Sunday, June 30, 2024

Exploring the local breweries of Erath County

Flight trays at Lucky Brewing Co. and Bosque River
Taphouse (all images © Brian Brown/Beer in Big D).

For the first time in as long as I can remember, I can again say I've visited every active brewery currently residing in the North Texas coverage area. This, after making a trek to Erath County in the far southwestern corner of the region to check out Lucky Brewing Co. of Dublin and Bosque River Taphouse of Stephenville.

Now, given the remote locale, and the fact the breweries sit just 12 miles apart on a stretch of US-377, it stands to reason that anyone making the trip is likely to take the opportunity to visit both on the same day. With that in mind, I decided to cover the two together.

As for any similarities, both breweries have portfolios designed around stylistic and approachable offerings with moderate ABVs. And, as you might expect based on their proximity to the factory, both stock sodas from Dublin Bottling Works as a non-alcoholic option.

Lucky Brewing Co., 675 Co. Rd. 497, Dublin (operating hours Friday-Sunday).

Owned by Jeff and Kimberley Hutchins, Lucky Brewing Co. is a partner project operating on the grounds of Lucky Vines Vineyard & Winery. The company's branding plays off elements of that other Dublin destination, so the company's logo is a four-leaf clover, and the predominant color you see on merch, marketing materials and beyond is green.

House beers, which debuted in August 2021, emerge from a tap trailer adjacent to a covered outdoor patio with views of the adjoining vineyard. Patrons might also catch a glimpse of an adult pet tortoise on the grounds, as it comes ambling by while you sip on your selections.

On that note, recipes on tap this weekend included a bock, Kölsch, red ale, and West Coast IPA, along with my preferred pour, the peach blonde ale. They also serve wine, of course (in a separate, climate-controlled building), a michelada, and hard seltzers (cherry limeade, vanilla cream), and it's perhaps worth mentioning beer flights come with a finger bowl of pretzels for your snacking pleasure.

Servings of Chips & Salsa are available for purchase as well.

Bosque River Taphouse, 1050 S. Graham Ave., Stephenville (operating hours Tuesday-Saturday).

Named for the Bosque River, whose largest branch flows from Stephenville, Bosque River Taphouse has been in business since late 2023. Founded by the father-and-son team of Sean and Brett Mosher, Bosque River is currently working out of a temporary location while a permanent spot is under construction just two miles away on the southwest corner of S. Harbin Dr. and W. Swan St.

The brewery's current surroundings consist of two-story metal structure, with additional seating outside next to a pair of on-site food trucks, Buckin' Grizz BBQ and Taqueria La Chaparrita. As for the future, Bosque River is looking to upgrade to a 15,000 square foot location at the aforementioned coordinates sometime in the first half of 2025.

On the topic of beer, Will Tubbs (formerly of Revolver Brewing in Granbury) is the chief production officer at Bosque River, whose products are marketed under the Maverick Brewing Co. moniker. Tubbs' creations pour from upwards of a dozen taps, with one or two of those allotted to hard seltzers.

At any given time, his draft lineup may feature an American wheat ale, gose, Kölsch, milk stout, or an IPA variety, with Firewheel American Light Lager and Top Goat Texas Bock being available on tap or to go in four packs of 16-ounce cans. My favorite, though, was Floral & Green, a bright and refreshing dry-hopped blonde ale.

Bosque River also serves a selection of wines and specialty cocktails.

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