Dallas is known for its dazzle, but these brand-spankin’-new spots are bringing something beer-cool to town.
Deep Ellum Brewing entered the Dallas beer scene with swagger: Brand and Sales Ninja (actual title) Tait Lifto proudly proclaims that, when it comes to beer, “We do whatever the hell we want,” which tends to work out for drinkers. Case in point, the snappy rye pilsner: It’s the perfect pint for hanging in the brewery’s outdoor beer garden and catching live music on the stage. It’s all in the family for Michael Peticolas, a fifth-generation Texas trial attorney-turned-brewery owner who started Peticolas Brewing with his wife Melissa. He first unveiled Velvet Hammer early this year, a striking 9%-ABV imperial red ale that has become something of a flagship, and is doing an about-face this season with a sessionable, kölsch-inspired summer beer, Golden Opportunity. The Dallas brew scene has lagged behind other cities in Texas, but this year the area will welcome at least eight new breweries. Lakewood Brewing is an Old World-inspired outfit that turns out Texas-Euro brews like Hop Trapp, a year-round Belgian IPA. Also in the works are Four Corners Brewing, Wahoo Brewing, Ugly Rugger, Reunion Brewing, FireWheel, Revolver Brewing and Armadillo Ale Works.
Still a luminary in the beer world, Gingerman was the first spot in town to top 100 offerings; the newest batch of beer bars carry the torch in their own style. The Holy Grail Pub’s dark wooden booths and low lights emote a classic, cozy European tavern feel, but its beer list is growing faster than local kudzu, with 170 selections including 10 Texas drafts. Soak in the sunshine with your best friend (the four-legged one) on the patio at dog-friendly and generally jovial Goodfriend Beer Garden & Burger Bar; choose from 16 drafts, including summer-style Dallas favorite Franconia Wheat. In newly gentrified East Dallas, you’ll find trendsetting Strangeways. The brick walls, industrial exposed ceilings and sweet jams are the opening act for a rock star beer selection: 40 draft selections are premium; you won’t find fillers. Last time in, we spotted Belgian Piraat on tap.
Sleek spots like Meddlesome Moth and The Common Table were among the first to plate gourmet eats alongside serious craft brew in Dallas; this year, a handful of up-and-comers are also stirring the pot. There are 40 diverse beers on tap at casually cool D-town newbie Union Bear, but that wasn’t quite enough (side note: its sister spot is edgy and equally beer-forward Eno’s Pizza in Oak Cliff). Now, they’ve gone and added a nanobrewery. This new “plaything” will churn out beer as eclectic as our favorite dish, Honey Pig Pizza made with fresh mozzarella, salami, thyme oil and honey. The recently opened Sundown at Granada is groovy (think: funky light fixtures and nookish hangout spots); after catching a show at the historic Granada Theater next door, music fans savor Chef Patrick Stark’s delectable farm-to-table cuisine. Carnivores and veggie-vores leave sated: Grass-fed beef chili and free-range chicken are done up as thoughtfully as vast offerings of vegan and vegetarian dishes. The eight taps, like the food, are locally focused; 60-plus bottles span the globe.