As y’all may know, I love a good brewery visit. Not only is it a fun time (usually with live music and “behind the scenes” tours), it’s also interesting to explore the different local flavors in a great brew. I haven’t been able to make it to one yet this year, so with a perfect three day weekend opportunity, and the unofficial start to summer, I knew it was time to head out to Armadillo Ale Works brewery.
Denton isn’t far, but it isn’t close either. My boyfriend and I were excited to make an afternoon of the visit. Well, I guess I should say I was excited to explore the town, my boyfriend was more excited to get to the drinking. First stop, Armadillo Ale Works! Back in my bartending days, Armadillo was responsible for creating my favorite stout, and always on my beer list so I could recommend using it for snakebites. (Side note: snakebites were my go-to drink; my personal recipe was half Armadillo Stout, half Ace Pear Cider, with an optional half ounce of an elderflower liqueur like St Germain. So good!)
We approached the bartender and asked for a tour (most breweries offer them Saturday in the early afternoon) – but after checking with the manager who gave them, they were unfortunately unable to give us one that day. That was a bit of a bummer, so we ordered a couple of beers to cheer ourselves up. Because of brewery tour prices, our two delicious drinks totaled to somewhere around four bucks. Can’t beat brewery tour prices, my friends.
Looking around, we immediately noticed besides the massive factory-inspired space, there were a ton of games. Besides a whole shelf of board games straight from our childhood, there were three video game cabinets. Loving games (and I’ll admit, competition), we were both pumped to get a little boozed up and see if we kept our skills.
Adjoining the bar was actually a cute newly-opened coffee shop! I’d never been so excited – the only thing better than a brewery is a local coffee shop. There was a space in the back made up like a stage for live music, but since it was a lazy Saturday afternoon, most people were seated at the long tables conversing. Some individuals looked like they were getting work done on laptops, giving it a true coffee shop work-space vibe.
For us, we were on vacation, it was a beautiful sunny weekend, we were now two drinks in, and it was time to bring out a vintage version of Battleship. Not to brag, but I won every game. Seeing as I so rarely win in most games with my boyfriend, it was quite the ego boost. Then we mosied on over to the arcade area, with more drinks of course, and played X-Men. And I immediately lost all my street cred. Even though it’s a co-op game, I used twice as many quarters as he had to and took twice the teasing in retribution for my earlier wins.
I’m not going to list out a review for every beer, but their classic Stout remains my favorite. It’s a stout without all the bitter heaviness that most stouts have. Their bourbon barrel version was also delicious. Trying their Winterstellar (an ale) and their Honey Please (blonde ale) was also great! I’m not a fan of pale beers, including IPAs so can’t give you word on those – but I did try their seasonal special Hibiscus Zinger (wheat beer brewed with botancials) and that was fantastic. An awesome summer beer.
I only finished the first stout since I was the driver, so my “poor” boyfriend had to help me out and drink the majority of the alcohol for us. On second thought, that’s probably why he took losing a million times at Battleship so well… And now it was time for me to grab a coffee so we could hit the road! I went for an oat milk version of their special, Mothman. (A fitting name when in reference to the shop name, Cryptozoology). The Mothman drink is a latte with condensed milk and activated charcoal. A bit on the thick side, but very delicious!
We found it a bit hard to leave, but after spending twice as long in the brewery as we meant to, we headed out to a couple of quick stops (like the lovely store Scrap, which is all secondhand art/craft supplies) before we needed to make it out to friends across town. Breweries certainly haven’t disappointed me yet!