On New Year's Eve, Peticolas Brewing Co. celebrated its fifth anniversary with two blow-out bashes. But this year, the parties were bigger than ever. Peticolas wasn't just celebrating its anniversary — it was celebrating a brand new taproom that's been a long time coming.
With 16 taps flowing, vertical tasting stations set up throughout the brewery, food trucks out front and music from Shotgun Friday (the "beergrass" band fronted by notoriously bearded DFW beer advocate Tony Drewry), Peticolas' two tasting sessions — one at noon and another at 4 p.m. — likely ensured that not everybody in the room made it to midnight.
New taproom aside, this brewery has a lot to celebrate. "When I started ... this was everything," owner Michael Peticolas said of the not-exactly-massive brewing space. "There were only four tanks." Next door to Peticolas was a photo studio that sold "mass-produced art for hotels," Peticolas said. From day one, he had his eye on that space. "When I zoned this place for a brewery, I was figuring one day they're gonna leave," he says. And as soon as they did, Peticolas, a lawyer, snatched up the space as fast as he could.
For the first year, Peticolas was on his own, brewing 800 barrels of beer a year all by himself. That's not all he did by himself — he was also Peticolas' lone brewery rep, salesman and distributor. After the brewery turned 1, he started to offer tours for only four hours a month. For anyone who wanted to see the brewery, those four hours were their only chance. Even as breweries with video game-filled taprooms started springing up all around him, Peticolas wasn't exactly eager to launch his own.
"I didn't want to be open every Saturday, because guess what? I didn't want to be here every Saturday," he says. "For me it's about my family. I'd rather be at home with my family and friends." Considering how often he was already at the brewery, tacking on an extra day to be open to the public just felt like too much.
But then Peticolas began to grow. The brewery won gold at the Great American Beer Festival in its first year, which is no small feat. Their English pale ale Royal Scandal won the award after just two months on the market. Peticolas won at GABF again in their third year, and in 2013 Peticolas was elected to the board of directors of the Texas Craft Brewers Guild. Shortly after, the board elected Peticolas as co-chair of the legislative committee, which has been integral to changing Texas laws that have long hindered craft brewers.
As all of this was happening, Peticolas was quickly becoming a mainstay in the North Dallas beer market. Not many breweries can boast a flagship beer as phenomenal as Velvet Hammer, an imperial red ale, yet five years later, Velvet Hammer continues to be one of the best beers not just in Dallas but in the entire state of Texas. It may not be quite as ubiquitous as Revolver's Blood & Honey, but it's damn near close.
But over the years, customers continued to lament the lack of a taproom for them to visit, sample beers and learn about the brewery. People would randomly show up at the brewery hoping for a peek inside. "People want what they can't have," Peticolas says.
This year, they built out a 2,500-square foot taproom complete with 16 taps, one nitro tap, one cask engine, a second floor with stage and table-top games and an open-air space near the lengthy bar. On New Year's Eve, Peticolas finally unveiled the space at the two tastings. The events sold out weeks in advance, with more than 300 people attending each session.
Now that Peticolas has a staff and a legion of volunteers and fans, he feels prepared to finally run a taproom. "I wanna be the one here to tell people the story," he says. "It's very genuine. The values for this company are the same values for my family: honesty, friendliness and being down to earth."
Those who make the pilgrimage to the bar will be able to taste beers they can't get anywhere else. The taproom officially opens with a party on Thursday, Jan. 12, after which the bar will be open from 4 to 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, with plans to potentially expand hours later on down the road. More changes are in the works, Peticolas says, but he's in no rush.
"I definitely have some aces up my sleeve, but for now I'm gonna bask in the fact that I've opened my own taproom," he says.
Peticolas has been smart about his brewery's growth, and that's more important than ever. With more than a dozen new breweries opening in DFW every year, the market is getting saturated — and breweries are feeling the pinch. There's a bubble waiting to burst, he says, but Peticolas built that expectation into his business model.
"It's a volatile time," he says. "It's a storm that I've seen coming for a while. A lot of my fellow brewers have not — they just thought explosive growth would continue in perpetuity."
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Peticolas is so prepared for market volatility that he "almost welcomes" the bubble's inevitable burst.
"I think inferior beer is very harmful to all of us," he says. "And I think the cream rises to the top."
Peticolas is definitely an example of the cream in Dallas' beer crop — and with this new taproom, they've cemented their position as a must-see destination for Texas beer fans.
Peticolas Brewing Company, 2026 Farrington St.