Breweries are hopping on Fort Worth’s Southside

Hop Fusion

Pouring Glory Growler Fill Station and Restaurant

1001 Bryan Ave.

HopFusion Ale Works

220 E. Broadway St.

- FWBP Digital Partners -

Wild Acre Brewing Co.

1734 E. El Paso St.

Collective Brewing Project

112 St. Louis Ave.

- Advertisement -

Rahr Brewing

701 Galveston Ave.

Texans love beer and they are learning to love to brew – and sell – their own.

The Texas craft beer industry grew more than 17 percent in 2013 based on the volume of craft beer produced, according to the Texas Craft Brewers Guild, a nonprofit trade association. But it’s not just the larger craft brewers that are gaining market share. Texas craft brewers producing fewer than 225,000 barrels of beer per year – nearly 100 of them – grew 44 percent.

- Advertisement -

On Fort Worth’s burgeoning Southside, a bit of a craft beer renaissance is taking place, led by 11-year-old Rahr Brewing. There’s plenty of competition, but also cooperation, taking place.

Here are some highlights from the area.

• A portion of the iconic Ranch Style Beans plant will soon be canning beer instead. Wild Acre Brewing Co. is shooting for an early spring opening date (fingers crossed for February or March), according to owner John Pritchett. “We have received our license but are still awaiting city permits to move forward with construction,” he said.

Pritchett managed sales and operations for the vast portfolio of craft beers distributed by Ben E. Keith during his tenure there. “Texas is still a little behind the curve compared to Colorado and California, and there is still plenty of room in the craft beer market,” he said. Head brewer Mike Kraft, who has 20 years of experience, is in the testing stage. Pritchett said, “We are narrowing down our branding and plan to be a commercial brewery … and while there will eventually be a taproom … we won’t be a brew pub.” Wild Acre Brewing intends to launch with a variety of products and styles, on draft and also in cans.

The name Wild Acre has a two-fold meaning. First it is a nod to Fort Worth’s historic Hell’s Half Acre, and Pritchett thinks it also connotes the vastness of Texas’ wide open spaces. Wild Acre’s initial capacity will be between 7,000 and 8,000 barrels. The company is retro-fitting about 20,000 square feet inside one of the former Ranch Style buildings, with plenty of room to expand.

• Owners Kevin and Julia von Ehrenfried and Scott and Joanne Glover introduced Pouring Glory Growler Fill Station and Restaurant to the neighborhood by hosting a sneak peek during Southside Brewfest on Oct. 29, with craft food and beer. They plan to have the doors open before mid-November at 1001 Bryan Ave.

The brand-new hipster tap house went with a steam punk theme. Its logo is a tap with funky gears. The 100-year-old wooden bar was installed with inlaid gears. Exposed vintage brick from the building, dating from the early 1940’s, now mixes with plenty of metal and steel, shiny pipes and Edison light bulbs.

The tap house will have 50 rotating taps and plans to feature local breweries prominently alongside some hard-to-find American and international beers. But that’s not all. The growler filling station will also have trendy kombucha (fermented tea), cold-pressed coffee on draft and craft soda, and eventually Pouring Glory hopes to be one of the first to have wine on tap (pending Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission approval).

Pouring Glory will have seating inside for about 100, and it has even added iron fencing to one parking lot and a backyard patio to accommodate overflow crowds.

Kevin Von Ehrenfried and Scott Glover are both chefs who first worked together at Humperdink’s in Arlington. Von Ehrenfried said, “We are going to lead with food. That will set us apart. We plan to infuse beer and wine in many recipes.” Contrary to some reports, Pouring Glory plans to serve more than barbeque. There will be a variety of tacos including brisket, a buffalo burger, and a maple-glazed carnival meat loaf prepared with pork and buffalo.

For now expect the hours to be 11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily Pouring Glory will be adding a weekend brunch soon and may even introduce a breakfast menu, especially to accommodate nearby hospital employees.

• Just a few blocks north, another new craft brewery is quietly settin up shop. Owners Macy Moore and Matt Hill say HopFusion Ale Works taproom will be opening in April at 220 E. Broadway St. with four staple brews in its signature series line-up.

Feisty Blonde is a honey vanilla blonde ale with aromatic orange blossom honey, a touch of pure Mexican vanilla and raw brown sugar. Hairpin is a hoppy low ABV session ale with dry, crisp taste and depth. Steampipe is a black rye India pale ale with dark roasted barley to complement its citrus backbone. And Fur Slipper is an imperial milk stout that weighs in at 9 percent alcohol, but with silky smooth notes of roasted hazelnut, dark chocolate and toffee.

The 8,500-square-foot layout includes a 30-barrel brew house, a taproom and a raised outdoor patio. The taproom will also offer 15 one-off beers including a few seasonals. “Keg distribution will begin in February, preceding our taproom opening in April. We plan to have cans available by late 2016,” Moore said.

• Both The Collective Brewing Project and Rahr celebrated big anniversaries in late October. The Collective Brewing Project is one year old, and Rahr Brewery now has 11 candles on its cake.

The Collective Brewing Project is riding into its second year, guns a’blazing. It is excited about what Brett Lambicus yeast (Brett for short) is adding to the brews. Co-owner Mike Goldfuss said, “Our Petite Golden Sour will be available in bottles by December, and our Urban Funkhouse Saison, which is barrel-aged and never sees any stainless, will be out in January.”

Also look for Bug Rye’d to be in bottles by January, but only at the brewery. “It is a new twist on our staple Mustache Rye’d, which is also fermented with Brett, then aged in bourbon barrels with sour cherry,” he said. Finally, Gratuitous T- Rex is new on tap. It is a 100-percent Brett-fermented citra fresh hopped IPA. Collective’s inviting taproom at 112 St. Louis Ave. has become a local favorite.

Rahr Brewing just completed its second annual collaboration with Lakewood Brewing Co. of Garland. This year’s DFW collaboration produced a rum oak aged, cherry Baltic porter. It will be available as a 22-ounce bottle in stores and on draft beginning the week of Nov. 2. With an ABV of 9.5 percent, DFW arrives just in time to celebrate North Texas Beer Week, which runs Nov. 6-15.

“We’re excited to collaborate again with our friends at Lakewood on such a unique beer,” said Fritz Rahr, co-founder and CEO of Rahr & Sons. “Our special partnership represents the impressive growth of the North Texas craft brewing community in recent years.”

Last year’s sold-out joint effort between the two brewers was a Belgian-inspired Dubbel Ale. It marked the first time two Texas production breweries collaborated on a beer. This year’s DFW brew makes it a North Texas tradition.

Collaboration beers, although new to North Texas, are popular elsewhere in the United States and abroad. DFW will be brewed at Lakewood’s facility in Garland this year, while last year’s version was brewed at Rahr & Sons in Fort Worth. Belgian native Wim Bens, founder of Lakewood Brewing Co., said, “Rahr and Lakewood have a shared history and a shared love of creating brews that are unique in North Texas. With DFW, we’ve done it again. This collaboration allows us to showcase the best of both breweries in one amazing brew.”