Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Beer shares top billing at Flix Brewhouse Frisco/Little Elm

Flix Brewhouse's first North Texas "cinema brewery" is located at
1660 FM 423 in Little Elm (Photo: © Brian Brown/Beer in Big D).

The Round Rock-based company, Flix Brewhouse, made its first foray into North Texas earlier this year with the opening of an outpost in Little Elm. And, while some may cast an eye towards the business and assume it's mostly about movies, those who visit soon learn it's a place where first-run flicks share top billing with beer.

One reason for that is the investment put into the brewing side, at least considering how the brewpub's equipment array extends beyond what's installed at many smaller startups. A seven-barrel brewhouse anchors a front corner of the space, while fermentation and serving tanks overlook the lobby and bar from higher level perches on both sides.

It's not just for show, either, since head brewer Derrick Rima and assistant Dennis Diltz are tasked with manning the tanks daily. Still, visitors to the "cinema brewery" are more likely to be movie fans, which is something they hope to change.

"Right now, people coming in are primarily here to see a movie," says Rima. "But, we're working to build up the beer program to attract more of the craft beer crowd."

On that subject, it would be easy to consider Flix's status as a chain and assume its portfolio is limited to corporate recipes. Yet, Rima and Diltz have the freedom to create local flavors on a regular basis. This allows them to add variety, while also providing an outlet for putting their own signature on the menu.

"All locations start with the same six beers, and we typically put on a corporate seasonal once a month," says Rima. "Beyond that, we're able to release our own specialty beers, and we've also started a barrel program."

In this case, adding a personal touch often involves collaborating with friends in the local industry. Up to now, Flix has joined forces with other local breweries, a gypsy brewer, and members of a beer-centric nonprofit organization that focuses on educational opportunities for women.

These efforts have resulted in the beers below, all of which follow protocol at Flix in that they draw inspiration from a movie playing on the big screen.

  • Cartel Candy - a strawberry limeade Berliner weisse inspired by the film, Peppermint.
    Collaborator: Barrett Tillman of Black Man Brewing.
  • Dementor's Kiss - a bananas foster brown inspired by the film, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
    Collaborator: Noble Rey Brewing Co. of Dallas.
  • Symbiote - a Belgian imperial stout with oats and brown sugar inspired by the film, Venom.
    Collaborator: BrainDead Brewing of Dallas.
  • Pink Boots 8 - a Belgian blonde with tropical teas inspired by the film, Oceans 8.
    Collaborator: Pink Boots Society - North Texas Chapter.

Most recently, Rima and Diltz got together with Seth Morgan and the crew at Denton County Brewing Co. to make London Fog IPA. Brewed to celebrate the release of Peter Jackson's latest film, Mortal Engines, the beer is a dry-hopped hazy IPA infused with tea that's about as refreshing as they come.

The point is, beer plays a key role in the overall experience at Flix. In fact, the taproom is worth a visit in and of itself, especially if you're a member of the craft beer demographic. Either way, know that quality beers with a unique twist are always in play, regardless of whether you're there to see a movie, grab a beer, or both.

Note: London Fog IPA was brewed at Denton County Brewing Co.'s facility, and is currently on tap there. It will appear at Flix Brewhouse Frisco/Little Elm once label approval is obtained from the TABC.

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