Deep Ellum Brewing Company
I could have eaten BBQ on my entire trip to Dallas, but come on, you know I’m going to find at least one brewery, right?
When I got in town and settled in to my hotel on Monday night, I decided to find a Walgreens and go pick up some Pepsi and water for the week so I wasn’t paying the $4 the hotel wanted for a bottle of Coke every time I needed my soda fix. To my surprise, this particular Walgreens also had a really large craft beer section. I wasn’t planning on picking up a six pack at that moment, but I found something that sounded good…so I did…and that led me to eventually wanting to find the brewery that produced this delicious beer that I found on the shelf at Walgreens.
The beer was Dream Crusher Double IPA from Deep Ellum Brewing. I found Deep Ellum Brewing in the Deep Ellum Neighborhood east of Downtown Dallas. The brewery and taphouse are on the corner of St. Louis Street and Malcom X Boulevard. It’s a somewhat industrial area with the interchange for I-30 and US-75 looming right out the front door.
Parking was not great as all I could see was street parking along St. Louis Street and around the bend in the road where it turns in to Crowdus Street. I found a spot not too far away and showed off my parallel parking skills. On a busy night, unless I missed something, parking could be a little bit of a headache.
The taproom for the brewery is right on the corner of St. Louis and Malcom X. The tap room opened in 2012 becoming Dallas’ first microbrewery and has sort of restored life in Deep Ellum. Up until last spring, they did food out of visiting food trucks before becoming one of the rare Dallas breweries to add a kitchen to their taproom. In the fall, they added lunch hours as well.
I stopped in just before 7:00 on a Tuesday night. Unbeknownst to me, it was trivia night, so the tables in the tap room were starting to fill up. There were still several seats at the bar so I headed that way. The bar has a rustic brick back wall with bricks removed to spell out the name of the brewery right above one of the two multi taps filled with delicious beer.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but there’s also a patio that looks like it has been turned into an indoor patio for the winter. A blue tarp covers the space and there are space heaters spread around the astroturfed space.
The bartender saw me sit down and handed me a clip board with both the beer menu and the food. I started looking over the beer menu first and asked for a couple minutes to digest it. They had a flight option on the menu and several beers that looked good to me, so when she came back five minutes later, I asked to do that.
The Dallas Blonde is their marquee beer and I was leaning towards that one, but ultimately passed. I didn’t know at the time that is kind of their thing. I need to do a little more homework before I blindly show up at a brewery like this.
The flight consisted of four beers and I tried to run the spectrum of styles.
I started with an American IPA called Easy Peasy. It’s a session IPA brewed with tangerine, lemon peel and Pacific Northwest hops. The citrus-y smell is pretty pronounced, but the the flavor is not as strong. Like any good session IPA, it’s an easy sippy ale that doesn’t blow out your taste buds with any strong flavors.
The second beer on my flight board was Local Legend. This is a smooth, dark, rich milk stout that hits you with a roast-y and cocoa smell right away. It’s a pretty thin beer that is, again, easy sipable. There’s a little bit of a coffee flavor on the end, but the sweetness is what really grabs your attention.
Beer three was Mean Monk. It’s an Abbey Style Single only available right now in the taproom. They call it a “tribute to the Monastic monks who make some kick ass brews in Belgium.” This beer was alright, but I prefer Abbey style beers that are a little boozier and a little stronger. The beer gets a little bit of fruitiness from the yeast which is about the only flavor that really stuck out to me.
The fourth and final selection was another tap room exclusive. The Barrel Aged Oak Cliff Coffee Ale is a brown ale infused with coffee from Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters that is aged in whiskey barrels. I think I’ve said many times you can put anything in a whiskey/bourbon barrel and it would come out tasting amazing. The whiskey and coffee flavors were strong on this beer where they wouldn’t even list the ABV on the menu. I’m a sucker for anything barrel aged, so if I was drinking one beer at Deep Ellum Brewing, this would be my first choice.
After I got the beer part of my ordered settled, I put in the food part. The menu is classic bar food. Stuff that’s easy to prepare and easy to eat. Sandwiches, burgers salads, wings, and appetizers mostly.
I ordered the burger option they call The Double. This sandwich is two 1/4 lb. Angus beef patties, two slices of cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato pickles and onion. I also added on bacon for an extra $2. The sandwich didn’t come out quite as big as I had imagined it, but it packed a lot of flavor. The bun was a little oversized for the meat and I think it was playing an optical illusion on me. The meat was juicy and slightly salty. I pulled a lot of the veggies off to get a stronger meat flavor because once you got into it, the sandwich was actually quite delicious. A smaller bun or slightly bigger patties would have made this sandwich a little more memorable.
I added on a side of hand-cut fries to my sandwich and they were delicious. The fries were golden brown around the edges which gave them a great crunchy snap. They had just enough grease left on them to hold on some big crystals of sea salt. The fries were served in a stainless steel tumbler alongside the sandwich in a steel serving tray.
The cost for the meal and the beers came out to just a little under $20.
Every time I hit up a brewery in another state, I’m reminded just how lucky we are in Michigan to have breweries on almost every corner that push each other in beer, atmosphere, and food. Deep Ellum Brewing would fit in nicely in the Southwest/West Michigan beer scene. They have a great space in a revitalized, trendy part of town. The beer is unique and delicious. The food is on point for this kind of establishment. Deep Ellum is running with a concept that, we here in Michigan are used to seeing, but seems to be something relatively new to that area. It’s a place I would tell you to seek out and if you can’t make it to Dallas, be on the lookout for their cans as they seem to be expanding their footprint.