Why Meddlesome Moth is Dallas' craft beer cathedral
It’s not difficult to find craft beers in Dallas these days. Even the lamest of bars has figured out that more and more beer drinkers appreciate a quality product, even if it costs them a dollar or two more.
But we’re not here to talk about how the late adopters have figured out the main reason that mass-produced beers are so popular is that often they’re the only options. Instead, we’re here to focus on the Dallas mecca of craft beer: Meddlesome Moth.
There are other beer-centric bars like Common Table and Ginger Man, which have equally impressive taps. They also take the time to bring in the rare brews, the limited runs, the kind of bottles that cost what a 30 rack of Keystones would run you.
I love that I can walk to Common Table or Ginger Man and dive deeper down the beer well. But if those are chapels, then the Moth is St. Paul’s.
This is not to suggest that those bars aren’t also at the top of their game. I love that I can walk to both and dive deeper down the beer well. But if those are chapels, then the Moth is St. Paul’s.
Maybe it’s the Design District location that lends the Moth a certain smoothness. Perhaps it’s because it appears to be a nice restaurant upon first impression. Maybe it’s the stained glass on the back wall. (It’s probably the stained glass.)
But I think it’s the bar, which is the sexiest goddamn bar I’ve ever seen. Long and lithe, the silver bartop and quarter-laden bar back could almost be called gimmicky, but the way the light bounces off each tap and every little elevation of the 4,624 coins makes it borderline celestial. It’s the bright light at the end of the tunnel. If I died here, I would die a happy man.
Is it snooty? A little ostentatious? Excessive for a place that specializes in beer? Maybe, but it would be a lot worse if the chalkboard above the taps didn’t read North Coast Old Rasputin or La Trappe Quad. And I haven’t even mentioned the hundred bottled brews they keep, which cover just about every type of beer.
The Moth is the kind of place that elevates beer beyond the drink of the dive bar. As good as a beer in a dive bar can be, sometimes you have to dress up. Image does count, even if sometimes we don’t want it to.
For the people who might wonder why you would spend on a beer what you might spend on a glass of wine or whiskey, the Moth provides context. The populist feel of Common Table or Ginger Man is great, but those places cater to people who already get what craft beer is about. For those who turn up their noses at beer, the Moth is their kind of introductory spot.
The Moth gives people a high-end place to find high-end beer. It’s an avenue for those who might be turned off by the bushy beards (though you will find them here) and T-shirts that seem to be prerequisites to get into craft beer these days.
I don’t go to the Moth very often. I’m usually at the aforementioned places or Craft and Growler, because I can just show up. The Moth requires a little more effort, a little more style.
I mean, a guy who drinks beer for a living named it one of the two best beer bars in the world. The other is in Rome. You don’t have to pray at the Moth all the time, but it would be a waste not to every once in a while.