For those new to beer, new to Dallas, or both, this guide will give you a tour of five beers from five North Texas breweries to help you feel comfortable drinking what Dallas-Fort Worth’s beer scene has to offer.
Legal Draft Beer Company’s “Hung Jury Hefeweizen” provides a light appetizer to begin your exploration of beer’s variety of flavors with its crisp and overly citrusy taste. This Arlington-based brewery serves up a tart hefeweizen that feels tingly on the tongue and almost like it’s not a beer at all, except for its yeasty undertone hidden beneath the coriander and orange peel. These combined flavors prevent it from having the heaviness that is typical of beer and make it taste more like carbonated water saturated with orange juice. Although beer drinkers may sometimes abhor the hefeweizen’s lack of common beer qualities, those who like margaritas or sweet wines might find it enjoyable enough to move on to a more complex beer style.
This next beer is only a slight step up from hefeweizen in terms of bitterness, but it does provide some of beer’s yeasty taste that was lacking in the former. Deep Ellum Brewing Company’s “Dallas Blonde” is easily the most popular beer on this list, likely due to the light citrusy notes that make it an easy ale to sip on. “Dallas Blonde” can be enjoyable for both new and seasoned beer lovers, which makes it a solid choice no matter how far along you are in your beer journey.
If you’re new to beer, you might want to wait at least a week after trying the first two multiple times to try Texas Ale Project’s amber ale. This Dallas beer is perfect for Texas summers with its all-too-appropriate name of “Fire Ant Funeral,” and it’s true — if a fire ant took one drink of this, it would probably be just as effective as an insecticide. This beer might be light on the nose, but it leaves behind the citrus flavors of the two previous beers for the much more musty taste of hops.
Unless you have a natural affinity for rich desserts or black coffee, dark lagers might be hard for you to enjoy. If you do have a rich palate though, you should try this Rahr & Sons Brewing Company’s “Ugly Pug Black Lager” immediately since it is full of both flavors. The smell, look, and first taste of this Fort Worth-brewed beer might make you think you’re drinking black coffee, but its slightly sour taste will bring you back on the beer path. This dark lager’s dark chocolate aftertaste gives it an extra rich touch that makes it better for special occasions than everyday drinking.
India Pale Ales are often considered the last frontier when it comes to Texas beers due to their strong taste of hops. Community Beer Company’s “Mosaic IPA” packs a bitter punch that even red wine aficionados might be nervous to try. Everything about this Dallas beer is strong, from its first initial smell to the bitter aftertaste that stays on your tongue long after the bottle empties.
Once you’ve completed this list, congratulations! Beer might not make you a Texan, but it might make you feel like one for a couple of hours, especially after trying the “Mosaic IPA.” Non-beer drinkers might think of Bud Light or Coors when beer comes to mind, but this guide shows that beer is much more complex than that — and we’re just talking about North Texas.