Choice of summer beers in the craft beer cellars, and the bar is back open


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Craft beer cellars on Gaston Avenue is a playground for beer lovers. This tiny place opened in 2016, a few years after the local craft beer boom. The owner, Jim Waskow, had a career in the paint industry and was retiring when his friend Stanley Nauman persuaded him to join him in this business.

Craft Beer Cellars is technically a retail chain, but it’s run like it moved to East Dallas right out of college and sends her kids to school at a nearby elementary school. The offer here, which includes over 600 beers right in the coolers, is hand picked. Waskow scours social media and websites for new and interesting beers. He bases his choices on customer requests, which are mostly “new and interesting”.

It can be difficult to keep up with the fire hydrant of new beers coming out of the tap almost constantly. For example, Martin House Brewing offers a new beer every week. Celestial releases a couple each week. Now imagine that you are trying to watch this across the country.

Difficult, indeed.

Cooler and beer aislesDEVELOP

Cooler and beer aisles

Lauren Drewes Daniels

However, the space doesn’t seem overwhelming. They will be happy to tell you about your choices. And if you’re new to beer crafting, this is a great testing ground for a growing palate.

Waskow will divide any four or six pack in the store for singles. Better yet, you can drink while you shop. And if that sounds too tiring, sit down at the bar and order one of the 16 beers they keep on tap while you think about your purchase.

When COVID-19 hit, Waskow was able to maintain the retail portion of his business, but had to close the bar, much to the disappointment of his regulars. He said customers asked almost every day when the bar was going to reopen. Finally, after 15 months, last Monday, he dusted off the bar stools and started pouring beers from the tap again.

A collection of local craft beers selected by Waskow.DEVELOP

A collection of local craft beers selected by Waskow.

Lauren Drewes Daniels

With Memorial Day and the unofficial start of summer, we asked Waskow for some suggestions of local craft beers. He was kind enough to pick a few from his vast collection. Here are his local choices:

Martin House Brewing
Lemon ice cream pie (5.4% ABV), sweet and sour

Martin House will put anything in the beer. The rumor even tried to put Creed in a box. Their annual Summer Lemon Sour Beer is brewed with graham crackers and lactose and is a Waskow favorite from the Fort Worth Brewery.

TUPPS brewery
Hefeweizen (5.2% ABV), Bavarian-style wheat beer

There is something about this crisp and crunchy style of beer, with its notes of cloves and bananas, that tastes like summer. This is a new seasonal beer for TUPPS.

Panther Island Brewing
Gose Melon, (6.0% ABV) Gose

Gose-style beer originates from Goslar, Germany, and is generally known for its salt and cilantro notes. Either way, it pairs wonderfully with fruit flavors. The Gose watermelon from the Panther Islands has a tangy bite.

Manhattan Project Beer Co.
Supercritical, (5.6%) Pale Ale

Manhattan Project Beer Co. chose its name because of its “creative, collaborative, experimental and scientific approach to beer making”. Supercritical is a straightforward lager, the type of beer that is a good starting point for a novice craft beer drinker.

Armadillo Ale Works
WunderMelon, (5.5% ABV) Kölsch style Ale

Denton’s Armadillo Ale Works opened in 2010, an old man in terms of local craft beer. This crispy summery Kölsch provides the perfect base for mashed watermelon.

Strange muse
500 pesos, (5.2% ABV) Mexican-style beer

ODD Muse Brewing is based in Farmers Branch, and this style of beer just happens to be Waskow’s favorite.

Bishop Cider
Texas Strawberry, (8.5% ABV, 100% delicious) Cider

Ciders may be too sweet for some, especially a supertaster. Waskow says this one isn’t too cute. It hits just right. And the strawberries used in beer are picked fresh from Poteet.

Westlake Brewing Co.
Y’all Star, (7.7% ABV) IPA

We recently spoke to the folks at Westlake and loved their community taproom at Deep Ellum. Their IPA has “characteristics of pine and tropical fruit”. And that makes us all feel like a winner.

Lakewood Brewery
Muy Important, (4.7% ABV) Margarita Lager

A new base ale for Lakewood – which means they liked it so much they put it on regular rotation – it’s a Mexican-style lager brewed with agave, zest of orange, lime juice and sea salt. This is a great base for Palomas.

Craft beer cellar, 6324 avenue Gaston. Open from noon to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday, from noon to 7 p.m. on Sunday.

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About James Almanza

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