Few things go better with barbecue than beer. In Dallas, where barbecue is more of a way of life rather than a type of food preparation, few who love barbecue will argue with the assertion that Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse is a local institution. Those folks who simply cannot appreciate good barbecue (it's a noun in these parts) without an ice cold beer can now enjoy a fine selection of local beers from throughout North Texas at the centenarian establishment's Inwood location, where a trellised patio has recently been transformed into a concrete structure complete with climate control for days that need it and garage doors for days that don't.
There's a long bar with both draft and bottled beers artfully scratched across a chalkboard at the new Bryan's Brewhouse that we sidled up to one bright afternoon to sample the local beers and rediscover some of the barbecue that made Sonny Bryan's famous. Texas brewers are the focus here, with great selections from Deep Ellum, Four Corners, Lakewood, Petticolas, Rahr & Sons, Real Ale, Shiner Bock, and St. Arnolds. Guests can order their barbecue and wander over to the bar for a beverage, or they can order the employee manning the bar if they come in for a few cold ones and decide to have a little barbecue with their beer. We sat back with "Baron of Beef" (and General Manager Dave Rummel) to learn more about the beers and the location. This man certainly knows his beer, and that knowledge is clearly imparted to the others working behind the counter. Dave was quick to offer a recommendation on pairing, but the old recommendation rings true: "If you like the beer, you'll like whatever you eat with it."
Most folks we mentioned the new selection of beer to had a universal reaction: "What? Beer with my Sonny Bryan's? Sign me up!" We were particularly taken with the bite of the El Chingon I.P.A. and the balanced beauty of the Lakewood Vienna-style Lager, but there is plenty to everyone from casual beer drinkers to the most ardent of devotees.
The Takeway: Whether you're looking for beer with your barbecue, barbecue with your beer, or just a well-lit, convenient watering hole with the comforting smell of smoked meat filling the air, Bryan's Brewhouse is a winning hit. Open Daily Until 9. Accepts credit cards. Free private lot parking. 2202 Inwood Rd. 214-357-712