It's been more than a decade since Deep Ellum had a brewpub to call its very own, but that changed in early March with the opening of BrainDead Brewing.
The restaurant and bar is the product of a collaboration between beer nerds Sam Wynne, Jeff Fryman, and Andrew Huerter, who refurbished a 5,000-square-foot space near the intersection of Main Street and Good Latimer Expressway. Clean wood decor gives the interior a fresh feel and vintage accents, like the '50s-inspired diner chairs and retro refrigerator doors behind the bar, give it character.
Although BrainDead has 30 draft taps, none of them are serving house-made brews just yet -- Huerter, head brewer formerly of Deep Ellum Brewing Co., hopes to have those available "very soon."
[UPDATE at 3:30 p.m. on May 11: BrainDead Brewing now has three beers available for drinkin' -- the GRITZ, Export Stout and 75 Shilling, a pre-Prohibition cream ale. See descriptions below.]
Here's a list of BrainDead's four core beers:
- Dry-Hopped Wheat, an American wheat and session India pale ale hybrid clocking 4.8% alcohol content;
- GRITZ, a pre-Prohibition style cream ale brewed, in part, with flaked corn (4.4% ABV);
- BrainDead Red, what Huerter's calling an India red ale, which is big on both malts and hops (6% ABV);
- and Export Stout, a 6.6% ABV, Guinness-like offering that utilizes oatmeal and licorice root.
"It's funny because my garage has eight taps," he says, adding that he'd like to grow to 12 or more taps of BrainDead beer.
The restaurant is currently serving its full and late night menus, which include pimped out grilled cheese and a burger with a patty made of ground beef, brisket and bacon. The restaurant's brisket chili recently won the people's choice and judge's choice awards at a local beer-chili cook-off at LUCK in Trinity Groves.
Chef David Pena says everything aside from the bread is made in-house, from the condiments to the stout-infused chocolate syrup used to make one dessert. BrainDead makes beer from scratch, so it's only logical to make the food from scratch too, Pena recently told me.
As for brewing beers specifically to pair with the food, Huerter says, "I'm a huge food geek and David is a huge beer geek, so I think that's pretty inevitable."
BrainDead Brewing, 2625 Main St., Dallas. 469-286-9005. braindeadbrewing.com.