Rahr Hopping; Where To Find The Locally Brewed Beer
Rahr and Sons Brewery
701 Galveston Avenue
Fort Worth, TX 76104
Brewery Tour Hours: Wednesday 5-7:30pm; Saturday 1-3pm
There was a time that watered-down, tasteless, and many other pejorative terms came to mind at the mention of an American beer. But thanks to a plethora of microbreweries popping up around the country (It seems like there’s a new one every other week.), the phrase “American beer” has taken on a new meaning.
Mind you, I enjoy an icy Bud after mowing the yard on a hot summer day, but I also enjoy a beer with a little more body and character, like Gravel Road, produced by Fort Worth’s own Rahr and Sons Brewery.
This award-winning brewery opened seven years ago and has a tour and tasting every Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. and every Wednesday from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The tours feature different local restaurants each week, and there’s live music every Saturday. For $7 you get a Rahr pint glass and your choice of three hand-crafted Rahr beers. The tour is perfect for those who like to get out, have a beer, and make some new friends without staying out till the witching hour. Also it’s the perfect opportunity to take that leap from Coors Light to the dark side. (Don’t be scared. Rahr also makes a Blonde Ale.) The tour is open-air, so be sure to dress for the weather.
There was a time when some thought we might lose Fort Worth’s crown jewel of craft beer. On January 12, 2010, the roof collapsed after Mother Nature dumped a record snowfall on the city, causing the brewery to shut down for over six months.
I asked Tony Drewry (Rahr’s Beer Peddler) if they had fully recovered from the storm.
“We used the down time to strongly focus on all aspects of the business, especially marketing, and now we are at three times the capacity that we were before the storm,” he said.
Many locals are loyal to Rahr and to the bars that carry their beer. If you’re not in the mood to head to the house after one of the tastings you should make a stop at one of the Rahr-heads’ favorite bars, the T & P Tavern, which always has plenty of Rahr brews available on tap and in the bottle.
This nostalgic bar, which is right down the road from the brewery, is located in the historic Texas and Pacific Railway station. Owners Nate and Joanne Weber purchased the old café, which originally opened in 1931 and had been closed since the ’60s, and turned it into one the most unique bars in town.
Walking into the T & P is like traveling back in time. Everything is original, from the granite bar top to the beautiful antique chandeliers. The only thing missing is a soda jerk. The T & P also has a huge dog-friendly outdoor patio, so if you’ve been looking for a place to have a great brew and show off your pooch at the same time, this is it.
I asked Nate to tell me a little about the bar’s relationship with Rahr.
“They’re great people,” he said. “We’re friends with them, we hang out with them, they come and support us, and we go and support them. Their beer is wonderful and we do everything we can to push their product because we believe in it.”
Oh, and the T & P offers all Rahr beers for $2.50 every Saturday. What are you waiting for?
Velton Hayworth is a local artist who blogs for his personal entertainment website iloveftw.com. He’s also a professional photographer who covers nightlife and entertainment for dfw.com and the Star Telegram. To keep up with Fort Worth nightlife or to be introduced to some of The Fort’s best hole-in-the-wall and mom and pop restaurants follow Velton at twitter.com/ilovefortworth