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Will Arlington Ever Be a Destination for DFW Drinkers? A New Craft Beer Bar Hopes So.

Arlington beer fans can fill their growlers and sip flights at the new On Tap, now open.
Arlington beer fans can fill their growlers and sip flights at the new On Tap, now open.
Karen Gavis

Dozens of craft beer drinkers poured into downtown Arlington last weekend for the grand opening of On Tap, the city’s newest craft beer bar and growler-filling station.

“Arlington didn’t have a brewery scene until pretty much the past year,” says general manager Jaspreet Bains. That’s quickly changing thanks to Division Brewing, Legal Draft Beer Co. and On Tap, where craft beer fans can pick up a six pack or post up at the bar to try new brews.

Bains, who commutes from Carrollton, says On Tap’s centralized location makes it a nice pit stop or destination. The taproom, which is owned by Drew and Ren Campbell, will not serve food or brew their own beer, which differentiates it from most nearby competitors. They offer more than 50 different beers from across the U.S. — everything from Birthday Sasquatch, a stout fused with chocolate fudge and marshmallow, to the Big Bad Baptist, a barrel-aged stout with coffee that’s only released in small batches once per year, according to bartender Richard Call.

On Tap held its soft opening about six weeks ago, and while things are still in the beginning stages, Bains says the bar hopes the 1,200-square-foot space will eventually serve as a rotating gallery for local artists.

Screens behind the bar make it easy to get info about beers currently on tap.
Screens behind the bar make it easy to get info about beers currently on tap.
Karen Gavis

The neighborhood has been welcoming, Bains says, despite the fact that On Tap is kind of hard to find at the moment because of construction and its location on a one-way street.

The bar recently started a monthly songwriter showcase that has included some familiar names in the local beer community, such as Kasey Tackett, the taproom manager at Legal Draft. The idea is to bring three local artists together to play five songs each, Tackett says, and to give the showcase an intimate vibe.

Tackett also hosts Tears for Bears, an open mic night held the first Thursday of each month at Legal Draft. Sipping on a Queen of the Mist, which he described as “a sour sour,” Tackett lamented that Arlington has ample local musicians, but because of limited venues, they often skip town to play gigs in Dallas and Fort Worth.

“Honestly, I don’t think people are like ‘Hey, let’s go to Arlington tonight,’” he says. “That’s not a thing I’ve heard ever in my life.”

But with new businesses like On Tap moving in, Tackett is hoping that will change.

“We are all hopeful,” he says. “We don’t want to have to pay 20 to 30 dollars ... to drive to Fort Worth or Dallas to have a few beers then have to drive home.”

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And On Tap doesn’t want that either.

Bains says the new taproom aims to become a craft beer, art and entertainment destination.

“Right now, it’s literally a blank canvas for us,” she says.

On Tap, 200 N. Mesquite St., Arlington

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