Thursday, July 11, 2019

Walking Beam balancing beer and food in Bridgeport

Flights at Walking Beam consist of four rather generous
five-ounce pours ( Photo: © Brian Brown/Beer in Big D).

Craft beer's sphere of influence continues to reach untapped regions of North Texas, with a recent western expansion resulting in the addition of Walking Beam Brewing Co. to the ever-growing roster of local breweries.

Located near the confluence of US-380 and TX-114 in Bridgeport, Walking Beam is that city's first brewing operation, and the first in Wise County as a whole. The spot opened in late February, after owner John Townsend built out a 4,000 square foot space at 1019 Halsell St. in Bridgeport's downtown district.

Come to find out, though, Walking Beam isn't Townsend's first foray into the beer business. In the late 1980s, Townsend contracted with Jones Brewing Co. of Smithton, Pennsylvania, to produce a recipe he developed for Olde Town Ocean City Beer. The brand's namesake was the resort town of Ocean City, Maryland, where Townsend's grandfather was a physician for 40 years.

As for Townsend's current venture, Walking Beam is a brewpub in the traditional sense. House beers are brewed on a one-barrel system behind the bar, while a full-service kitchen serves a menu of appetizers, gourmet pizzas and salad bowls to round out the offerings. In fact, maintaining a balance between the beer and food side of things is what gives rise to the "Walking Beam" name. It's a reference to the Texas oil industry, where a "walking beam" is the pivoting arm of a pumpjack's counterbalance mechanism.

In that vein, oilfield lingo is attached to many of the beers at Walking Beam, with options like Bell Nipple Triple, Roughneck Red and Wildcatter Wheat being part of the brewpub's rotating portfolio. Others with seemingly separate citations include She Bang Saison, Candeed Belgian Ale and Chocolate Rocks, the latter being a nitro chocolate stout that was probably the best beer on tap the day of my visit.

Should you be considering a trip yourself, know that available selections may be had in flights (four, five-ounce tasters) or full pours at Walking Beam. That goes for guest beers and ciders as well. Beertenders will also fill growlers for prospecting patrons seeking new tastes to take home.

No comments:

Post a Comment