Nine Band Brewing owner Keith Ashley (left) and brewer Jack Sparks (right).

Nine Band Brewing owner Keith Ashley (left) and brewer Jack Sparks (right).

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Allen recently became the latest North Texas suburb to open a microbrewery. On February 20, the anticipated Nine Band Brewing Co. welcomed thirsty residents to its 8,100-square-foot facility and taproom, offering three original craft beers.

Founder and owner Keith Ashley, who was formerly a financial partner in McKinney's Franconia Brewing Co., received $75,000 in economic incentives from the local Economic Development Corporation in 2014 to make his dream a reality. And the company seems to be off to a strong start - Ashley says Nine Band served more 700 beers on opening night.

Additionally, the brewery has already signed a distribution agreement with Ben E. Keith, meaning Nine Band brews will be available in bars around D-FW soon and throughout the state by end of March. (Check the brewery's Facebook page for specific locations.) Ashley anticipates bottling and selling beers at retail locations by early summer, he added.

So let's get to the good stuff. Nine Band currently offers three recipes, developed by its"beer chefs" Jack Sparks and Mike Kraft:

  • the Cactus Cat Kolsch, a light-bodied, German-style beer;
  • the Nine Band Pale Ale, a 6% ABV pale brewed with Liberty hops;
  • and the Toad Choker Barleywine, clocking in at 10.6% alcohol content.

Nine Band Brewing will release seasonals - a Hefeweizen and a wheat beer - in the coming months.

The brewery's taproom is currently open Monday to Thursday 5-8 p.m. and Friday 5-10 p.m. Staff will host tours on Saturdays beginning in mid-March.

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