Wednesday, October 14, 2015

where to drink beer in dallas - dallas essentials

Comprehensive Guide to Drinking Craft Beer in Dallas

So many people ask the question, 'Where should I go to drink in Dallas? What's a good bottle shop?' Well, Dallas is huge. When people asked me in Austin where to go, it was easy, stay central, that's where everything is at. Dallas is different being that it's so spread out with many neighborhoods that are embracing the beer scene here.

Well here you go, the most comprehensive list ever conceived by a human...ever. These are the places I either frequent myself or have a lot of respect for (even if I haven't gotten a chance to visit) and I have broken it down by area. And you can trust me 100%, I am a beer blogger after all.

*Intentionally leaving out Fort Worth since it ain't my hood. For that, you'll have to refer to Josh Wright over at Fort Worth Brew Scene*

*In terms of bottle shops, there are Spec's, Total Wines and Whole Foods scattered all around. Truly the best is Total Wine and Whole Foods off 75 and Park Lane though, those have a great selection.*

*Remember, this list is comprised of personal recommendations. I may have left off some popular spots that I either have not visited, gotten bad service at, or just don't like.*

North Oak Cliff
First, let's do my hood, North Oak Cliff. This area has blossomed in just the two years I've lived here and the authenticity behind it is just amazing. Just as amazing is its food and drink scene.

Small Brewpub
This small space is cranking out some of the best beer and food you can find in Dallas. The beer is very small batch so you can expect to find something different on tap each time you go. One staple is the Black Pepper Pils, which is more of a pale ale than a pils but is delicious nonetheless.

When to go: Anytime, prices here are reasonable and will not break the bank
What to eat: Anything, seriously. But definitely get the charcuterie board

While I'm not a big fan of the pizza itself (this is totally subjective since it's quite popular, the crust is too much like a cracker), the bar boasts an impressive beer selection (not to mention one of the first bars to truly embrace the Dallas beer scene).

When to go: Thursday, keep the glass pint night

Ten Bells Tavern
This is a total dive bar in the heart of Bishop Arts, but the bar food does not reflect the exterior. Honestly, this place has some of the best bar bites you can find in Dallas.

When to go: Tuesday, $10 gets you an app and draft beer

If you're looking for a sports bar with good food and an even better beer selection, PhD is your spot.

When to go: Thursday, keep the glass pint night, all pints $4

LUCK Tap Wall
LUCK Tap Wall

If you haven't already been to LUCK, then stop reading and go. The pastrami is some of the best in town, and all 40 taps are North Texas made. Oh, and all beer is $5, so no surprises!

When to go: Tuesday, keep the glass pint night
What to eat: Pastrami, bierocks

Four Corners Brewing
Four Corners Brewing

Four Corners Brewing
After your pint and pastrami at LUCK, go across the street to Four Corners for another pint of fresh beer.

What to drink: Local Buzz, El Chingon IPA, any small batch on tap
Monday-Friday from 5-10pm
Saturday from 12-10pm
Sunday from 2-8pm

Available in draft and cans

Bishop Cider Co.
This tiny space offers up some pretty good house made cider, if you're into that sort of thing.

What to drink: Suicider, Cinnamango
Friday from 6pm-12am-ish
Saturday from 12pm - 12am-ish
Sunday from 12pm-ish-6pm

Available in draft only, can find around town on tap as well

North Oak Cliff Beer & Wine
This family owned corner store has a great craft beer bottle selection to-go

Design District
...Or as I like to call it now, the Brewery District.

Meddlesome Moth
This gastropub boasts an impressive bottle and draught list and an even better food menu.

What to eat: Burger, Diablo Mussels

Rodeo Goat
Fort Worth native burger joint Rodeo Goat ventured over to Dallas and never looked back. The burgers are big, juicy and messy so if you're looking for elegance, gtfo.

When to go: Happy hour 4-7pm M-F, $1 off drafts
What to eat: Burger (duh), Steaming Pile (especially funny when your mom orders)

Peticolas A Lost Epic
Peticolas A Lost Epic

Peticolas Brewing
Open only from 1-3pm on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month, you don't have much of a choice here but if you're able to, go. For only $10 you get 3 full pours, access to the entire brewery space and lots of games. Did I mention Peticolas makes some damn fine beer?

What to drink: Velvet Hammer, Great Scott!, Sit Down

Available in draft only, can find all over DFW

Texas Ale Project
Fairly new to the Dallas beer scene, Texas Ale Project boasts a huge space built from the ground up. TAP has approachable but well made brews that will satisfy any palate.

What to drink: 50 Ft Jackrabbit IPA, Somethin' Shady Porter
Thursday and Friday from 5-9pm
Saturday from 1-9pm

Available in draft only (cans coming in November)

Noble Rey Brewing
Technically a brewpub, this brewpub/bar has vintage arcade games and guest taps up the wazoo. Brewing operations have begun so you can find 1-2 house beers on tap usually. Bring your growlers, you can fill up here!

What to drink: Any house beers
Wednesday-Thursday from 4-9pm
Friday from 4-10pm
Saturday from 12-10pm

Available in draft only. Crowler/growler fills available on site.

Community Beer Co.
Community has made a name for themselves by providing the North Texas area with some of the finest beer made in Texas. Their ginormous space makes for a great weekend getaway with a dog and family friendly environment.

What to drink: Mosaic IPA, Wit, Legion (RIS)
Thursdays from 5-9pm
Fridays from 5-10pm
Saturdays from 5-10pm (after Open House from 2-5pm)

Available in draft, cans and bottles

Deep Ellum
Dallas' Deep Ellum neighborhood is kind of like that grungy cousin of yours that you wouldn't want to live with but just love hanging out with. Fast becoming the food and drink destination of Dallas, Deep Ellum offers up some of the best options for great weekends and late nights.

Deep Ellum Brewing
Deep Ellum Brewing

Deep Ellum Brewing Co.
Pioneers in the Dallas beer scene, Deep Ellum Brewing made it cool for Dallasites to drink beer. Their wide distribution makes it easy for peeps to enjoy their beer, and their new tap room is always popping on the weekend. Future plans include a souring and distillery program.

What to drink: Deep Ellum IPA, Wealth and Taste

Available in draft and cans.

Braindead Brewing
Braindead Brewing

Braindead Brewing
Braindead Brewing is the brain child of Sam Wynne (ex Flying saucer beer extraorinaire), David Pena (chef extraodinaire) and Drew Huerter (ex head brewer of Deep Ellum). The food is exceptional (bacon and beer flight, coma burger, queso...just to name a few) and the beer is small batch and experimental.

What to drink: Gritz (pre-prohibition lager), dry hopped Wheat
What to eat: Coma burger, queso
When to go: Lunch or brunch where house beers are only $3

Available on site only, growler fills available

Deep Ellum Food Joints
Honestly, Deep Ellum has become such a haven for food and drink, those first two are just two favorites when it comes to beer. But here are a few more where you can find great food and local beer.

Pecan Lodge (best bbq), Luschers (best hot dog/burger), Cane Rosso (best pizza), Brick & Bones (best dive bar/fried chicken), Uncle Uber's (best burger as well)

Uptown/Downtown/East Dallas
This is tricky, to be honest. I may get chastised by some for generalizing this area since there's more to it than this but really, this is for anywhere downtown and just east or north of downtown.

Craft & Growler
Craft & Growler
Craft & Growler
One of the best spots in town to fill your growler.

The Common Table
Very similar to Meddlesome Moth in its approach, this gastropub has a great beer and food selection to boot.

When to go: Monday, 6pm, Pour Man's Dinner. 4 courses, 4 beers, only $29

*Parking is a pain in this area, there is valet (it is Dallas afterall)*

The Social House Uptown
This one surprised me, like a backhand from Ghandi. With 100 taps to choose from and food made from scratch daily, this one is a guarenteed good time.

When to go: Happy Hour, M-F 4-7pm

State & Allen Lounge
Another gastropub, but you might miss this one if you don't know about it. Tucked away in an uptown style neighborhood, State & Allen has great food and a great beer selection. If you luck out you'll be here during one of their many beer dinners they host.

When to go: Tuesdays, 1/2 off drafts

The Ginger Man
The Ginger Man is a Texas institution that started in Houston. You'll feel right at home walking into this one.

When to go: Tuesdays, pint night

Malai Kitchen
This Thai/Vietnamese restaurant is also a brewpub that offers up one delicious ThaIPA. They usually only have three house beers on tap but the focus is more on the food, which is absolutely delicious.

What to drink: ThaIPA
When to go: M-F 4-7pm and all day Sunday Happy Hour, $5 bites and $4 house beer ($3 for their Vietnamese lager)
What to eat: Spicy Crispy Wings, Fried Imperial Rolls

Available on site only, growler fills available

This under-the-radar dive bar serves up one of the best draft/bottle lists in Dallas. It may not look like much, but never judge a book by its cover.

If you find yourself on Lower Greenville area, there are a few hot spots that you need to check out. Don't expect lower prices in this area though. World Beer Co. Bottle Shop, Libertine Bar, Dallas Beer Kitchen, HG Supply Co (especially their rooftop area), Blind Butcher

The Lakewood area is kind of centered around the beautiful white Rock Lake. It's a cool area with a lot of hip young people and an authentic neighborhood feel.

On Rotation
This is a spot that I'm embarassed to say I've yet to check out. However, it's a popular neighborhood spot that is a bar/brewpub hybrid similar to how Draught House in Austin operates. Their operation is small so don't expect too many house beers on at any time, but the ones they do have on are usually experimental and not of the usual style.

What to drink: Cafe au Lait Stout (if on tap)
When to go: Wednesday, clean slate night. Growler prices on certain beers reduced significantly

Available on site only, growler fills available

Lakewood Growler
Lakewood Growler

Lakewood Growler
Purely a growler shop/bar, this joint is very similar to Craft & Growler in how it operates.

Lakewood Brewing
This brewery has gained its popularity by consistently putting out quality beers, especially their Temptress Imperial milk stout series using everything from coffee, mint, raspberries and bourbon barrels.

What to drink: Temptress, Lakewood Lager, Lions Share II or III
Wednesday – Thursday from 3-8pm
Friday from 3-9pm
Saturday from 12-9pm
Sunday from 12-6pm

Available in draft, 12oz and 22oz bottles

Oak Highlands Brewery
Oak Highlands Brewery

Oak Highlands Brewery
Oak Highlands may be new to the scene, but they are already killing it with their quality beers. The Derelict IPA is something magical with its Citra punch and the Freaky Deaky Tripel w/ American hops will sneak up on you like a drunk ninja. Also available in cans already.

What to drink: Derelict IPA, Oktoberfest, Freaky Deaky
Thursday & Friday 4:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.
Individual pints available for purchase.
Saturday 12:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.
Beer tokens available for purchase for $5 each.

Available in draft and cans

North Dallas
Everyone knows this means anything beyond 635. Right?

Lonestar Beverages
This is by far the best local bottle shop in all of Dallas. Sure you might pay a premium compared with Spec's or Total Wine, but you're supporting local and you'll probably find obscure bottles not found anywhere else.

Lonestar Taps & Caps
Lonestar Taps & Caps

Lonestar Taps & Caps
Sister shop to Lonestar Beverages, this growler shop/bar has fast become a cult favorite in North Dallas.

Holy Grail Pub
I haven't eaten here but apparently the food is supposed to be great pub fare. Yes, it looks like a tyical pub in the burbs but I assure you this one is anything but typical.

When to go: M-F 4-7pm Happy Hour, $4 Texas drafts

Rugby House
Situated very close to Holy Grail, this sports bar looks like it wouldn't offer up one of the best local tap lists in Dallas, but it does.

When to go: Wednesday, $3 select Texas beer

Jack Mac's Swill and Grill
Nothing here is swill. Great food, great people and only Texas drafts.

Brass Tap Allen
Over 300 different beers to choose from. That's all you need to know.

When to go: Tuesday, $4 local drafts

The Ginger Man
Probably one of the only spots in the Legacy neighborhood I can stand.

When to go: Monday, pint night

There is also an Addison brewery I haven't gone to visit, but the beer I've had I've been happy with so visit this one if you get a chance.

Bitter Sisters

What to drink: Cat Fight IPA

Saturday from 11am-3pm

Road Trip
If you feel like venturing out of the Big D metropolis and into one of the outlying areas, there area a few breweries worth checking out.

McKinney is a Northeast suburb of Dallas and is a beautiful community with a strong German heritage.

Franconia Brewing
The Live Oak of Dallas, this traditional German brewery puts out some great German brew, especially their popular Dunkel.

What to drink: Wheat, Dunkel, Double IPA

Tours at 11am every Saturday, only $5 entry fee

Available in draft and bottles

TUPPS Brewery
Tupps is new to the beer scene but produces some pretty good beer. Their brewery and tap room is huge with a lot of different games and activities and is great for a crowd looking for a good time.

What to drink: Northbound 75 (roasted pepper pale ale), TUPPS IPA

Wednesday and Thursday from 4-8pm
Friday from 4-10pm
Saturday from 11am-10pm

Available in draft

Denton is like McKinney's sibling, only Northwest. I haven't ventured to Denton yet but plan to in the future, and these are the places I plan on hitting up while I'm there.

Audacity Brew House
You can get Audacity in cans in the metroplex, and I've enjoyed a couple of their beers. However, their tap room typically has beers you can't get elsewhere, so that's one reason to visit their brewery.

What to drink: Sunset Vienna Lager, Nemesis IPA

Tuesday - Thursday: 2-9pm
Friday - Sunday: 11am-10pm
Sunday: 11am-6pm

Available in draft and cans

Armadillo Ale Works
Armadillo Ale Works contract brewed with Deep Ellum for awhile but has now secured a location in downtown Denton. No word on when they expect to open but when they do, expect great things to revolve around their award winning beer.

Oak St. Drafthouse
This place is a Denton institution that seems to be a cult favorite. They're always having great events revolve around craft beer and have a great local following.

When to go: Tuesdays, $3 craft beer night

Other Road Trip Breweries

Revolver Brewing - Granbury, TX
About 1.5 hrs from Dallas, this brewery has become popular to its cult favorite Blood & Honey, an American wheat that gets its unique flavor from blood orange peel and honey. While I haven't made the trek, I've heard the area is beautiful.

What to drink: Blood & Honey, Sidewinder IPA

Open happen every Saturday from 12-3pm

Available in draft and bottles

Cedar Creek Tap Wall
Cedar Creek Tap Wall

Cedar Creek - Seven Points, TX
This joint is about an hour south of Dallas but it's worth the trip. Cedar Creek makes some damn fine beer and the brewery has beer on tap you can only get there. When I went, they had a kick ass saison I wish they would can.

What to drink: Belgian Dubbel, Gone-A Rye, Patio Pounder

Friday from 4-9pm
Saturday from 12-9pm
Sunday from 12-6pm

Available in draft, 12oz and 16oz cans

Rabbit Hole - Justin, TX
The brewery may be based off the wacky Alice in Wonderland fantasy but the beer is anything but. The thing I like about Rabbit Hole is the beers are all so clean.

What to drink: 10/6 English IPA, Centennial Pale Ale, Rapture Brown

Available in draft and now available in cans


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