Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Porch at ETX Brewing Co.

After being open for barely over a year the owners of ETX Brewing Co. have taken a chance and bet big: investing capital and time into a new restaurant and taproom. Since opening in January 2017 the brewery has been a hit with the local craft beer community and has rewarded the community of Tyler with a place to enjoy frequently rotating craft brews with friends and family. After recently visiting the new restaurant, and spending some time with the owners, chef, and kitchen manager, we are thrilled to share our experience with you!




Brewpub | The Porch at ETX Brewing Co.
Where | 221 S Broadway Ave, Tyler, TX 
Menu | Pub style shareable food items, salads, burgers, sandwiches, kids menu, ice cream, craft beers, games, and live stage.
Atmosphere |Laid back with classic arcade games, pool table, shuffleboard, darts, live music on the stage all centered around their own craft brews
Hours | LUNCH: Wed-Friday 11-2pm
                     DINNER: Wed & Thurs 4-10pm 
                                      Fri 4-11pm Sat 12-12am
  (lunch will be offered starting Wed Mar. 28th) 


Craft beer fans have been delighted by the rotation of new beers and have remained loyal to Tyler’s newest brewery causing their taproom to often times be standing room only. After witnessing the effect the often unpredictable Texas weather on space in their taproom it quickly became apparent there was a need for more drinking room for their patrons. This winter they decided to pull the trigger and expand into the rest of the building. The idea was a simple one: Provide more room for everyone to enjoy craft beer and fresh foods.  The Porch at ETX Brewing Co. was created after many discussions between the owners, staff, family and friends.  



The Porch offers plenty of shareable portions of food but also has full meals if you are looking satisfy your hunger. Daily hand made fresh ingredients and a rotating menu make the Porch stand out from so many of the regular East Texas restaurants. Kitchen Manager Nate Rhyne made it clear that The Porch will be willing to adapt the menu as frequently as the often changing taps. Expect to see a menu that reflects the community as well as the time of the year.





The pilot brewing system has been upgraded to allow the brewers more options for new rotating seasonal brews, some of which will be exclusive to The Porch, to go along with the expanded tap wall (over 20 taps).







 A few items that are sure to be fan favorites are the Cheese Curds, House ground Burgers/Sliders, Fried Green Beans, and the New Orleans Bread Pudding for desert. Chef Aaron Price has a passion for food and that comes across in every dish.




We never could decide which was more delicious: The apple or blackberry crumble topped with cinnamon ice cream. I'm not a dessert man but this was amazing enough to have me wishing for more!





Along with the plentiful beer selections and delectable food will be classic games - pool table, Pac-man, Big Buck, Golden Tee, shuffle board , and darts.  


The newly built stage overlooks the concrete patio and Broadway through the newly designed garage door that will be complete with a mesh screen cover to keep out those Texas-sized mosquitos on summer nights.


Each table top piece is hand made and lacquered at the brewery providing a wonderful backdrop of fall colors to enjoy your Saturday afternoon Downtown Cherry Brown Ale or a plate of Wisconsin cheese curds.




The original brewery and taproom will stay the same for those that enjoy sitting at the bar and gazing into the beautiful stainless steel fermentation vessels. Owners Brian and Matt Gilstrap have kept the beers fresh and are full of new ideas. You never know you might see next!


In addition to being a great place to enjoy dinner and a beer The Porch is planning on being a lunch destination for those who work in the area. Along with their regular menu they will be offering quick grab and go foods like salads, wraps and sandwiches.  Saturday breakfast is also in the works for those who want to relax while downtown for the Rose City Farmers Market.


All in all we were super impressed by the beer, food and the massive expansion. ETX Brewing went from a place to grab a few beers to a place you and the whole crew can hang out for hours on end. 

The space is beautiful. 

You'll feel right at home the first time you walk through the doors and you'll also know you've found your new favorite hangout

Final Thoughts | We congratulate the entire ETX Brewing Co. family for their vision to expand and add so much to an already impressive lineup of locally brewed craft beer. We are sure the East Texas craft beer community will reward you for your dedication and creativity.


CHEERS!
Jeff, Joel and Jonathan



 











Wednesday, November 8, 2017

2017 Best Restaurants in East Texas for Craft Beer


It has been a year since we first wrote the 15 Restaurants for Craft Beer in East Texas and 2017 has seen a whirlwind of changes and new comers to the craft beer scene.  Some restaurants have faded out of our list, some have closed, and many have gotten better with their exclusive tap list.  The restaurant market in Tyler and Longview is growing each year with stiff competition and owners that choose the safe route of sticking with regular beers are being left in the dust by newcomers that understand the impact of a growing craft beer market. 

In two years, East TX has exploded with a high demand for craft beer that is authentic and not distributor pushed. We have compiled a list of restaurants in East TX that are owned by people that care about both supporting smaller breweries and rewarding loyal customers with fresh rotating craft beer!

So, you may ask what makes a restaurant worthy of being noted on our list for THE BEST craft beer restaurant's in East TX? Here is our top four judging criteria:

   1)  A  rotating selection  2)  At least 8 taps  3)  3/4s selection are not domestics 4) Owner focus on craft beer

Without further adieu, try a craft beer at one of these area restaurants and enjoy a great meal to! (in no particular order)

Old Chicago Pizza and Taproom | Tyler 


The guys from ETX brewing came in today to drop off their beer we are the first and only place in East Texas with their...
Posted by Old Chicago Tyler on Wednesday, February 15, 2017


From its roots in Boulder Colorado, Old C’s has grown into a nationwide franchise focusing on pizza and their famous “World Beer Tour” tap lineups.  East TX is lucky to have one in the area and you won’t be disappointed with the bottle and tap selection.  You can even check out their website before you go for the latest tappings. One of the highlights of the Old C’s is their window viewing area of the Cellar room for the kegs..  It's as if your a kid again at the aquarium waiting for that rare breed of fish to swim along! 

Central Station Brick & Brew | Gladewater  


From Our Upper Deck | Photo Credits: East Texas Brews.
Posted by The Central Station Brick & Brew on Friday, August 25, 2017


Have you ever wanted to own your own craft beer restaurant and have your favorite bands play in your home town?  That's exactly what the owners of Central Station did!  With all exclusive Texas only craft beer lineup, Central Station is impressive.  The owners have fully embraced the craft beer movement by offering Growlers to go, joining the untappd verified venue, and fully supporting local East TX Breweries.  You can go on any day of the week and find at least 10-15  local East TX beers on Tap from ETX Brewing, Fredonia Brewery and Oil Horse Brewing.  From their upstairs outdoor patio to their brick oven style pizza, you don't  want to miss a week at the Station!  Be sure to join them on Thursdays nights for $2 off craft beer specials and check out their weekly music lineups that are always hopping!  Checkout their FB page for details and untappd for their beer menu.

Caps & Flasks Sulphur Springs  


Make your own taster flights. Pick 4 beers to try, $10.00!!!
Posted by Caps & Flasks on Friday, July 28, 2017


Caps and Flasks opened in the summer of 2016 by three single mothers that joined forces together to open a craft beer/ pool hall/music venue/ and restaurant!  Located conveniently off of I-30, Caps & Flasks is the perfect stop between DFW and Texarkana for travelers looking for craft brews along the way.  Known for their rotating 23 draft taps and special cans/bottles, they have a recurring theme on their FB page…”Once the kegs tapped, it's gone!”  They have adopted the philosophy of moving their kegs for new one’s to appease their customer craft beer fan base. Visit them next time you're in Sulphur Springs and tell them we sent you!
 Verified Untappd Menu

Cow Burners BBQ & Taproom | Mineola 


Just tapped at CowBurners BBQ & Taproom: Great Raft Brewing Grace & Grit Community Beer Company Texas Helles Get some!!
Posted by CowBurners BBQ & Taproom on Saturday, August 12, 2017


Cow Burners is the brainchild of Jason Herring- a former employee of Karbach Brewing out of Houston.  His roots and love for beer run as deep as his patrons love for his “rib candy”.  After perfecting his craft with his father and running a BBQ food truck, he decided it was time to open a BBQ/craft beer restaurant of his own in his hometown, Mineola TX, in the summer of 2017.  His expertise in craft beer has made his BBQ joint a must stop; the perfect combination of smoked brisket with a smoked beer, (Brash Brewing) is ridiculously good!  Bring your growler next time you're in and take a home a tasty beverage to go along with that Texas BBQ.  

Silver Grizzly Expresso | Longview


Finding new craft beer on international beer day can be overwhelming, but Untappd makes it easy to connect with friends...
Posted by Silver Grizzly Espresso on Friday, August 4, 2017


Silver Grizzly is an authentic coffee shop located in Downtown Longview conveniently across from Oil Horse Brewing Co.  Opening in the Fall of 2016, the Grizz has taken  off with a local following for their artisan coffee and craft beer selection.  Come in for a latte or cold brew and go home with a growler filled of your favorite beer on tap!  You can check their verified untappd page for updated menu or FB for special events.  

Rotolo's Pizzeria | Longview & Tyler 


Sometimes it's nice to drink beer outside!!! #Downtownlive#rotoloslongview
Posted by Rotolo's Pizzeria Longview, Tx. on Friday, September 8, 2017
Posted by Rotolo's Pizzeria Tyler on Thursday, October 12, 2017


Rotolo’s was founded in 1996 in Baton Rouge, LA located next to the LSU campus.  From the early beginnings, Rotolo’s has been known for their selection of Craft Beer and supporting local breweries.  It has since expanded to other cities across the Country and brought Rotolo’s to Texas with two locations in East TX!  Locally owned and operated, the Tyler and Longview stores owners both have a passion for having the best selection of craft beer in the area. You can come on any night of the week and see fellow Brew Krewe members earning points for their next keg party!  Follow them on Facebook & Untappd for events. 
    Rotolo's Tyler Beer List, Rotolo's Longview's Beer List

Rose City Draft House | Tyler  


It's Craft Beer Day at the Draft House this afternoon and that means $2 off all craft brews 'til close. Our Happy Hour...
Posted by Rose City Draft House and Bar on Wednesday, July 19, 2017


Rose City Draft House was a breath of fresh air when it came upon the craft beer scene in 2015.  With 57 craft beers on tap,  you can surely find any style of beer available. They have daily specials- between Happy Hour from 4-7, $2 off Texas Beers, Trivia & Pint nights, there's always something going on at the Draft House!

Fosters Place | Pickton 


Posted by Foster's Place Restaurant & Pub on Saturday, October 28, 2017


Finding Fosters Place is like traveling in a desert and stumbling upon a oasis.  Located in a rural area by Sulphur Springs, Fosters Place is well worth the exploration to visit on your way from East TX to Dallas. From the $1 ounce pours, to the hard to find craft beers in a congested market, and especially the artistan pizza... Fosters is the place to be!

Pint and Barrel | Palestine  


Come enjoy 3 years of Anchor Christmas!! Flight of 3 half pints for $9!!!
Posted by Pint and Barrel Drafthouse on Friday, December 2, 2016


Located in the Old Palestine area, Pint and Barrel is a family run restaurant that was opened by an employee of Saint Arnold Brewing Co.  Conveniently located near the Ben & Keith Distribution Center, the P&B is known for having the hard to find craft beers. The Pub has a great selection of craft beer to choose from and the food selection is priced just right. 

Juls | Tyler  (Perm. Closed Jan 2018)  


Today Only!
Posted by Juls on Thursday, August 3, 2017


This Austin influenced establishment opened in 2014 with the vision of a "multi dimensional" restaurant with fine and casual dining. It is the only restaurant that boasts solely Texas craft breweries on tap (20).  They were the first restaurant to get True Vine on tap, and are often the first ones to get rare rotating beers from local breweries.  Their bar staff are knowledgeable on craft beer selections and are eager to help you find the right one.  Stop in next time you're in Tyler and ask for the rare beer of the week! 

Maklemores Ale House | Nacogdoches  


"Hey Maks, I really love what you're doing with all this craft beer in East Texas, but how can I try so many beers on a...
Posted by Maklemore's Ale House & Bistro on Sunday, January 17, 2016


During a busy weekend in SFA country, you can find a hopping spot full of college students and locals at Maklemore’s.  Since opening in 2014, Mack’s offers a relaxing hangout spot with an extensive craft beer selection, and bottle cooler is enough to make any grown man weep. You can find a list of their beer menu on Untappd.    Stop by on Thursday or Sunday for pint night and you may even catch a few college kids playing guitar. 

Dukes Burgers and Sport's Bar | Canton 


Enjoyed a few of these tasty brews tonight! Thank you to @oakhighlandsbrewery for coming out to Canton and a bigger...
Posted by Duke's Burgers & Sports Co. on Saturday, July 1, 2017


A long time staple of East TX travel centers- Dukes has always been a place to stop while traveling to DFW.  A few years ago they did a full renovation and added a full restaurant with a craft beer and sports bar. Known for pint nights, sporting events and craft beer, Dukes also focuses on a world class menu making burgers with fresh meat from local farmers.   You can view their tap selection on their untappd page. Stop by next time you need a pit stop and enjoy your fav. sporting event while drinking some craft!

Roast Social Kitchen | Tyler  


Happy Halloween! Come in today during this spooky rainy weather and enjoy the only wine on draft in East Texas and get warm with a big cup of hot local Porch Culture coffee!
Posted by Roast Social Kitchen on Tuesday, October 31, 2017


After a successful venture with Stanley's BBQ, the owners wanted to open a "farm to table" restaurant that focuses on fresh local food, house made infused spirits (barrel aged), fine wines (on tap... a first in East Texas!), and of course, craft beer! From the fresh pizza to the good folks behind the counter, you don't want miss out on this experience. It truly is a "social kitchen" with delectable pizza and even better beer! You can check their Untappd page for their updated beer menu.  


 Bjs | Tyler, Longview  

You don't have to wait until 5 o'clock to enjoy #NationalIPADay. Celebrate the right way with a pint of BJ's Hopstorm IPA.
Posted by BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse on Thursday, August 3, 2017


BJ's is a corporate restaurant that does several things very well... bringing craft brews to the masses!  Each state has its own brewery that produces the brews for their restaurants across the state.  BJ's hosts several beer pairing dinners through the year that we highly recommend going to.  They also recently won 2 awards at the Great American Brew Fest in Denver for their quality beers.  Oh, and did we mention the delcious pizza? 

 -The Honorable Mentions- 
Longview |  Lil Thai HouseFuzzy's Taco
Tyler | Torchy'sTwisted RootRepublic Icehouse
Nacogdoches | The Liberty Bell  Greenville | Ashen Rose
Marshall | OS2Pazzeria  Jefferson | McGarity's Saloon






The Happy Chappy (Jeff)


"The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing"

Thursday, June 29, 2017

How to visit 19 DFW Breweries by Rail

*Updated 4-19-18

If I told you is was possible to visit 19 Breweries in DFW for only 10$ would you believe me?  YES its true!!!  We all have driven in awful Dallas traffic and wanted to start drinking already.  Are there alternatives to this nightmare for those of us that just want to visit breweries/beer stops without the headache of city traffic?  Sure, you can take UBER and pay a hefty price for getting around the metro plex or go with a group of friends.  

Another alternative that I have recently discovered: using FREE Parking at a DART rail stop, spending 5-10$ for an all day pass of exploring DFW breweries without having to use the bus! The most amazing part about this was not worrying about driving and knowing that the train does not stop and sticks to a schedule.  Here's a few facts about DART rail. 


Rail Transportation in DFW 

- 93 Mile light rail system
- 7 different lines (Red, Blue, Green, Orange, TRE, Dallas Street Car (free), M-Line Trolley (free)
- 5$ Local Day Pass for ALL dart buses and trains (East of DFW Airport)
-10$ Regional Day Pass for ALL dart buses and trains in DFW (including TRE service to Ft. Worth and DCTA to Denton).
-Train departs every 20 mins (Mon-Fri peak hours) 30-45 mins (Sat-Sun) and after 9 PM weekly.




My adventure started on a Wed Morning, I opened up my google or apple maps and selected the transit feature.  After a few searches and typing in "breweries" I discovered nearly every brewery in DFW is accessible by the DART transportation system if you don't mind taking the Rail and Bus.  I opted out of using the bus because of time.  DART rail operates every 20 mins at a stop (except weekends and after 9 pm) and you can conveniently download the "GoPASS" app on your phone to purchase tickets and plan out your route.   

I have picked out breweries that are less then 0.5 miles walking distance of a DART light rail stop.  In  a 6 hr day I was able to visit 5 different breweries and had time to travel back to my destination before 6 pm.  DART Rail hours vary but is enough time to visit breweries, see the sights, and arrive back to your destination before midnight.

*Breweries at least half a mile from Rail*

GREEN LINE - 3 Nations, Old Town Brewing, Armadillo Ale Works (May 2018) , Denton County Brewing Co., Deep Ellum, Community, Texas Ale Project

BLUE LINE- Four Corners, Malai Kitchen, Oak Highlands, Intrinsic Brewing, Bankhead.


RED LINE & ORANGE LINEGordon Biersch (closed Oct 2017) , Four Bullets Brewery 

(TRE)- Noble Rey, Bishop Cider, Collective, Hopfusion, Rahr. 










An even easier option for those of us that live in East TX is using Amtrak.  Amtrak has stations in Marshall, Longview, and Mineola that directly connects to Union Station in downtown Dallas. From there you can connect to any of the DART rail lines and start exploring DFW. Whichever route you choose to explore Breweries and Taprooms, we from ETBrews want you to be safe, drink responsibly and enjoy yourself.  Happy Exploring!


-The Happy Chappy (Jeff)- 

"The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing"

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

VISIT US ON FACEBOOK

While we post our articles on this website the majority of information about local beer news and events is posted throughout the day on our Facebook page. Head on over to Facebook.com/etbrews and see what you've been missing!!!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Our Craft Beer Boom

Despite popular belief craft beer isn’t new. OUR craft beer boom is new but people have been brewing for for at least 5,000 years. The dark days of prohibition and the unnecessary restrictions on home brewing put a damper on American craft beer during the 20th century. Long before 1978, when home brewing was legalized in the United States, you had Americans secretly (and not so secretly) brewing in their basements. Once Jimmy Carter signed that glorious bill into law it further opened up the joy of craft beer to millions of Americans. In 1979 there were 89 breweries (micro and macro) in the entire country. We are now close to, or have surpassed, the 1873 all time high of 4,131 breweries in the United States. The effects of craft breweries on the American beer landscape cannot be exaggerated.


What has been noted time and time again is that the creativity and success of craft brewers are mainly limited by prohibitive laws at the state and municipal levels. We have seen in the past,
and are still fighting against, archaic and restrictive beer laws in Texas. In state after state we see when lawmakers get out of the way of innovation craft breweries pop up like wildflowers. Many people ask me why Colorado has more craft breweries than Texas when it is so much smaller. The simple answer is until recently it was much more difficult to run a profitable craft brewery in Texas. Before 2013 Texas breweries could not sell beer for on-site consumption making a taproom illegal. For most craft breweries a vibrant taproom business is essential for financial success especially in the early years. Once Texas lawmakers loosened up these restrictions we began our current craft beer boom and things haven’t slowed down one bit during the past 4 years. Only around 25 Texas craft breweries existed in 2012. We are currently closing in on 200 craft breweries and brewpubs in Texas. Now that entrepreneurs can open a brewery and make money we are seeing unique microbreweries opening up across the state. At times it seems a new one opens every couple of weeks. What a time to live in Texas!


One important thing to remember is that as much as we may love craft beer, and as quickly as new breweries are popping up across the state, the majority of Texans know very little about craft beer and are happy chugging their favorite macro beer.
LIGHT BEER IS KING!!! Just look at the beer selection of the average bar or restaurant.


BUD LIGHT. MILLER LITE. COORS LIGHT. NATTY LIGHT. BUSCH LIGHT.


Americans, and Texans, drink light beer and LOVE it. Most bar owners don’t help the situation either. I talk to bar and restaurant owners often and the majority of them do not care about craft beer. They are clueless. They simply put on tap what the distributor tells them will sell. They don’t know what beers to ask for and do not fight to get that keg of rare beer. On top of that most wouldn’t be willing to pay the extra cost to get that premium craft brew. So how do we share the gospel of craft beer with more people if they are happy with the light beer and every bar or restaurant they visit pushes light beer?


One person at a time.


Craft beer culture has to be grown organically. It cannot be forced. Americans, especially Texans, are fiercely independent. In my experience the easiest way to get that Michelob Ultra loving friend to enjoy a craft beer is to share one of yours with them. Who doesn’t love a free beer??? Don’t berate them with how crappy their beer is and how superior your beer is. Hand them a craft beer that is similar in style to what they already enjoy. Just showing them that someone other than AB InBev/MillerCoors can make a beer they enjoy is the first step in their craft beer awakening. I still get a tear in my eye when one particular friend who exclusively drank Michelob Ultra shows up to a gathering with a couple of 6 packs of great craft beer. It may take some work to win your friends over but it’ll be worth it in the end.

Being involved in our craft beer boom is fun! What an awesome time to be a craft beer lover in this neck of the (piney) woods! One day you will be able to tell your grandkids about being at
True Vine for their first Open Taps or waiting in line to try that first pint of Moon Pool at Oil Horse. It is exciting to hear about new breweries coming to Tyler and seeing people line up to enjoy a pint at Fredonia Brewery in Nacogdoches. Remember just a few years ago when B Dubs had the best tap selection in town??? Those were dark days my friends! Don’t take for granted the privilege of being able to regularly enjoy fresh local beer around town. I damn near shed a tear when I was able to drink Landman at BJ’s. I was beyond excited to explain to the old guy next to me at On The Border that the beer he asked about was brewed right here in Longview, Texas. Going over to True Vine or hanging out at Oil Horse is always a fun time. You run into other craft beer lovers or those who are just curious about what in the heck this craft beer thing is all about. Spending hours enjoying and talking about craft beer with people from my community is something I couldn’t have dreamed of 10 years ago.


Another fun aspect of our craft beer boom is the economic and community benefits. Especially with the downturn in oil East Texas needs all the revenue streams it can get. Craft breweries do more than bring in a few extra tax dollars. Their impact is exponential. As you have seen many craft breweries enhabit older parts of town and reside in repurposed buildings. I love seeing these old buildings with so much history being used for something like a brewery. The old dilapidated building that was under threat of being torn down is now a community hangout and the heart of the neighborhood. Suddenly you have people visiting a part of town they normally would not visit. They realize their are neat shops and delicious restaurants in the area as well. Now the presence of a craft brewery is impacting other businesses in the area. Soon you have young people wanting to move into the area because they can walk to their neighborhood deli, brewery and coffee shop. What used to be a dying part of town becomes a vibrant and hip community. People begin to be curious about the history of the area and soon they are appreciating the contributions of those who have lived there before. A growing trend and one of the more popular aspects of some new craft breweries are the local food trucks that serve them. The symbiotic relationship between a craft brewery and a food truck can be a beautiful thing. I cannot tell you the number of times I have chosen to go to one brewery over another simply because I know there will be an awesome food truck on site. I’ve also been to breweries such as
Division Brewing in Arlington that have local craft vendors set up outside. Time and time again I’ve seen a craft brewery breathe new life into a neighborhood or community. In the case of Cedar Creek Brewery I’d argue the brewery has brought many people to their city who would’ve never had any reason to visit Seven Points, Texas. Once more Texas lawmakers realize the economic and communal benefit of craft breweries I believe we will see the restrictive laws relaxed even more. The ability for breweries to sell packaged beer and growlers for off site consumption is a must. This will help breweries to unlock new revenue streams and better serve their communities.


Our craft beer boom is only beginning and it needs your help to continue. Support your local brewers. Visit their taproom. Drink their beers when you are out on the town. Pick up a six pack from your favorite craft beer retailer. Eat at the restaurant a few shops down from the brewery before or after you stop in for a pint. Request your favorite craft beer at your regular watering hole and grocery store. Without the support of the community a craft brewery cannot survive. With new breweries soon to open here in East Texas it will be important to help bring more and more people into the craft beer family. Buy a six pack of
Dankosaurus at Brookshires and share with a friend. Offer to buy a Mermaids and Unicorns for your friend the next time you are at Rotolo’s. Most importantly enjoy being a craft beer lover during the greatest craft beer boom our state has ever seen. Other states may have beat us to the punch but this is OUR craft beer boom and everyone knows everything is bigger in Texas!!!


Sláinte


Joel Patrick Heflin