PBS got us in the mood for abbeys this week, but because England is so very far away, we went to White Rock Abbey instead. Edwardian-era fashion and antiquated notions of servitude were not present, but I did almost drop my monocle in pleasure at the attractive supply of craft beers on tap.
WRA has been open for about a month now at Peavy and Garland roads, literally around the corner from neighborhood beer garden and burger joint Goodfriend. In a retail strip just off the southbound side of Garland, WRA is nothing fancy, just a neighborhood pub that you could patronize a couple of times a week.
It might be new, but the Abbey has a lived-in feel that invites visitors to sit down at the bar or in one of the mismatched plush chairs. From there, you can watch the game on two flat screens behind the bar or, if you're on opposite side of the room, catch the action on one of two projector screens.
White Rock Abbey is nothing fancy, just a neighborhood pub that you could patronize a couple of times a week.
The bar sports 40 taps, mostly devoted to local and Texas brews, as well as around 60 beers in cans and bottles. The only local brewery not on tap when we visited was Community Beer Company, but, to be fair, Community wasn’t selling its beer yet.
Speaking of the bartender, he learned my name right away, talked about his beer preferences and gave out samples to anyone who inquired about a beer — whether they asked for a taste or not. Good man.
That kind of service will earn loyalty among customers in a market that is fast becoming an arms race in putting local brews on tap. He even tried to convince a couple of women to try something other than Coors Light — though ultimately he was unsuccessful.
Another thing we like about the Abbey is brewer’s nights every other Tuesday, during which the bar highlights one local brewery and brings in the brewers to talk about their beers. The first glass night was January 15 with Cedar Creek, and the bar will spotlight Peticolas on January 29, from 6-8 pm. There is also trivia every Thursday, from 8-10 pm.
It has to be said that the parking at the Abbey is really terrible. It is awkward to pull off Garland into the parking lot, which is fine if there are no cars. But if it’s even the least bit busy, you’re driving on a busy road while looking in between and around cars for a spot. It’s less than ideal.
It remains to be seen if there’s enough space at Garland and Peavy for two beer-centric bars, but it’d be a shame if there weren’t. Put it this way — we wish White Rock Abbey were closer to where we lived, and if that’s not a sign that we liked it a lot then let us be frank: We liked it a lot.