By Carmen Dexter
Meeting up with friends is best done outdoors these days. Lucky for us, DFW has some great spots to choose from. No matter where you are in the Metroplex, there’s a beer garden just waiting for you to raise a glass.
Katy Trail Ice House
Check out the more than 50 beers on tap at the Katy Trail Ice House, located in the heart of Dallas on the Katy Trail. The patio has picnic tables for seating and plenty of room to roam. The beer garden holds hundreds of people, even with some seating removed for social distancing. Watch joggers and cyclists go by as you enjoy the burgers and barbecue on the menu.
The Rustic offers local craft beers and food sourced from Texas ranchers and farmers. The huge open-air patio makes social distancing easy. They offer about 40 different beers on tap and several more brands in bottles and cans. The Rustic is co-owned by Texas country artist Pat Green and features live bands on the outdoor stage. The beer garden has tables, benches, and grassy areas where you can sit or mingle.
MUTTS Canine Cantina
The beer garden at MUTTS Canine Cantina has gone to the dogs! If you just can’t bear to leave your pup at home, this innovative 200-seat beer garden is for you. You’ll find one in Fort Worth and another in the Cityplace neighborhood, MUTTS is a membership-driven private park for dogs with a cantina and patio for their humans. Your pooch can play off-leash while you sip a craft beer or “bark-orita” and enjoy a meal.
Rahr and Sons Brewery
There’s always a little friendly competition between Dallas and Fort Worth and it’s no different when it comes to beer gardens. In Fort Worth, the Rahr family has been making beer since 1847, and the Fort Worth site has been in operation since 2004. You’ll find plenty of picnic tables and open space in the outdoor backlot to enjoy some beer tasting with friends. Want some munchies with your brew? The brewery partners with several Fort Worth food trucks and restaurants.
Wild Acre Brewing Co.
Wild Acre Brewing Company sits on land rich in history from the Wild West days. Hell’s Half Acre in Fort Worth was an area frequented by thieves and prostitutes in the 1870s. These days, things are much calmer in Cowtown turned Funkytown, but you can toast the land and legends who frequented the bars and brothels (including Butch Cassidy and Wyatt Earp) from a large beer garden, complete with a covered pavilion, picnic tables, and a music stage.
When you’ve sampled all the brews and beer gardens in Fort Worth and Dallas, head north of the metros to tip a few at Harvest House in Denton. You’ll find a large patio with fire pits. Harvest House has a backyard and side yard where you can play corn hole, darts, or Jenga, and plenty of plants and natural features to give off a relaxed feel.
There’s also some shade for sunnier days where you can sit and sip (or chug!) your choice of dozens of beers, lagers, ales, and IPAs on tap. Bring your family and dog during the day. After 8 p.m., it’s date night time: Only those 21 and up are allowed for music or comedy shows.
Drink up, But Drive Safely
Whether you’re looking for a night out or just an hour out of your afternoon, there’s a quality beer garden nearby, no matter where you are in DFW. Maybe you like a Rustic setting, or perhaps you like to let your wild side Rahr, drink up, but drive safely. Have mask, will travel with Uber, Lyft or Alto, if you’ve sampled a few too many local beers.
Carmen Dexter is a freelance journalist and former television reporter who lives in Dallas. She enjoys searching for new restaurants in every city she visits, but admits few measure up to the places in Texas.