Arlington draws millions of tourists and throngs of sports fans each year, but until recently it hadn’t managed to draw even one craft beer brewery. Division Brewing in central Arlington recently celebrated its one year anniversary. Co-founders/owners Sean Cooley and Wade Wadlington saw something in their hometown that other potential brewery owners may have missed.
“Arlington was super receptive when we opened,” Wadlington said. “I like that we’re in central Arlington. This city is sprawling, but we’re close to the ballpark.”
It’s been a good year for the brewing duo. The amount of beer sold at the brewpub this past year, Wadlington said, surpassed even his most optimistic predictions. Division’s brewhouse, taproom, and rows of picnic tables all cohabit a modest-sized warehouse that is complimented by an adjacent outdoor patio. The somewhat limited space means brewing is hands-on.
“We don’t have super expensive brewing equipment,” Cooley said. “We visit farms, buy fruit, and process it by hand. The space keeps us closer to the product.”
On a recent visit, Division Brewing had more than a dozen beers on tap. The brew menu roughly split the offerings into thirds: IPAs, sours, and various darker styles.
Wadlington, an admitted hop head, said he is a beer drinker first and brewer second. He’s visited swaths of the United States sampling American brews, and he has an affinity for Indian Pale Ales.
He strays from identifying himself as an “East” or “West” coast IPA guy, though.
“I’m influenced by both coasts,” he said. “We like to be creative and experiment. We’ll ask ourselves, ‘Can we figure out a way to dry-hop this better?’ There are so many tricks you can try to accentuate or infuse a beer with flavor.”
The robust choices of sours is largely due to Cooley. He brews everything from mild gose to bold sours. A dozen or so barrels in the brewery are reaching the all-important one year mark. Cooley plans to sell many of the tart ales as firkins using locally sourced fruit. And this year, Division Brewing plans to purchase an additional 30 barrels.
While Cooley and Wadlington aren’t looking to have Sierra Nevada-like marketplace share anytime soon, they do plan on offering more beer.
“I always want to have something new,” Wadlington said. “We made 55 different beers this year. I’d like to have 110 next year.”
You learn a lot during your first year as a brewery owner. One lesson Cooley has taken to heart is to not sweat the small stuff.
“When you first get into this business you feel the need to compete with or mimic the paths that [other breweries] have taken,” he said. “But eventually, you grow comfortable and figure out who you are.”
Division Brewing, 506 East Main Street, Arlington, 76010, 682-276-1276
Tours & Tastings are 4-10pm Thursday and Friday and 2-10pm every Saturday.
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On Tap this Week:
Beat the Brewery
The Collective Brewing Project co-founder Mike Goldfuss has been talking up his ping pong game lately. Word on the street has it that he’s mostly as good as he says. Next Thursday you can go head-to-head against the paddle master.
From Collective: One Thursday a month we are giving you a chance to beat the brewery in the taproom. Each month will entail a different game with a different brewery employee competing against you. Join us for the first one, ping pong, with co-founder/owner Mike Goldfuss. Entry at $10 includes two beers. You can pre-purchase your ticket on the payment portal or pay at the bar that night. Prizes: gift certificate, merch, and a month of taproom fame, etc. Think you’ve got what it takes to beat The Collective? Show up thirsty with your game face on.
Friday IPA Launch at Martin House Brewing Company
From Martin House: We’d like to kick off the New Year in the only way we know how. New beer! Our latest microseasonal release is a brand new IPA, simply titled Friday IPA. This beer is everything you wanted in an IPA. It’s dank, hoppy, and juicy. Brewed with Mosaic, Chinook, Amarillo, and Simcoe hops, Friday IPA is a flavor bomb. This will be our first, and possibly only, Friday open house. Still $10 for 3 beers. Starts at 6:30pm and ends at 9:30pm. Food Truck: Aunt Shirley’s Food Truck.
Visit the invite page for more details.