Whether you're a true da Vinci or a Bob Ross fanatic, it's hard to resist the itch to try your hand at your very own jack-o'-lantern when Halloween comes around every year. But with carving always comes a mess -- pumpkin guts on the kitchen table, all over the floor, spilling out of your garbage can.
This year, swap the cleanup for a brewski.
The Old Monk
A stalwart among Dallas beer bars, The Old Monk preps to celebrate 20 years this fall with a blowout birthday party on Nov. 2. But, leading up to that anniversary, The Monk's annual pumpkin carving charity fundraiser runs from Oct. 25 through Oct. 31.
Guests get a pint, carving tools and a pumpkin for $13. Saw down while seated at of the Monk's rustic wooden tables then submit a photo to email@example.com for a chance to be entered into the competition. Gift card prizes go to the top 3 gourds, and proceeds benefit local schools and charities such as the North Texas Food Bank.
"If memory serves we may have carved 25 pumpkins our first year, many by staff, [but the competition] has now grown to where we had just over 700 pumpkins carved last year," says owner Feargal McKinney. He adds:
Our kitchen schedule during the week includes the position 'pumpkin scooper.'
The Ginger Man
This chain of beer bars teams up with Dogfish Head Brewery for a special tasting and annual carving contest at its three North Texas locations and, in fact, the schedule allows for an industrious beer drinker to make an appearance at each. The fun goes down from 7 to 10 p.m. in Southlake on Oct. 23, Plano on Oct. 25 and Dallas on Oct. 29.
Pumpkins are free, while supplies last, and reservations or tickets aren't required, but guests are welcome to call ahead for a spot, if desired. Rotators for the occasion include Dogfish Head's Punkin Ale -- brewed with pumpkin meat, brown sugar and spices -- and Flesh & Blood IPA.
Oak St. Drafthouse
If you little farther north, enjoy a nice night on the patio at Oak St. Drafthouse's 7th annual contest in Denton. It's free, tools are provided and kids are welcome. The fun starts at 5:45 p.m. on Oct. 25 and runs until 7:45 p.m., when judging starts. No tracing or stencils are allowed, and you can take home your pumpkin afterward. Prizes for the top three designs include Oak Street Drafthouse tabs and shirts.
Flying Saucer Fort Worth
This one's for you, Beerknurds: Flying Saucer in Fort Worth is holding its sixth annual pumpkin-carving contest from 1 to 6 p.m. on Oct. 28.
For $10, you get a pumpkin, a carving kit and a Martin House beer. The bar will also accept donations of canned goods for Tarrant Area Food Bank. Children are welcome, and there will be prizes for the top 3 pumpkins.
Whipped cream on the proverbial pumpkin pie: Every Sunday at the Saucer, Texas drafts are $3 all day.
The Libertine Bar
Create a masterpiece at The Libertine, a longtime and beloved Lower Greenville spot, beginning at 5 p.m. on Oct. 29. For $10, you'll get a pumpkin to carve and a draught beer.
Judging is at 9 p.m. and $100, $50 and $25 gift cards will be awarded to the first-, second- and third-place finishers. Sign up now at the bar or by calling 214-824-7900.
Armadillo Ale Works
This contest at Armadillo Ale Works in Denton is judged by the people for the people. Carving under the covered patio begins 7 p.m. on Oct. 24, and supplies are provided. Winners will be chosen by a fan vote at 9 p.m.
The event is family friendly, and Wednesdays at the brewery feature all day happy hour with $3 beer specials.
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