Dallas/Fort Worth

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Last update: April 2015

The metroplex is really big meaning having a car is near essential, though some places here are accessible via light rail/public transport.

Breweries/Brewpubs

Must-visit

  • Peticolas Brewing Lawyer-turned brewer making a diverse yet stellar lineup of beer. Available either only on draft or at the brewery.

    Notable beers: Velvet Hammer, Royal Scandal, Great Scot, Wintervention, Sit Down or I'll Sit You Down

    Tours/tastings: First and third Saturdays

  • Lakewood Brewing Company: Owner/brewmaster was born in Belgium and the influence shows in the beer. They have a taproom as of Spring 2015! FYI they are not actually located in Lakewood, but who cares really.

    Notable beers: Lakewood Lager, Hop Trapp, Temptress (and all of it's iterations- especially Bourbon Barrel, French Quarter, Raspberry etc)

    Tours/tastings: Wednesday night and Saturday morning. None of their beers are sessionable, so don't expect to go through all your tokens.

  • Community Beer Company They have a fancypants taproom. Brewmaster is formerly from The Covey, which was once the only brewpub in the metroplex.

    Notable beers: Mosaic IPA, Witbier, Ascension Coffee Porter, Legion, BA'd Legion

  • Rahr Brewing Been around since 2004 and they are one of the pioneering craft breweries in the metroplex. Owner/founder has a German background, but styles are starting to branch out.

    Notable beers: Bourbon Barrel Winter Warmer, Snowmageddon Oatmeal Stout. Whatever Fritz happens to be pouring on Wednesday night.

    Tours/tastings: Wednesday night and Saturday morning. Strongly advise going to the Wednesday tours since that's when Fritz will bring out "experimental"/test batches.

Brewpubs

  • Braindead Brewing The first brewpub in Dallas, though they haven't actually made their own beer yet... Brewmaster was formerly from Deep Ellum. Good food, small but well-curated tap selection, and extremely OCD about cleaning draft lines. Convenient location in Deep Ellum, easily accessible via light rail.
  • Zio Carlo Finally making their own beer though they're rebranding???

If you have time

Others (aka I don't know much about them/haven't been)

  • 903 Brewing
  • Martin House
  • Texas Ale Project
  • Collective Brewing Project
  • Nine Band Brewing
  • Shannon Brewing Company
  • Bearded Eel Craft Brewery
  • Panther Island Brewing Company
  • Grapevine Craft Brewery

Please don't go to or drink

  • Deep Ellum Brewing Company Can't think of a positive thing to say about them. Inconsistent and pretty much only cares about marketing.
  • Rabbit Hole Brewery is located very far away from the city center and low quality product, don't waste your time.
  • Small Brewpub

One last link if you happen to want more places to try that aren't here

Bars

Must-visit

  • The Common Table Laid-back bar that has become a local institution for craft beer. Must-stop here if in Dallas. Small, but finely curated tap list that rotates frequently. One of the only bars in town that offers zero BMC/macro beer of any kind (despite their location smack in the middle where $30k millionaires lurk). Excellent value since most beers have the option of a small/large format glass, minus most Belgian taps. Beer knowledge of bar staff is top notch, and they are good about not being intimidating if you are new to craft. YMMV on service otherwise since it can be spotty if you do not sit at the bar. Can be extremely loud/crowded during events or weekends. Food is a little more upscale than pub grupb, but reasonably priced. Valet for ease, but it's possible to find street parking nearby.
  • Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House Consistently solid taps with sometimes amazing beer events. For the most part, the taps tend to skew local with 5-6 rotators. Very reasonable prices for pours, which makes sense given the location near White Rock Lake/East Dallas. Casual laid back vibe. Food is mostly burgers and pub-type fare.
  • Also see bottle shops with on-premise.

Fort Worth

  • The Flying Saucer This particular location is run very well and is a good stop if you're in downtown FW, ask for Noah if he's around.

Go down Magnolia and hit these places:

  • Brewed Coffee shop and beer bar all in one. They fill growlers too.
  • Live Oak Bar that's also a music venue. No cover required to eat or drink and a solid tap list.
  • Zio Carlo

Not bad, could do better

  • LUCK All local only taps! Food isn't very good though.
  • Meddlesome Moth The upscale brother of the Flying Saucer. They were the first "destination" beer bar to open in Dallas, but local opinions are divisive. Prices tend to be higher than other bars, and some may feel you are paying for the "seen to be seen" kind of vibe. More upscale and some bartenders can come off pretentious. Can be extremely loud/crowded during events or weekends. Valet for ease, but it's possible to find street parking nearby.
  • The Libertine Solid neighborhood bar in Lower Greenville. One of the first places to offer both good food and beer in the same place. Tap selection is good, but better places have opened up. Sometimes gets something noteworthy/interesting.
  • Vickery Park Two locations: Knox-Henderson and Downtown Plano. Similar to The Libertine; good food and reliably good selection. Sometimes gets something noteworthy/interesting, but it's not hard to find better.
  • LARK on the Park In downtown Dallas and not feeling like cabbing? Walk over to this upscale restaurant across the street from Klyde Warren Park (that newfangled park they built on top of a highway). Owned by the same people as the Moth and the Saucers. Upscale atmosphere, beer selection not quite on par with Moth, but better than any Saucer. Pricy food.
  • Strangeways They tend to get obscure stuff from Mikkeller if you're into that as well as other foreign taps. The vibe is ... eclectic would be the best word to use. Warning: bartenders will NOT pour samples of rarer/more limited handles.

I am out in some suburb please help

  • Holy Grail Pub So you're up in the northern suburbs (Plano/Frisco) but not quite in Little Elm. Small, but always changing draft list that tends to be high quality. This is the best place to grab a beer if you're confined to Plano or Frisco (don't bother with the G-man there). Chef-driven menu, they actually have pretty good local/seasonal food.
  • Jack Mac's Must-stop if you're in North Dallas. All Texas beer selection, higher quality food than pub grub.
  • Oak Street Drafthouse and East Side If you are reading this, you're even further north. You're probably in Denton and wondering where you can have a beer. These are two bars owned by the same people, and they are about a block from each other. Oak Street's building is an old house turned into a bar. No loud music/tv's, and extremely large outdoor area. Roughly 70+ beers on tap (48 inside, and there is a patio bar outside). Minimum of 24 tap handles of beers brewed in Texas. They do not serve food, but you're within walking distance of a ton of other places to eat. No info on East Side (haven't been)
  • FM Smokehouse Also owned by Holy Grail Pub. The only place in Irving/Las Colinas that has a good tap selection. Terrible beer knowledge. Order the chicken fried ribeye.
  • Mellow Mushroom They have a location at Southlake. I'd pick this place over the Gingerman if I wanted to have a beer and I was out there.

Last resort

  • World of Beer If you've been to one, well you should know what to expect. Think Yard House
  • Flying Saucer Chain of beer bars with locations across the country. These were once among the only bars to pour craft in the metroplex, but times have changed, and they're no longer among the top tier of beer bars in the area. Three area locations: the original one in Addison, Fort Worth, Rockwall ("the lake"). Big taplists of everything you've probably already had. Chances are, you'll see better handles elsewhere. Low prices for beer.
  • Gingerman See the Flying Saucer. Locations in Uptown Dallas, Southlake, Fort Worth, and the Shops at Legacy. A little more likely to get something interesting on tap however.

Bottle Shops

Must-stop

  • Lone Star Beverages Small, family-run store with an excellent selection. Owned by father-son combo (Sam and Rick) who have strong beer knowledge. Consistently gets rare/limited releases from TX/national craft. Beer in stock tends to rotate very fast here.
  • Hall's Grocery Despite the name, they are not actually a grocery, and they are in fact, located in a Valero gas station off 121 and Glade. Another store in the area known for getting limited releases. Fern is the beer guy and he knows his stuff. He will go above and beyond for you if you're looking for something in particular, because chances are Hall's probably has it while all the other stores are out of stock.

Second Tier

  • Whole Foods (see bottle shops with on-premise/growlers)
  • Spec's Big warehousey liquor store chain based out of Houston that has started to expand into Dallas. Think Walmart but for beer.
  • Total Wine (see Spec's)
  • S&K Beverage
  • Kegs and Barrels

Bottle Shops with on-premise/growler fills

These get a special section since they can fill growlers! Have a pint while you are shopping!!! Can nearly guarantee any of these places will have at least one DFW-based brewery on tap.

  • Craft & Growler If you absolutely need a growler of something local, chances are they'll have it here. Easily accessible via light rail; located across the street from Fair Park. Affordable build your own flights. (CO2 purge + bottom fill)
  • Lakewood Growler Another place to get growler fills (CO2 purge + bottom fill)
  • Lone Star Taps and Caps Owned by the same folks as Lone Star Beverages. It's the only place in town that does crowlers! (CO2 purge + bottom fill)
  • Whole Foods Multiple locations: Park Lane (this has the biggest draft list and beer cooler), Lakewood, Highland Park (aka Lomo Alto), Forest/Preston, Addison, Coleyville, and Highland Village. (bottom fill)
  • World Beer Company/The Bottle Shop Shop located in Lower Greenville. Gets limited releases on tap as well. (bottom fill)

I have one day...

Key thing here is to be specific about your location and methods of transportation. The metroplex is huge; DFW Airport covers ground larger than all of of Manhattan! The answer truly depends on where you are and how far you are able to go.

The short answers to if I only had time to stop at one place... (I am assuming you are within city center with a car)

  • Brewery: Peticolas, Lakewood, or Community (in that order)
  • Bar: The Common Table
  • Shop: Lone Star Beverages (tell Rick that air sent you) or Hall's (tell Fern that air sent you).
  • Need a growler: Craft and Growler or Lakewood Growler