Where to find good beer
The community of Denton has always been Metroplex cool. From the historic town square to Fry Street and the One O’Clock Lab Band to being just far enough for North Texas kids to “go away” to college, Denton has always been the quiet, understated third of Dallas and Fort Worth’s Golden Triangle.
But now, finally, Denton is craft-beer cool.
Quietly serving the craft beer needs throughout 2012, the Oak Street Drafthouse & Cocktail Parlor celebrates its one-year anniversary next week on March 5th. Built and run by local Dentonite John Williams, the Oak Street Drafthouse occupies the third oldest residence in Denton on the east end of Oak Street, within walking distance of the square next to the Elks Lodge.
Unlike pubs such as the Ginger Man location in Dallas, the Oak Street Drafthouse has kept the integrity of the century-old structure, lending it a truly old-fashioned “parlor” feel. The rest of the small house consists of a couple of rooms that may remind you of a cross between a local historical society and your great-grandmother’s place. The floors creak as you walk, and the high ceilings betray a time before the luxury of central heating and air conditioning.
There is no traditional “bar,” just a brief serving area with 48 taps – at least half of which are Texas-based, with more in bottles – watched over by a dominating chalkboard listing the selections (tip: order by number). Drink specials, menus and advertisements for local bands paper the walls of the serving area. Commercial tap handles are abandoned in favor of elegant, hand-blown glass objet d’art made by a local artisan only blocks away.
Porches extend on both front and back of the house, and exiting the rear door leads to an expansive outdoor patio area that rivals the Katy Trail Ice House. With its first year under his belt, Williams currently is working on another craft beer concept, the East Side Social Club, further up Oak Street that will also sport 50–60 taps. Soon this small stretch less than a quarter-mile from the old courthouse (including the nearby Mellow Mushroom) could be home to several hundred flowing craft beer draft lines.
With the recent partnership between Deep Ellum Brewing and Denton’s Armadillo Ale Works, that local craft start-up has had their plans accelerated quite a bit. Look for Oak Street Drafthouse to host the commercial launch of Armadillo’s first beer, their Quakertown Oatmeal Stout, this Friday, March 1st.
Recommended pint: If you go this weekend and don’t at least try the Quakertown Stout, there is something wrong with you.