There may be a spate of local breweries opening up, but Franconia is the granddaddy of them all. Founder Dennis Wehrmann hails from Bavaria and has been involved with brewing since he was 12. This McKinney brewery has Saturday tours, 11 am-1 pm, that cost $5 and include beer samples.
Deep Ellum Brewing sports a strong stable of large batch and seasonals, like the hops-heavy Dreamcrush 2x Rye IPA. Tours are Thursdays, 6-8:30 pm, and Saturdays, noon-3 pm. For $10 you get a glass, complimentary beer and a tour. Luckily, being in Deep Ellum means you won’t have to travel far to find the rest of the beers on tap.
When we’re talking breweries in North Texas, we are legally required to mention these guys, and for good reason. Around since 2004, Rahr & Sons has been winning awards for nearly as long. Tours are Saturdays, 1-3 pm, but if you can make it to one of the Wednesday tours from 5-7:30 pm, you’ll experience a more intimate crowd and experimental and special brews that you can’t get anywhere else. Ten bucks gets you a pint glass and free samples.
In October 2012, Peticolas Royal Scandal took the gold in the “classic English-style pale ale” category at the Great American Beer Festival. That’s the largest commercial beer competition in the world, son. If you’re inclined to check out the brewery, you have two options: check the Facebook page and email them when a tour is announced, or round up 30 to 50 people for a private tour at $15/person.
Lakewood Brewing has made a name for itself with European-styled crafts. The imperial milk stout, lovingly called “The Temptress,” clocks in at 9.1 percent ABV, but you wouldn’t know it. Tours are offered Saturdays from noon-3 pm, and that includes a souvenir glass, four samples and an informal tour. It’s $10 cash at the door, and they usually wrangle up a food truck or two.
The smallest brewery on this list, FireWheel has only been around in its current form since July 2012. The Rowlett-based brewery has a Texas Pale Ale and a black ale named Midnight Ninja that can sneak up on you. Tours are Saturdays, 11 am to 3 pm, and $10 gets you a pint glass and three samples.