North Texas has one of the best beer scenes in the United States. That’s not just braggadocio—we have dozens of craft breweries, talented brewers, and exceptionally good local water for making beer. Over the last few years I’ve been lucky enough to do a lot of traveling, and even some very big cities have left me feeling thirsty for home. Dallas is a step or two behind Denver, Chicago, San Diego, and the two Portlands, but our pints measure up with just about everybody else.
D Magazine has a long history covering the Dallas-area beer scene, most notably in 2022, when we devoted a whole magazine to it. Check out that feature if you want to learn more about our beer history and the way it’s changing today. You’ll also want to read about the quest to make commercial brewing legal within Dallas city limits.
Here, right now, are my recommendations for the very best beer Dallas and its immediate suburbs have to offer.
This list is not in order. Instead, we’ve grouped breweries into three broad categories: the best of the best, the best very small breweries and pubs, and breweries we recommend for specific styles or experiences.
The Best of the Best
Peticolas Brewing Company
Probably the most technically accomplished brewery in Dallas, Peticolas seems incapable of turning out an unbalanced, odd, or “off” brew. (Actually, they’ve made duds before—and they dump them down the drain, unsold.) Constant companions like Velvet Hammer have entered into Dallas folklore, while some of the seasonal arrivals are treated by their fans like holidays of their own. It’s not the week or two of Texas winter without pints of Wintervention, and it’s hardly summer without the super-light, gently citrusy splash of Come and Take It. (Full disclosure: this is my third year as a paid-up member of the Peticolas club.)
You’re Drinking: Royal Scandal, an exceptional English-style brew, or one of the soccer-themed IPAs.
1301 Pace St.
Vector won statewide recognition last year as Brewery of the Year (small production) at the Texas Craft Brewers Cup. Oh, and it also won our own Best Beer citation. What’s driving all those accolades? Well, in part it’s Vector’s wide range of skill, from chuggable light brews (Bullpen) through gently hoppy pale ales and Euro pilsners (Open Rhythms, Bo, Mountain Child) all the way out to some truly wild brews, including smoked lagers and a fabulously bright beer made with all the aromatics and herbs used in a bowl of pho. You’ll be happy here whether you’re a purist or an adventurer—or a beer hater, since Vector has well-chosen wines by the glass. Or even a kid, with the ample patio and inventive pizzas.
9850 Walnut Hill Ln., Ste. 405
Hopheads consider Celestial to be Dallas’ best brewery, period. The reason? A tap wall that can often carry a dozen IPAs at a time, often showcasing specific hops in double or triple combinations. If that’s your thing, head to Celestial; if not, there are always one or two “crispy” offerings for less embittered drinkers. A recent expansion project should mean greater production capacity, and the taco truck permanently posted up outside is very good.
You’re Drinking: Jerzy, a Polish-style beer, made with hops imported from Poland, which honors Holocaust survivor Jerzy Rawicki. (Two of his granddaughters are part-owners of Celestial, and a mural honoring him is on the patio outside.)
2530 Butler St.
Odd Muse Brewing Co.
The whimsical designs here make for a beautiful taproom and great glassware—and they’re matched by creative, offbeat beers. There are frequent seasonal changes, but one mainstay is 500 Pesos Mexican Lager, named for a story about brewer-owner Bobby Diaz’ grandfather, who found 500 pesos one day and used them to start a second career. (His grandfather’s image also appears on the beer’s to-go cans.)
You’re Drinking: Perseverance, a porter brewed with Mexican cacao nibs.
4488 Spring Valley Rd., Farmers Branch
Four Corners Brewing Company
One of Dallas’ original local breweries, Four Corners spent a few years as part of an international conglomerate, then went independent again last year. Its re-independence allows its taproom to sell beer to go, and they’re now dabbling in more experimental, small-batch brews. Look for the jalapeño-lime light beer to hit the big time this summer.
You’re Drinking: El Chingón IPA—a serious contender for the title of Dallas’ best IPA—or El Grito, a light beer that was originally nicknamed Corn Water.
1311 S. Ervay St.
Four Bullets Brewery
The Dallas area’s lone English beer specialist was started, of course, by an expat. The ales here range from a pub-style bitter to a brown, with occasional deviations into American styles. The taproom is a lot more comfortable than it looks from the outside, and the beers are terrific. Food trucks frequently pull up.
You’re Drinking: Snake Eyes, which is the best oatmeal stout for a hundred miles in any direction. (It might also be the only one, but it really is good.)
640 N. Interurban St., Richardson
Manhattan Project Beer Co.
You might call this our “problematic fave.” Everything Manhattan Project brews is technically perfect and on-point, as you might guess from the name. From the coconut porter to the cold IPA, these beers always hit their marks. The patio is comfy, too, and the kitchen serves up killer fries.
But we still feel icky recommending them, because the brewery made light of pandemic safety concerns and because they were (and remain) needlessly rude to a faraway island nation. Both incidents suggest that maybe the brewery’s owners learned the wrong lessons from their historical namesake.
You’re Drinking: Necessary Evil is probably the best pilsner in town.
2215 Sulphur St.
Best Brewpubs and Tiny Breweries
Finding a parking space may be the hardest part about visiting this cheery spot off Interstate 35. (Check the website’s parking map before you visit, and you’ll have no problem.) Once you’re inside, Outfit will charm you with its quality work, including especially good dark beers ideal for when the temperature dips below, say, 80.
You’re Drinking: Milky McStoutface, a light-on-its-feet milk stout that will leave you with room for a second pint.
7135 John W. Carpenter Fwy.
The newest brewery on our list—it debuted on Christmas 2023—Jaquval is a tiny Bishop Arts spot with a small collection of taps. Just four core beers will be joined by seasonal rotators. But you don’t need a tremendous selection when the quality is high, as it is here, and the location is also ultra-convenient for visitors and weekenders.
You’re Drinking: A terrific, classic-style porter.
312 W. Seventh St.
Just off the runway at Love Field is this brewpub with a cute aviation theme. (Order food and your table will get marked with an airport destination code.) On Rotation offers a mix of its own and guest beers, some of which are smartly-chosen craft offerings from outside the Dallas market.
You’re Drinking: Jalapeño saison, the brewery’s signature recipe. It’s only a little bit spicy, we promise.
7701 Lemmon Ave., Ste. 200
This Indian-owned brewery in The Colony is also a full-service restaurant. And a cocktail bar. And a jazz club. If that sounds wild, go see it in person. The beer is pretty darn good, and although it’s not always available in takeout four-packs, you can definitely sidle up to the bar and lose an afternoon trying a pint or three.
You’re Drinking: Sonidero, an impressive amber lager inspired by darker Mexican beers.
5755 Grandscape Blvd., The Colony
Dean Weaver was an expert homebrewer and homebrew teacher before he made the move to open this tiny brewpub at a historic Cedars address. Now Autonomous serves a mix of Weaver’s own brews and kegs from other local favorites. With a dartboard and some big-screen TVs, this is a good place to play and watch games.
You’re Drinking: Whatever’s new, though we are partial to the Akard Street lager, a medium-color, slightly roasty Vienna-style beer.
1928 S. Akard St.
This bar near Fair Park serves beers from Aaron Garcia, formerly the brewmaster at Small Brewpub in Oak Cliff. His signature Black Pepper Pils anchors a tight lineup of drinkable classic styles. Wriggly Tin is also a full bar with cocktails and good pizzas.
You’re Drinking: Black Pepper Pils is as crisp and refreshing as it sounds.
1906 S. Haskell Ave.
Like This? Go Here
Like stouts? Go to Lakewood Brewing
Founder Wim Bens was born in Belgian, but his brewery is now most famous for its stouts. The Temptress line is one of the bestselling dark beers in all of Texas, and it offers seasonal variations inspired by holidays and pairings.
You’re Drinking: Sin Mint, the Girl Scout Cookie-inspired mint Temptress.
2302 Executive Dr., Garland
Like fruity-fresh beers? Go to Oak Cliff Brewing Co.
Choose your own drinking experience here: the industrial taproom, which often hosts taco pop-ups, or the backyard beer garden, a gorgeous space with shade trees, fairy lights, and the sound of a nearby creek. Many regulars visit for the “paleta weisse,” a wheated sour beer made with an ever-revolving selection of fruity paleta flavorings. Sombre, the signature imperial stout here, is one of the strongest beers in Dallas.
You’re Drinking: If the lager is too light and the dark beer is too dark, the John Hancock will be your Goldilocks pick. (A bartender will pour both beers into one glass. They mix perfectly.)
1300 St. Polk St., Ste. 222
Like IPAs and giant patios? Go to Community Beer Co.
The spectacular outdoor space is the centerpiece of this Dallas landmark, which used to be just down the road in the Design District. Community has something for everyone—they even distill their own spirits for cocktails or sipping neat—but it’s especially strong on offerings for hopheads.
You’re Drinking: Mosaic IPA and its less-boozy sibling, Mosaic Session, are two of the city’s most famous beers.
3110 Commonwealth Dr.
Want to see a landmark taproom that doubles as a tourist attraction? Go to Pegasus City Brewery
Pegasus City has downsized from a large-scale brewery that distributed cans across North Texas to a showpiece taproom in Downtown Dallas. It’s an ideal location for visitors—especially because it’s in a glorious art deco historic site, a century-old department store. Sit in the old display windows and sip on beers that live up to the founders’ ethos of easy-drinking, low-bitterness brews.
You’re Drinking: Woofus, a unique hybrid brew with elements of Kolsch, cream ale, and wheat beer.
1508 Commerce St.
Like light beers and basketball? Try Rollertown Beerworks
This Celina brewery is looking to open a new facility in downtown Frisco soon, but until then, you can sample its signature Big German Kolsch by finding it at local restaurants or making the drive north.
You’re Drinking: Big German Kolsch will someday be as much of a Dallas legend as the NBA Hall of Famer it’s named for.
412 N. Oklahoma Dr., Ste. 106, Celina
We’ll update this article when we’ve had a chance to visit two new breweries in Dallas’ suburbs: Happy Hippie in Richardson and Armor in Allen. Word on the street is that Armor’s Czech-style pilsner is especially good. We’re also excited for the springtime appearance of East Dallas Brewing Co. just off Greenville Avenue and, later in the year, Smittox Brewing near the Dallas Zoo. For now, catch Kuumba Smith’s Smittox brand by drinking his collaboration beers, made with friends at spots like Odd Muse and Vector.
Bonus: Plan Your Fort Worth Day Trip
Funkytown’s best brewery is HopFusion Ale Works, which brews a dazzling variety of top-notch stuff, from an easygoing amber to an especially good stout. Its gritty atmosphere makes for a striking contrast with Funky Picnic Brewery, just at the other end of the same block. Funky Picnic’s a cozy, calm spot with especially funny beer names (many suggested by regulars via suggestion box; submit your own idea!).
After thoroughly drinking your way through that block, head over to Rahr & Sons—celebrating its 20th birthday this year—and then veer north to downtown, where Cowtown Brewing specializes in top-notch German-style pints. Then finish your adventure at Neutral Ground, my pick for the most underrated brewery in the whole region.
Hey, You Didn’t Mention…
- Texas Ale Project. Their amber, Fire Ant Funeral, is reliable in a pinch.
- Oak Highlands Brewing. This spot has a knack for collaborations with talented chefs and food trucks, so look out for culinary events and beer dinners.
- Deep Ellum Brewing. The taproom is nice, but for a brewery experience in this neighborhood, I would recommend Westlake first.
- 3 Nations Brewing. This is the only long-established Dallas-area brewery I haven’t visited yet. Sorry! We will update this article!
- Martin House. Since this Fort Worth institution became fixated on gross novelty flavors like buffalo wings beer and lemon icebox pie beer, they’ve given up on quality control. The last six-pack I bought from them—last in both senses of the word—was a Bocksliders that they had forgotten to carbonate.