Bankhead Brewing Co., 611 University Dr, FW. 817-439-9223. 11am-9pm Sun, 4-10pm Mon-Tue, 11am-10pm Wed-Thu, 11am-11pm Fri, 11am-11:30pm Sat. All major credit cards accepted.
Fort Worth’s current crop of brewpubs and breweries has seen few closures since pioneering Rahr & Sons opened in 2004. The Collective Brewing Project shuttered right before COVID-19 swept through North Texas, and Deep Ellum’s ill-fated Funkytown Fermatorium didn’t survive the subsequent mandatory restaurant shutdowns.
The Dallas transplant opened to great fanfare in early 2019, partly because the location just north of the West 7th corridor was devoid of breweries at the time and mostly because Fort Worthians have an insatiable appetite for well-executed wood-fired pizzas. With its brewing equipment and custom pizza oven intact, the locked-up building waited a full year for its next tenant. Newcomer Bankhead Brewing Co. has made great use of the restaurant’s spacious layout while completely reinventing the menu, beer selection, and overall experience.
The central bar still welcomes hopheads who want to enjoy a frothy pint of ale while catching a game or gabbing with friends. While Funkytown Fermatorium pushed beer, Bankhead Brewing offers a more well-rounded drinking experience with original cocktails and ample vino offerings. The menu boasts rotating specials like ribeye steaks and a vast selection of shareable plates, pizzas, burgers, entrees, and salads.
On a recent visit, the stuffed avocados were firm and flavorful. Each large wedge was filled with an avocado seed-sized “brisket ball” that had a decent amount of meat and the consistency of a hush puppy. The light lingering heat left by the chipotle aioli was cooled by drizzles of cilantro sour cream and a medley of fresh pico de gallo.
The salt and pepper calamari were perfectly cooked. I’m typically a fan of lightly battered seafood that doesn’t obscure the meat, but the hearty morsels were filling and (as advertised) heavily peppered. In lieu of the typical obligatory side of marinara was a tomato marmalade that was mildly sweet — the perfect side for the peppery cuts of squid.
Bankhead Brewing offers several hamburgers, but I sprung for a half serving of the grilled cheese and brisket sandwich, which I ordered with a half serving of beer sriracha cheese soup. The sammy promised bacon marmalade, but my order came with only cheese and meat. The sourdough bread was thick and toasted and had a nice crunch. Large portions of tender, stringy beef made the sandwich both pleasing and filling. The soup was lighter in texture than I imagined a beer-infused cheese soup would be. The fluffy texture, rich cheddar flavor, mild heat from the sriracha, and bits of veggies made the dish a winner.
The main attraction came last. I split my pizza 50-50 between the Little Piggy and Brown Sugar. The high heat of the wood-fired oven left a nice char on the dough without overcooking it. Each bite of the Brown Sugar was a delight. The scamorza cheese, which has a light texture and mozzarella-like flavor, was covered with pepperoni, spicy Tuscan peppers, chunks of tart pineapple, and chopped basil. The mild cheese put the peppers and pineapple front and center.
This was my third trip to Bankhead Brewing and admittedly my third time to order the Little Piggy. It may be the reduced balsamic vinegar, sweet bits of fig, generous cuts of pork, or the thick bed of cheese, but the Little Piggy is one of the best pizzas in town.
I snagged a crowler of beer to go and cracked open the Mile Marker 13 later that evening. The 6.1% ABV New England IPA was hazy with a medium body and mild tangerine notes. Bankhead Brewing doesn’t beat you over the head with its beer selection. The lunch and dinner options are well-executed and delicious — with or without the craft brews.
Bankhead Brewing Co.
Mile Marker 13 crowler $8
Sandwich/soup combo $9
Brown Sugar/Little Piggy $15
Stuffed avocados $12
Salt and pepper calamari $13