In 2013, Dallas Cemented its Status as a Local-Beer Drinker's Paradise

Categories: Drink This

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Deliciously local beer
I think the change sneaked up on me a bit, the same way a Saint Bernard puppy puts on five pounds every time you take your eyes off it. Think about how much the local beer scene has changed over just the last two years in Dallas. The amount of growth is shocking, especially when you consider that not so long ago, there wasn't a single Dallas brewery to speak of.

Not one.

Michael Peticolas led the charge, opening his namesake brewery in the Design District after wrestling with the city for months over the necessary permits. He then went on to brew award-winning beer that conquered taps at bars all over town.

Deep Ellum, Lakewood, Community and Four Corners followed, and if you're willing to reach outside the loop, Revolver and Firewheel, too (Rahr and Sons, in Fort Worth, has been around for nearly a decade, too early to consider part of this recent movement.)

To me, though, it's not the number of breweries that's impressive; it's what they're accomplishing together. And it has nothing to do with awards or gold medals.

B.P. (Before Peticolas), drinking a local beer, for the most part, meant drinking something brewed in Fort Worth or Austin. The number of bars that participated heavily in these "local" beers was relatively small, consisting mostly of specialty bars that focused heavily on beer. Now the exact opposite is true. It's now harder to find a bar in town that doesn't keep at least one keg home team on tap, and many have several more.

About two weeks ago I was at Alligator Café in Deep Ellum, and while sitting at the bar I noticed a Four Corners Brew on tap. Considering their wine list matches up with the bottom shelf at your favorite grocery store, I think that's worth mentioning. And last week I stopped in at Grub Burger Bar and was seduced by Peticolas' Velvet Hammer, which is interesting because it shows restaurants are hitting the ground running with local beer from the start.

Earlier this month, Bonchon, a national (and interesting) chain restaurant based in New York, announced an initial beer list that included a Community IPA, two beers from Peticolas and two more from Revolver. The news wasn't exceptional because of how drastically our local beer scene has changed.

The shift in how Dallasites get drunk is significant, and it's one that should be celebrated. This city -- that's you, dear reader -- has done an outstanding job supporting local beer.


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18 comments
dallas_paul
dallas_paul

Check your facts, Reitzy. Deep Ellum was open before Peticolas.

ryanlsumner
ryanlsumner

Rahr & Sons should definitely be considered a part of this movement... and they should be considered leading the charge.   

Besides Rahr, Franconia too was before Petticolas... they set up in 2008 and Franconia Wheat was the first local brew besides Rahr on taps all over the city.

That's how movements start... the lone gun... a few years later... a second brave one... an even shorter period and then the rest trickle on in and it explodes from there.  

Discounted both of these brewers, who actually have VERY good programs is kind of a slap in the face to them, don't ya think? 





looptwelve
looptwelve

Wondering how I'm the first one to point out that Alligator Cafe isn't in Deep Ellum and Scott must think that the Free Man Cafe and all other cajun restaurants are all the same.

DallasBrewDude
DallasBrewDude

Scott.  Very good article.  I liked your comment, "Now the exact opposite is true. It's now harder to find a bar in town that doesn't keep at least one keg home team on tap, and many have several more."  I used to heavily favor the few places that had great beers on tap.  Now I find that almost anywhere I go, I find something local and excellent on tap.  It is truly a delight.

yankee011
yankee011

there is some good stuff out there, Lakewood leading the way

History_Police_again
History_Police_again

And if you're going to say "drinking a local beer, for the most part, meant drinking something brewed in Fort Worth or Austin", you should probably include Houston too.  You know, seeing as how Saint Arnold has been around since before everybody.

Mervis_Earl
Mervis_Earl

Glad I got to kick you in the nuts about this a few times over the last couple of years ol' Scott.

rachael.elward
rachael.elward

Velvet Hammer! because it makes you feel soft and warm like wrapped in velvet, but behave like someone who has been recently hit with a hammer - think of Mrs Joe Gargery in Great Expectations - sort of brain damaged with a limited ability to speak. 

History_Police
History_Police

Uhh....Deep Ellum was first (Nov 2011), Peticolas was second (Jan 2012).

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

Revolver Blood and Honey is one of my go to's 

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

Speaking of local beers, has anyone tried Ole Garland, it is derived from an ancient recipe that was formerly called Ye Ole Euless. Anyhoo, it makes you poop, puke and crave Pancho's.......ALL AT THE SAME TIME!  

doofUSA
doofUSA

"paradise" is quite the stretch, but it is moving along nicely.  a different world from ten years ago when I first started drinking craft, micro, etc... whatever we're calling it now

collindougherty1
collindougherty1

@looptwelvealligator cafe just opened a new location on Elm St in Deep Ellum.  Why the rush to correct when you're wrong?

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