The Summer Before: The Fort Worth Ale Trail – Part 1

You may be asking: What is the Fort Worth Ale Trail?

Well, here is your answer! The Fort Worth Ale Trail highlights ten of the best breweries in the Fort Worth area. There are lots of new breweries in Fort Worth that are only two or three years old that make nationally recognized brews and create unique craft beers.

FW Ale Trail

The Fort Worth Ale Trail is a fun and unique way to discover a different side of the city! All you have to do is download the Ale Trail passport online or pick it up at the Fort Worth Visitors Center, located downtown. You can learn more about the Fort Worth Ale Trail here.

This summer, I made it a goal on my summer bucket list to finish the Fort Worth Ale Trail. Here is a recap of the first five breweries and my thoughts on what we tried!

*All opinions are my own and take them with a grain of salt – I am by no means a beer expert!

Stamp 1: Rahr & Sons Brewing Company

RahrOur first stop on the Ale Trail was Rahr & Sons Brewing Company in Fort Worth. For their brewery hours, you pay ten dollars for a wristband, which allows you three and a half pours and a glass to keep. As someone who was already a fan of Rahr & Sons, I knew they would not disappoint. I had already tried (and currently love) the “If you only try one” suggestion in the Ale Trail passport, the Texas Red American Amber.

I only ended up getting two pours while I was there. My first was the Belgian Table Beer and the second was called “The Fort Worth”. I liked both that I tried, but I preferred the Fort Worth over the Belgian.

Rating: 8.5/10
Location: 701 Galveston Avenue, Fort Worth, TX
Brewery Hours: Wednesday 5-7:30pm, Saturday 1-3pm

Stamp 2: The Collective Brewing Project


Our second stop on the Fort Worth Ale Trail was The Collective Brewing Project in Fort Worth. We went on a Friday, around 5:30, and it wasn’t crowded at all. They provide board games for customers to play, so my roommates and I ordered our beers, found a table, and played a couple of rounds of Clue while we were there (which I did not win, might I add).

I am pretty indecisive when it comes to ordering drinks, so I went with the Ale Trail Passport suggestion: The Petite Golden Sour. If you like sour beers, this is the place for you! Honestly, it was not my favorite, but if I were to go back, I would order it again. My roommates ordered two different sours–the Bière de Garde and the Boysenbarrel–but preferred their second drinks, a dark chocolate IPA. A cool thing about The Collective is that they have kombucha on tap. Being the kombucha fan that I am, I got that as my second drink and I was a big fan!

If you are a yogi, The Collective offers beer yoga once a month. For twenty dollars, you get a spot in the yoga class and three beverages. One of my roommates went and she really enjoyed it!

Rating: 5/10
Location: 112 St. Louis Avenue, Fort Worth, TX
Brewery Hours: Wednesday-Friday 4-10pm, Saturday 2-10pm, Sunday 12pm-6pm

Stamp 3: Martin House Brewing Company

Our third stamp on the passport was collected at Martin House Brewing Company in Fort Worth. We went on a Saturday, around 2:30, and it was surprisingly busy the whole time we were there. Much like Rahr & Sons, you pay ten dollars for a wristband, which allows you three pours and a cool cup to keep! They had all eight of their beers available the afternoon we were there, so between the three of us, we tried almost all of them (we avoided their sours though…our experience at The Collective left us wary).

Martin House

The Ale Trail Passport recommends trying their seasonal rotations, like the Hibiscus Saison or Salsa Verde. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any of their seasonal beers on tap. For my first pour, I got the Gateway Blonde Ale. I should preface this by saying I am normally not a fan of blonde beers—this one, however, was a game changer. If I were to go back, I would get this one again! My second pour was their Friday IPA, which they had just released as a year-round flavor. When I think about a good summer beer, this is what comes to mind—super hoppy, fruity, and a bit tropical. I don’t think I could drink it all the time, but I am glad I tried it!

The one downside to our experience at Martin House was that it was really hot outside and the lack of air conditioning inside did very little to help us cope with the mixture of heat & alcohol. My roommates and I were fine after our first drink, but after my second and their third, we struggled. Needless to say, Martin House: 1, The Roommates: 0.

Rating: 6.5/10
Location: 220 S. Sylvania Ave #209, Fort Worth, TX
Brewery Hours: Thursday 6-8pm, Saturday 2-5pm

Stamp 4: Shannon Brewing Company

We got our fourth stamp from Shannon Brewing Company in Keller, Texas. It was understandably empty when we got there, as it was a Friday, just after 4pm, and it was pouring rain. They have a nice outdoor seating area that would be cool to revisit on a day when it’s not raining. Another plus to Shannon Brewing Company is their adorable pup, Arlo! Needless to say, we were smitten with him 🙂

All three of us went with the Ale Trail suggestion: the Fire-Brewed Chocolate Stout. A fun fact about this beer is that it has won two awards—the 2015 Gold Medal from the U.S. Open Beer Championship and the 2016 Gold Medal from the Best of Craft Beer Awards. As you can see from the picture, it is the epitome of a dark beer. My roommates are huge fans of dark beer and while I thought this one was good, it ended up being a little too much for me. I could only get through 2/3 of the glass before I passed it off to my roommate. All that being said, it was definitely worth trying! They do offer a flight of four beers, something we did not realize until later. Given they only have 5 beers on tap, it is a good option if you want to try everything they have to offer!

Rating: 7.5/10
Location: 818 N. Main Street, Keller, Texas
Brewery Hours: Wednesday-Friday 4-9pm, Saturday 11-5pm, Sunday 12-5pm

Stamp 5: Rabbit Hole Brewing

We headed out to Justin, Texas to get our fifth stamp from Rabbit Hole Brewing the same night we went to Shannon Brewing Company. Given it is 25 miles from Fort Worth, we were a little confused as to why it would be included on the Ale Trail. If you have reservations about driving so far just for a beer, I have one recommendation: go! Rabbit Hole has a fun atmosphere, everyone was super friendly, and the beer was worth the drive. They have a few year-round beers and a solid collection of unique seasonal beers, so it’s easy to find something you like!

RabbitI decided on their Wonderlust Saison Ale and I enjoyed it! After the Chocolate Stout at Shannon, it was nice to drink something lighter and brighter. My roommates both went with the Ale Trail recommendation, Mike Modano’s 561Kolsch-Style Beer, named after former hockey player Mike Modano and his record career goals for US-born hockey players. Evidently, he is such a big fan of the beer brewed at Rabbit Hole that he became a partner and they named a beer after him!

Rating: 8/10
Location: 608 Topeka Avenue, Justin, Texas
Brewery Hours: Taproom—Friday 5-8pm, Tours—Saturday 12-4pm

Check back next week for a recap of the last five stops and my final thoughts about the Ale Trail!


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