North Texas Beers: A Guide

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Following North Texas' big win at the Great American Beer Fest, this week's cover story by Lauren Drewes Daniels profiles the rise of the DFW craft brew. To see what kind of growth we're talking about, Lauren's broken down each of the local brewers. Check it out below.

Rahr & Sons Brewing Co.


Est. July 20, 2004

Rahr sometimes uses the tag line "The brand new beer with a 150-year history" as a token to founder Fritz Rahr's German brewer lineage. Rahr is distributed throughout much of Texas and just recently won a silver medal at the 2012 Great American Beer Festival for Iron Thistle. The Fort Worth brewery's full lineup includes five year-rounds and seven seasonal beers. Laid-back brewery tours that resemble community block parties helped arouse a loyal craft beer movement in North Texas.

Franconia Brewing Co.


Est. January 23, 2008

Brewmaster and founder Dennis Wehrmann was born in Nürnberg, Germany. His grandfather was a brewer, as was his mother, who earned a degree as a brewery lab technician. He moved to the States after graduating from brewing school and worked at Two Rows brewpub a few years before casting his own net in McKinney.

Deep Ellum Brewing Co.


Est. July 6, 2011

DEBC is Dallas' largest craft brewery and continues to add tanks and square footage to its warehouse. Founded by a group of avid homebrewers, the brewery nabbed Drew Huerter from St. Louis to be its brewmaster. It offers several year-round beers, seasonal specialties and has recently started limited bottling runs. DEBC can be found at a few liquor stores locally and more than 60 restaurants and bars around DFW.

Peticolas Brewing Co.


Est. August 25, 2011

Michael Peticolas was a fifth-generation Texas trial attorney before he decided to open a brewery. His mom first introduced him to the hobby in the early '90s. Velvet Hammer is his year-round brew, while others rotate based on seasons and customer feedback. Peticolas is strictly a family- and volunteer-run brewery. It won a gold medal for its beer Royal Scandal at the 2012 Great American Beer Festival. Peticolas beer can be found at about 40 bars and restaurants around the area.

Revolver Brewing


Est. October 18, 2011

Revolver recently celebrated the official grand opening of its newly built 6,000-square-foot brewery. The father-and-son team Ron and Rhett Keisler wooed Samuel Adams brewer Grant Wood back to Texas, where he had originally worked in San Antonio for Lone Star Brewing Co. Beers include Blood & Honey, High Brass and Bock. They can be found at The Meddlesome Moth, The Common Table, The Libertine and a few other places.

FireWheel Brewing


Est. April 9, 2012

This small brewery in Rowlett is a one-man operation, all managed by founder, brewer and whatever-the-day-may-demand guy Brad Perkinson. He works a 150-barrel capacity system and has a Texas pale ale and Midnight Ninja (a black ale), which are available at the Ginger Man in Plano, Jack Mac's Swill and Grill, Razzoo's (Firewheel Garland), The Track (Rowlett) and Goodfriends. FireWheel Pumpkin is exclusively at Jack Mac's. Revolver will have an open house November 14 during Dallas Beer Week.

Lakewood Brewing Co.

Est. May 1, 2012


Although president and brewer Wim Bens has spent most of his life in Texas, his beers are often a nod to his birthplace, Belgium. Bens cut his teeth on homebrewing, graduated from the American Brewers Guild program and after an apprenticeship at Rahr & Sons, opened Lakewood this past summer. LBC delivers to 75 bars and restaurants and plans on bottling by the end of 2012.

Cedar Creek Brewery

Est. July 17, 2012

Using mostly repurposed dairy equipment for the 10-barrel system in the brewery, founder Jim Elliot says he hopes to begin canning next March or April. Session beers are the focus and if the hour-long drive to Seven Points is too much, the beer can also be found at The Common Table, Strangeways, The Holy Grail (Plano), Trinity Hall and Goodfriends.

In the Works

Four Corners Brewing Co.

Est. September 19, 2012

Expects to ship its first kegs out by the first week of November. Brewmaster John Sims worked at several brewpubs more than a decade ago during the first craft beer boom in Dallas.

The Independent Ale Works Co.

Est. October 14, 2012

Indy Ale in Krum is the first Denton-area craft brewery. Founders Stefen Windham and David Miller hope their beers will be in Denton bars by mid-November and a brewery expansion should be ready in two months.

Community Beer Co.

No license yet.

Plans to open the 20,000-square-foot brewery in the Design District in November 2012. Jamie Fulton, previously of The Covey in Fort Worth, will be in charge of the brew house.

Reunion Brewing Company

No license yet.

Recently received approval for a zoning request change by the Dallas City Council for a brewery at 1001 N. Riverfront Drive in the Design District. Brent Thompson and Kat Stevens hope to be brewing by summer of 2013.

Noble Rey Brewing Co.

No license yet.

Chris Rigoulot is currently enrolled in the Intensive Science of Brewing and Engineering course through the American Brewers Guild. Works at Peticolas on a volunteer basis. Anticipates opening a Grapevine-based brewery in early 2013.

Martin House Brewing Company

No license yet.

In late September, founders Cody Martin, Anna Martin, David Wedemeier amd Adam Myers signed a lease on a 9,000-square-foot warehouse, which will be home to their future brewery along the Trinity Trails in Fort Worth. Martin House has committed to using cans rather than bottles and hopes to hit the market by February 2013.

903 Brewers

No license yet.

Owner and founders Jeremy and Natalie Roberts signed a lease for a building in Sherman, Texas, this past October and will install brewing equipment in April or May of 2013. They plan to start with three core beers: an English brown ale, a light American coconut ale and a sweet pecan porter. Four seasonal beers will rotate in the line-up.

Grapevine Craft Brewery

No license yet.

Gary Humble and partners expect to break-ground on a new brewery in March of 2013 and hope to be pouring beer by the summer time. They'll take a local approach to both their beer and business plans, tapping into the successful Grapevine wine market. Prior to getting into the craft beer business, Humble was a pastor for 15 years. He got into craft brewing like most other, by outgrowing his home-brew kit.

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