Thursday, May 9, 2013

Rumor Mill: Small Brewpub to be part of Oak Cliff development

Image credit:  Jim Lake Companies

Earlier this week, in a speech surrounding his GrowSouth economic development plan, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings made mention of a brewpub in the works, slated to be built along Jefferson Boulevard in Oak Cliff.  After a little digging, I was pointed in the direction of a video which connected the dots to a name that surfaced back in January during a discussion at a local beer event.  At the time, stories of backyard beer tastings and a business plan in the formative stages were taken with a grain of salt, but it now appears there is at least some truth to the rumors.

The Small Brewpub shows up as part of developer Jim Lake's Jefferson Tower project.  His name may be familiar to some, as his group has also been involved in Bishop Arts and the Dallas Design District.  The brewpub-to-be appears shortly after the one-minute mark of the presentation, but there's no word on when construction is expected to begin or a projected opening date.  A twitter handle, @Smallbrewpub, was created earlier this year, however, no activity has been recorded to this point.  You can also find a website template up at

Back in its heyday, the Metroplex was home to as many as ten brewpubs (not counting multiple locations) open at one time, with names like Yegua Creek (Dallas' first), Copper Tank, Panther City (Fort Worth's first) and even Breckenridge lighting up restaurant marquees.  The only survivor from that time still in existence today is Humperdinks (the area's longest running active brewing operation), though there is talk of Rock Bottom returning someday as well.

Currently, in addition to Humperdink's and the Gordon Biersch chain, local brewpubs include the Bass Pro Shops attachment Uncle Buck's in Grapevine, the currently idle Union Bear in Dallas, and the fledgling Zio Carlo Magnolia Brewpub in Fort Worth.  Lately, though, there has been a renewed call for a fully locally owned and operated brewpub to be located in Dallas.  Union Bear fits this description, but even if they were to resume brewing, they don't have the capacity to generate a portfolio of hometown brews like many Austin-based entities produce, or what for some would be the model brewpub in Freetail Brewing out of San Antonio.

Perhaps sometime soon the Small Brewpub, or other names yet to be revealed, will deliver just that.

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