Noble Rey Brewing Company in Dallas on Friday, Jan. 22, 2018. (Nathan Hunsinger/The Dallas Morning News)

Noble Rey Brewing Company in Dallas on Friday, Jan. 22, 2018. (Nathan Hunsinger/The Dallas Morning News)

Nathan Hunsinger/Staff Photographer

Amid North Texas' continually bubbling beer scene, one local brewery has filed for bankruptcy. 

Dallas-based Noble Rey Brewing Co. filed for reorganization (chapter 11) in U.S. bankruptcy court for the Northern District of Texas on Dec. 19, reporting more than $1 million in debt. The brewery does not intend to close, co-founder Chris Rigoulot said Saturday.

"We are in no way closing or going out of business. In fact our taprooms are open to the public and we are still manufacturing and selling beer," Rigoulot tells GuideLive. "At this time that is all I can speak to, but [we] have no intention of going anywhere any time soon."

Golden Rey Dandy Bavarian Wit and other beers by Noble Rey Brewing Co., Dallas.

Golden Rey Dandy Bavarian Wit and other beers by Noble Rey Brewing Co., Dallas.

Cyndi Long Studios/Noble Rey Brewing Co.

Opened in 2015, Noble Rey was one of a massive wave of independently-owned breweries to populate the region when both the local and national craft beer markets were experiencing exponential growth. The brewery quickly set itself apart with clever and creative cans that feature several different "characters" that take full form when the six-packs are stacked. 

In 2016, it opened a satellite location at the Dallas Farmers Market, and two years later inked a deal with an international distributor to make its brews available in France. Noble Rey's beer called Eagles Tears went viral after it challenged another made in the Northeast called Dallas Sucks, and sparked a friendly rivalry between fans of the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles football teams.

But in the years since its opening, business has become more challenging for independent brewers across the board. Competition has increased thanks to an unprecedented number of beer makers coming on the scene and numerous corporations purchasing smaller brewers. With more than 6,200 breweries currently operating in the U.S., experts have debated whether there is enough thirst to meet all the beer being made.

Could North Texas' continued craft beer explosion be too much of a good thing?

Brewery closings, while still uncommon in Dallas-Fort Worth, have increased over the years, too. According to the Brewers Association, a trade organization that represents the interests of craft brewers, closing are up almost 143 percent, from 68 in 2015 to 165 in 2017.

"As the number of breweries has exploded, slowing growth plus more breweries means that per brewer growth numbers have declined significantly," said Bart Watson, the association's chief economist, in March. "It's clear that although the category is still growing, breweries individually are growing less than they expected a few years ago."

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