One of Fort Worth's most exciting new breweries has set an opening date, and it's on the most patriotic day of the year. Wild Acre Brewing Company is celebrating its debut by throwing a party on July 4, with an afternoon-long event that includes beer and live music.
The brewery is at 1734 E. El Paso St., a hallowed location about a mile southeast of downtown that was the former Ranch Style Beans complex.
"The opening is kind of a flash deal," says Wild Acre founder John Pritchett. "We were telling people we were opening in July, and at some point, I decided we should just open on July 4. If you put it on the calendar, you manage to get things done."
For Pritchett, a beer industry veteran who was previously a manager for distributor Ben E. Keith, having a tap room that was open to the public was an integral part of his vision. It's a 5,000-square-foot air-conditioned tap room with windows, where you can see all brewing equipment and tanks. Garage doors lead to a landscaped outdoor beer garden with picnic tables.
"It's a pretty stylish brewery," Pritchett says. "It's an older building, so it has a brick façade that we took down to the original brick."
It also has two palm trees. "Having those puts you in a different place," he says.
Pritchett and brewer Mike Kraft have already deployed their first round of beer to the market. They've issued four brews that are not the usual humdrum quartet: a bock, an India red ale, a stout, and a wheat ale.
Eventually, they'll begin putting it in cans to be sold at retail outlets, but for now, they're just taking it one step at a time, by distributing kegs to a few select bars and restaurants. Their first deliveries were on June 17, when they had launch parties in Fort Worth at Flying Saucer, Woodshed Smokehouse, and Pouring Glory.
"I thought it was important to start in bars and restaurants, so that we're associated with cool places and cool experiences that you have with your friends or spouse," Pritchett says.