Sunday, March 28, 2021

Neutral Ground aims to bridge the beer gap in Fort Worth

Compared to the original 1950s-era structure, a portion of the front elevation was
recessed to create patio space for Neutral Ground (all images © Brian Brown/Beer in Big D).

A new brand of beer is pouring in the Metroplex, as Neutral Ground Brewing Co. is now open at 2929 Race St. in Fort Worth.

Founded by Sean Doublet and Stan Hudson, Neutral Ground is the latest project to land in a newly-redeveloped area of town. The brewery occupies a 4000 square foot building in River East, a vibrant shopping and entertainment district located in the northeastern section of the city.

Regarding the name, "Neutral Ground" is a historical reference symbolizing the coming together of owners who grew up on different sides of the Louisiana-Texas border. Moreover, the moniker serves as the inspiration behind the brewery's overall mission.

In the early 19th century, the "Neutral Ground" was a disputed border region between Spanish Texas and land acquired by the United States through the Louisiana Purchase. The matter remained in question from 1806 to 1821, but rather than go to war over the issue, the opposing parties designated a soldier-free zone to prevent hostilities while negotiations continued.

Neutral Ground is serving King Cake and other beers by the pint during its soft
opening, with additional options (including to-go containers) to be added at a later date.

Applying the story to the brewery's concept, Neutral Ground presents as a place where beer drinkers with differing backgrounds and tastes can meet in the middle over a pint in a relaxing and inclusive setting. Initial offerings support this approach, given style options ranging from a British mild, to a hazy IPA (the first beer to sell out), to an imperial stout, with ABVs falling between 3.7 and 8.6%.

Neutral Ground's signature selection, though, is its King Cake beer (3.0% ABV). Brewed in the spirit of confections made in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, King Cake is served in sugar-rimmed glass. It may sound sweet, but King Cake is as balanced as a pastry beer can be, with a doughy malt base and a soothing cinnamon infusion.

As for availability, Neutral Ground's beers are limited for now as the brewery operates on a soft basis while awaiting delivery of its 10-barrel production system. Once equipment arrives and is dialed-in, taproom hours will be extended beyond current service times on Friday from 4-10 p.m. and Saturday from 2-10 p.m.

Should you visit, take note food isn't provided in house, but it may be brought in from nearby restaurants or delivered. Also important, know parking on Race St. is a bit quirky, requiring drivers to back into spots along the sides of the street. Choose not to, and you're pretty much pre-destined to receive a parking ticket.

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