This last part of June and first few weeks of July have proven to be abnormally abuzz with craft beer activity for the season. And with most being unaware of it, a new record will be set within this coming week.
This spate of activity begins with 3 Nations Brewing, which officially opened for business the last week of June. The Farmers Branch brewery took over the former location of Grapevine Craft Brewery — including their brewhouse and equipment — in a deal between Grapevine’s Gary Humble and his assistant brewer, Gavin Secchi. Secchi brings his experience with Karbach Brewing of Houston and Goose Island of Chicago into an almost turnkey deal with his brother Gianni, and 3 Nations’ cans are already on local Dallas shelves.
The following week saw the opening of Noble Rey Brewing as they debuted their taproom and brewery located on the northern end of Dallas’ Design District. Several years in development and with its own history of delays and setbacks (once planned for Grapevine, then for Oak Cliff), owner and brewer Chris Rigoulot teamed up with brewer Justin Krey when a business partner left. Krey was working on his own brewing venture, Dank Dog Brewing, and the time was right for both parties to fold their businesses together into one. With a soft opening the first few days in July, Noble Rey has been selling local craft beers through their taproom as they run through their own pilot batches on tap, draining those before beginning production-sized brewing.
To this, add the opening celebration this weekend of Grapevine Craft Brewery at their new location in downtown Grapevine, including a new taproom and biergarten. Now brewing (and winning a few awards) for the past three years, owner Gary Humble is not a newcomer to the North Texas craft beer scene, and his original plan was always to have a brewery at or near the downtown area. Facing zoning and other issues Humble opened instead in an industrial park in Farmers Branch, which gave him time to lay the groundwork for a custom brewing facility to be built as he wanted it. Although not a new business, this location is a new craft brewing destination for patrons in the Mid-Cities.
Next week, Oak Highlands Brewery will have their grand opening on Saturday, July 18th. Local homebrewers Brad Mall and Derrin Williams make the jump to professional status as they open their brewery in the Lake Highlands area of northeast Dallas. They should have five of their beers ready for the opening, with plans to stock their on-site taproom with as many as 20 of their own experimental brews at a time. Tickets for the event are available online.
As for the new record? Oak Highlands will become the tenth craft brewery to open in the North Texas region in 2015, breaking the previous yearly record of nine new breweries set back in 2013. And this year is barely half over…