A go getter maybe I’m not
I’m not known for doin’ a lot
But I do my best work when the weather’s hot
I’m pretty good at drinkin’ beer
As with sports, there are a few different types of beer drinkers. The most prevalent type, from my experience, is the sort who drink beer to have something to drink that gets them buzzed. Beer is milder in flavor than hard liquor or wine, and there is more of it per serving in terms of fluid ounces. In other words, some people drink beer just to drink something. No shame there. They enjoy the taste, and it’s not absurdly expensive, unless you’re at a sporting event.
Then there are the snobs. These would-be cicerones are the sort who, when you say, “Oh, I don’t like beer,” respond with an aggressive, “Oh, you just haven’t had the right kind of beer yet. What do you normally drink?” They then proceed to Sherlock your palate, no matter how insistent you are that you simply prefer other drinks. Usually it is easiest to either give in and promise to try something later, or else to try something at the time and say, “Oh, that’s not too bad.” Whatever shuts them up.
As for me, I am—and truly, you had no idea I was going to wind up here, did you?—in the middle, a shining beacon of the Aristotelian grain-based midpoint, asitwere. My taste is balanced, self-aware, and just sublime. Really, how lucky for you, reading this!
An old friend of mine once described drinking as a punch-card everyone gets for life. Some people punch all their chads early—drinking beer also does tend to make you want to punch people named Chad later, too—and others apportion them over a longer period.
My philosophy with beer aligns with that description. In a pinch, I’ll drink almost anything. Most beer is good! But put me in a situation where I have choices—at, say, Craft and Growler—and I’m going to be a bit more discerning. Especially as someone who generally moderates their beer intake in order to justify periodic indulgence, I take seriously each beer that I consume. Not so I can be insufferable at parties, but in order to avoid ignorantly missing out on better beer! See, it’s really just about being greedy. But with a, like, fancy Epicurean justification underlying it. Did you notice the word “philosophy” up there, just wondering, okay good.
One final thing, before I talk about a couple of the breweries and beers I’ve come to enjoy in Dallas. If you go to a brewery, you really should try to order a flight, if they aren’t too busy. Not only will this allow you to sample multiple things for a reasonable price—usually something like four or five 4oz pours for around ten bucks—but it also allows you to do so without getting so plastered that it all starts tasting the same. Find what you like, then you can order a full pour the next time, or even buy some to-go, since that is, uh, sort of the only option right now. Stupid virus.
Okay. Here, without further ado, are two of the breweries in Dallas I like. Feel free to add one of your own in the comments down below! Just know that mine are up higher on the page, which means more. Just wanted to be clear about that. My opinion is more important, because I wrote it first. That’s just math, sorry.
Pegasus City, founded in 2015, is a unique sort of space in that they are an avowed malt-forward brewery. What that means in practice is that they don’t serve IPAs or “bombs” on the regular. They instead brew a wide array of ales and lagers that are, as we say, “high in binkadrility.” This is beer that you will want to keep drinking.
That’s not to say that they’re uninteresting, though—far from it. One of their beers that has stuck with me since my first visit is their imperial pilsner (yes, really), The Ambassador.
Oh, that’s another neat thing about Pegasus: all their beer is named after local landmarks of some sort. such as their Sixth Floor easy porter and their Great Hall hefe. So while their brewing style is a bit more old-world (and some of their brewers do hail from across the pond), I’ve found myself being newly enchanted with each visit.
One of the cooler experiences I had here was on my first visit, when the fellow pouring my first drink promised to buy me a second drink if I could beat one of the other brewers at a game of ping-pong. I won’t tell any tales out of school here, but let’s just say I know when their monthly ping-pong tournaments are by heart now. Also, I won because I am the best at everything I have ever done, also I am the most humble, I have the best humility, honestly it’s almost embarrassing how humble I am and frankly you should be more grateful that you get to read this, and that I am not obligated to talk about any further games I may have lost after winning an initial contest, no sir, not obligated at all.
Also, you can find their beer out and about at places like Goody Goody or Total Wine. So, even if I’ll have to hold off on dominating another round of ping-pong at the taproom for the time being, I can still find their excellent stuff to tide me over, and so can you.
Go-to beer: Texikaner Black Lager
Equivalent Stars player: Alex Radulov
Why: Like Radulov, black lagers are not always a coach’s first choice. Most veteran beer drinkers (and coaches) tend to go for the safer stylings of a light lager (think Molson or Bud Light), but there just isn’t anything like a roasty, dark lager with the crisp finish of its more well-known cousins. This beer will always end up getting the job done, even if it does it in some off-putting ways from time to time. And you’ll usually be glad you put up with its differences.
This brewery is technically in Bedford, but in all honesty, it’s my favorite brewery in DFW. Not only are they the only reliable source of consistently high-quality sour beer since the untimely closure of The Collective in January (RIP)—and say what you will about Martin House, but they are more of a shock-and-awe brewery that, while extremely diverse, can’t get out of their own way at times. Actually, that’s a good description for this place: a better, more focused Martin House. Is this too long of a thought to be enclosed within em dashes at this point? Well, who’s to say—but Turning Point is also a lovely sort of space in general, replete with all the “I tell you what, if my friends and I started a brewery, we’d...” trappings you would expect, like tons of giant picnic tables that encourage conversation instead of small tables with cloistered beer geeks furiously filling out their Untappd page. The racks of barrels and free arcade games near the restrooms in back also add a nice touch.
And if that last monstrosity of a paragraph was too much for you, let me just say this: I love this brewery. Their beer is delightfully named, with everything from Arrested Development references to their Avengers-themed tap takeover (the Jarvis pilsner was quite good). I also enjoyed their Party Boyz II Men imperial sour, which was brewed with Skittles. Yes, I know that sounds like a giant, irresponsible mess, but if you know how to love the lactobacillus, it will love you back. Tasting the rainbow never was quite as fun as when I watched Liverpool beat Tottenham while sipping this preposterous beer. (Oh, a few of the staff are huge Liverpool fans, and they will open early for watch parties most weekends.)
I also had the pleasure of being invited to sit down at a crowded table by a guy I found out later was one of the brewers here while watching a soccer game last year. So, this isn’t the sort of place that pretends to be friendly but has the sneaky sort of esoteric vibe about them. They want you to enjoy your stay, and I’m betting you probably will. You’re surrounded by barrels, too, and I only hit my head on them like, one time. What could be better?
Seriously, I can’t recommend this place enough. If you want to try something different, but with guaranteed quality on everything from their NEIPAs (I particularly enjoyed Insubordinate and Churlish) to barrel-aged stouts (I still have a bomber of Blackout Brunch I’m saving for a special occasion), this will be worth the trip.
Also, they have an employees-only door marked “PIRATE.” I liked that a lot.
Go-to beer: $Texas IPA. Equivalent Stars player: Anton Khudobin
Why: Fun. Everything here is fun, but unlike some other breweries that I’ve been to, they also know their craft to an absurd degree. They’ve done a few different varieties of $Texas, but all of them end up working exceptionally well. Anton Khudobin is leading the league in save percentage right now despite a sometimes-unorthodox style, but he’s also the most delightful player on the team. It’s nice when quality and entertainment can meet, eh?
So, yeah. Let me know about some of your favorite beers in the comments. If it’s not too depressing to talk about all the breweries we have to avoid right now, then I’ll definitely write up another couple of my favorites. Hooray for beer.