Where to find good beer
The Glass Half Full Taproom in Richardson is unique among the craft beer bars of North Texas in that they built a movie theater around it. That's not entirely true, but sometimes a slightly different perspective can lead to new and interesting discoveries.
Located within the new Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, the Glass Half Full does provide a much needed oasis along the craft beer-deprived 75/Central Expressway telecom corridor through North Dallas and Richardson. Opening to much acclaim this past summer, the newest site of the Austin-based Alamo Drafthouse franchise brings their own very popular restaurant-film-craft beer experience to the Dallas area in unique competition to new semi-luxe chains such as Studio Movie Grill, LOOK and iPic Theaters.
By now, you know the drill: Watch a movie while waitstaff bring you food and drinks from the comfort of your reserved seat. While not as posh as some, Alamo goes one step further in an effort to bring back the old-fashioned service and experience of theaters at their heyday. They are militant about any cell phone use, as well as do their best to corral fussy children or anything else that may distract from your movie-going experience, including no annoying ads before the feature. They also evangelize their love of film and fun by supplementing current, first-run titles with classics and special events, from arthouse cinema to local sporting broadcasts to straight-to-video cult movies.
The pub itself is a full-service, standalone bar inside the cinema entrance, and one need not be a movie patron just to sit and enjoy a pint or three. It is almost spartan as far as most pubs go, square and plainly decorated with movie-themed items and stock tables and chairs (it is primarily still a theater, after all) but there is plenty of room for a large group and a couple of barstools.
However, the draw of the Glass Half Full is their 32 well-chosen craft beer taps, all enumerated on the chalkboard behind the bar. They actually put some thought into their beer selections, drawing heavily from microbrews local to each location but also including national craft brands and imports. (It's also a full bar, including wine and mixed drinks.) In fact, they often choose their beers to complement the feature films in house, such as adding a few extra English ales for the showings of The World's End -- which stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost personally christened when they opened a little more than a month ago.
As movie theaters go, there are better to be found; as craft beer bar or intimate pub, likewise, better options exist (although probably not nearby). But where else can you get a full-service craft beer cinema with a heavy bent toward its locale and customers?
Recommended pint: Something that won't feel out of place with whatever show you're watching.