Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Pathfinder finds its way to Hudson Oaks

Pathfinder's facility in Hudson Oaks consists of 10,000 square feet, with
1500 square feet allocated for the taproom (© Brian Brown/Beer in Big D).

After navigating a long and winding road to establishment, Pathfinder Brewery is now open in Hudson Oaks.

Pathfinder is a venture founded by Eric and Giancarla Addison. I first contacted Eric in July of 2017, subsequently learning about their plan to build a brewery from the ground up, a relative rarity in North Texas where most have looked to renovate an existing space. Originally, Addison hoped to be up and running a year later, but issues with contractors stretched the timeline out to three.

"It was an ambitious project to say the least," says Addison.

Regarding the location, one reason Addison chose Hudson Oaks was due to a lack of options in Fort Worth. Another was the ability to operate under a brewpub license without having to meet the 51% food revenue rule enforced elsewhere.

"We do want to have a kitchen someday," says Addison, "but Hudson Oaks is great because their license allows for a brewery without food."

For now, though, the focus will be on the beer and overall brand experience. Pathfinder's name reflects on how everyone interested in craft beer is on a journey, so visitors can expect to see beers presented in ways that help individuals plot their own course.

"As folks explore different styles and widen their palates, more and more styles become interesting," explains Addison. "Our mission is to help people find their path to beer they like. So, we have various 'Paths':  Fruited, Texan, Barrel-Aged, Belgian, etc.  Each path gives folks a chance to experience new styles, and flavors and aromas.  There are many paths to great beer, and we want to help folks travel those paths."

The first round of offerings at Pathfinder, appropriately called the "Opening Path," consisted of Highway 180 Pale Ale, Kangaroo Kölsch and Texas Wheat Ale, along with variants in the form of Road Trip (coffee kölsch) and Citrus Slice (fruited wheat ale). This mix of classic styles, supplemented by beers with a bit of a twist, is representative of how the company intends to approach its everyday portfolio.

"It is fun to try the latest fad beer, but nothing beats coming back to a style that you can enjoy time and again," says Addison. "If you like variety, don’t fret, we plan on brewing many one-offs and seasonal beers just to keep things interesting, but not so often you get worn out chasing the newest twist on a beer style."

Pathfinder is currently open Tuesday through Saturday for to-go sales only in line with mandates connected to the Covid-19 pandemic. Look for expanded on-site hours to occur once restrictions are lifted.

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