This year, I actually spent my first Thanksgiving with family since moving to Texas. My cousin, Cecily, lives in Fort Worth but I usually am not able to visit for the holiday because of work. So, thanks to pretty much every company being able to impliment WFH (work from home) because of the pandemic, I was finally able to take some time and head up there for the holiday.
But this is not a post about Thanksgiving cooking, football, or any of those traditions. This is about beer, because Cecily is an expert on the DFW (Dallas/Fort Worth) brewery scene and self-proclaimed “Brew Queen of Funky Town.” I can assure you, in my fully biased opinion, she lives up to the name since she always gives me the best brew tours when I visit.
To make a long story short, these breweries and brew pubs are per her recommendation, and she knows what she’s talking about.
First off, this spot is owned and managed by a bad ass girlboss, so you already know I love it. But don’t judge a book by it’s cover when you drive up; It may look quaint and unassuming on the outside, but Funky Picnic certainly lives up to its name. The space inside is cozy and adorable – we brought Luna, my dog, so we sat on the tables outside – but I could definitely see myself curled up with a book in one of the couches on the corner. They have a diverse list of rotating brews, complete with their version of a beer flight which they call “a whole picnic flight,” which is a taste of literally every single beer on their list at any given point. (We did not do this, since it was our first stop of the day!)
This is also a great spot for those who aren’t super into beer, since they have both beer cocktails and traditional cocktails, as well as hard ciders and wine. They also have a full food menu, which comes highly recommended by my cousin. I also noticed on the website that they have a podcast… so I’ll be checking that out shortly and will report back!
False Idol Brewing
This is a newer brewery on the DFW brewery scene, and when Cecily came to visit for our birthdays in October, she brought a few of her favorites and I fell in LOVE. Needless to say, I was super excited to visit the space and I was not at all disappointed. The whole space is an open-air patio, some covered and more “indoor,” and because they were having a bit of a beer release party for their stouts, False Idol was pretty crowded.
I’m not a huge stout fan, but can certainly appreciate them when the temperature drops. I tried a few tastes and they’re strong, but delicious. I’m also a sucker for drinks with cool names, so I loved their creatively titled beers and ended up going with a triple IPA (shocking, right?), the Drop Top Diva and was VERY pleased with my choice.
Hopfusion Ale Works
Spoiler alert: This was not my first time at Hopfusion. Cecily took me here the last time I was visiting since it’s one of her go-to spots, so I knew what to expect and was very excited to head back. They release a version of Zombie Crack (a stout) every Halloween, and I was stoked to try it for the name alone. Again, I’m not usually a stout girl and I believe I described it as “stout AF” initially, but it was a delicious slow sip.
I drank a pint of Smash City (an IPA of course) at the brewery and took home a shit ton of cans, including Zombie Crack. They have a delightful pale ale called Sex Rocket (again, picked it for the name) and I also grabbed two six packs: Feisty Redhead and Feisty Blonde (both blonde ales, so not our usual flavor but a lovely change of pace), which Michelle and I drank while recording our episode on Fuck Bois because that’s just who we are.
Turning Point Beer
Alright, so this is another brewery that I knew what to expect because I’d been before, but it has yet to disappoint. Since I’m a big IPA fan, Turning Point is honestly the perfect spot because they have a solid list of high ABV beers, many of which are delicious IPA’s. They also have a huge selection of beer-to-go, so I created my own variety pack to bring back to Austin including: Vat of Acid (a double IPA), Zombie Break (a unique weisse that reminded me of Hawaii), Queen to Be (another double IPA), and You’ll Never Drink Alone (a perfect pandemic caramel-y session).
As far as atmosphere, I love the sidewalk seating vibe outside, but also appreciate that they don’t mind Luna (or other doggos) sitting inside. The whole area is super spacious, and was even before the pandemic, but it’s also one of the quieter spots we’ve visited.
The Bearded Lady
Alright, so this one isn’t technically a brewery (we’ll call it a pub/restaurant), but we gave it a visit and I decided it’s worth a mention. We hit up The Bearded Lady for brunch, and oh my God, it did not disappoint. The patio area outside is super spacious and the indoor area decor is fun and whimsy!
If I’m not drinking mimosas for brunch, I’m drinking a beermosa, which I can honestly say I’ve only seen exist in Fort Worth. It’s exactly what it sounds like: beer + orange juice, which might sound bizarre but trust me, it will blow your mind. Their food menu has a variety of options, but it was a brisk November afternoon so I went with their grilled cheese and tomato soup… which isn’t usually something I order at a restaurant because when I make it myself, it’s usually better. I can honestly say this grilled cheese gave me a run for my money though (oh yeah, I threw a fried egg and bacon on there too… because duh).
Obviously there are a ton of local breweries that are not on this list of the five spots we visited together. There simply are not enough hours in the day (or even the long weekend) for us to have checked every brewery out, but I checked in with the Brew Queen to see if there were any other spots in the DFW area that we didn’t visit and are still worth mentioning:
What’s On Tap and Bru City (a hidden gem located in an old gas station) are craft beer bars with extensive lists of both local and national beer on tap, so they’re both great spots if you’re short on time but still want a good taste.
We didn’t make it into the Dallas area, but if we had, we would have hit up Vector Brewing, 3 Nations Brewing, ODD Muse Brewing Company, and Manhattan Project. Y’all know I’ll be making a trip back soon to check these bad boys out, and if anyone else has suggestions for places we should try, please leave a suggestion in the comments here or slide into my DM’s.