equipment, find cans that are in short supply and continuously offer alternative solutions to supplier challenges.”
Named the best local brewery in the Observer’s Best of Dallas 2019, Gavin Secchi’s 3 Nations Brewing has recently launched new beers, added food service and made plans to reopen its beer garden and taproom.
Open for curbside pickup noon to 8 p.m. daily with online ordering available.
Celestial Beerworks2530 Butler St. (Medical District)
“I want to shoutout Rudy of the local Americana and Taco pop-up Roodie’s Shack. He has wowed us throughout this tough time in so many ways,” says Molly Reynolds, owner and creative director of Celestial Beerworks. “He’s not only been overly careful about his procedures with the pandemic going on, shutting down his business at each moment there could be possible danger of contact, but going above and beyond to help the community. He has teamed with some amazing local food bloggers to bring alive his ‘Roodie’s Giveback Boxes’ that provide toiletries and items for those in need. He has promoted other businesses in this time on his social media and has gone into these places to provide what he calls a ‘Grub Giveback,’ providing their staffs with food. We have been blown away at so many of the people that have opened their hearts in this time of stress and turmoil, and he has been at the top of that list.”
Celestial's Facebook page includes announcements of an upcoming virtual paint party and the release of several new beers. Two of the recent releases are collaborations with Dallas' Four Corners Brewing Company and B52 Brewing Company in Conroe.
Open for beer to-go 2 to 7 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and noon to 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday with online ordering available.
Community Beer Company1530 Inspiration Drive, Suite 200 (Design District)
“Community Beer Company would like to recognize our production team,” says founder Kevin Carr. “When the pandemic hit, we had to prepare for worst-case financial scenarios. Part of this was asking our team to help us brace for an uncertain future while making some personal sacrifices. Fortunately, consumers continued drinking beer. Lots of it. In the worst times of uncertainty, our team showed up every day, put forth Herculean efforts to continue cranking out high volumes of packaged beer (which is more labor intensive) and helped us meet demand for our brews. Without our team’s effort, we would not have been able to weather the storm — and continue to do so — while the world waits for this pandemic subside.”
In recent weeks, the brewery has released new beers and added a “Be Hoppy” T-shirt to its merchandise line-up.
Open for curbside beer to-go noon to 7p.m. daily with online ordering available.
Hemisphere Brewing Company2015 Kristy Lane, Rockwall
“First of all, I personally want to thank the Rockwall community, as well as all of our loyal customers and craft beer lovers that come from far and wide, who have been there through the thick and thin, and continue to support us during these extraordinary times,” says Ruben Garcia, owner and founder of Hemisphere Brewing Company. “Without that support, our doors would be [permanently] closed. Second, we would not be advancing our brewery in the right direction if it was not for our loyal, awesome, hardworking staff — not only are they my teammates in this adventure, they are my brewery family. Sincerely, thank you all for loving and supporting our craft.”
Hemisphere Brewing, which opened in March 2017 in Rockwall, is temporarily closed, but Garcia is using the downtime to remodel and finalize the installation of a 20-barrel brewhouse. New recipes are in development, as well.
UPDATE: As of Monday, morning, Hemisphere has reopened for beer-to-go 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday and noon to 7 p.m. Saturday.
ODD Muse Brewing Company4488 Spring Valley Road, Farmers Branch
"We want to give a super special shoutout to our awesome neighbors, Flexpress digital, for helping us get through this roller coaster of a time,” says owner Bobby Diaz. “We've had to quickly pivot our business model, and they've been Johnny-on-the-spot with helping us get all of the new signage (indoor and outdoor), stickers, protective barriers for our bar tops and countless other items this ‘new normal’ has required of us. Thanks for being there to help us through this crazy time.”
ODD Muse recently released its beer for the Black is Beautiful collaborative initiative. The beer is a smooth 9.6% ABV coffee stout fermented over coffee from Addison Coffee Roasters. Sales of the beer support Dallas Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation.
Open for curbside beer to-go noon to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; noon to 6 p.m. Saturday; 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday with online ordering available.