“Beer for the Greater Good”. Community Beer Company’s motto may sound like self important marketing speak to those unfamiliar with the Design District brewery, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Upon our first visit to Community, located on Stemmons right across from the American Airlines Center, it was readily apparent that “Beer for the Greater Good” is far more than a hollow PR mantra.
Community houses one of the largest taprooms of any brewery in North Texas. Complete with massive projections of ESPN on the back wall, a sizeable bar featuring all of their core beers (and small batch one-offs) on tap, and even a small stage for local musical acts to perform, it’s clearly important to Community that they embody the essence of their name; fostering a communal space for patrons to enjoy quality local brews (and perhaps the ideal spot to pregame before Mav’s tipoff).
This notion of craft beer as a commodity meant for communal enjoyment and a force for communal good extends beyond Community’s efforts in the taproom. The brewery’s “Beer For the Greater Good Initiative” partners with a different local charity every month (this month’s is F.A.R.M., an agricultural therapy foundation for veterans), donating the proceeds from one of their beer’s sales to a worthy cause.
Fittingly, one of the key characteristics that sets Community Beer Company apart is the sense of camaraderie they’ve cultivated within the North Texas craft beer scene. At several breweries we’ve visited covering craft beer in the metroplex, Community was mentioned by their industry peers as a shining example of doing it the right way.
While about half of Community’s building is dedicated to the taproom space, the other half is where the brewery proper resides. Attending a craft beer and cheese pairing event in the brewery was a major highlight of our journey through the land of North Texas craft beer. Community paired four of their beers with eight cheeses provided by Rare Edibles, and the resultant flavors were magnificent. For our readers under the impression that artisanal cheeses can only be paired with fine wines, go to one of these events and prepare to have your expectations upended.
Seated in the brewery, next to a host of hulking, pristine fermentation tanks, we started pairing our cheeses and beer. The proceedings began with a Berlinerweisse, a soured German wheat beer, paired with Camembert di Bufala and Crottin cheeses. The acidity of the sour beer was balanced wonderfully by these mild, soft cheeses making for a delectable combination of flavors.
Having gotten a taste of something tart, the next beer on the docket, the Sundial session IPA, provided us with just a tinge of hoppy bitterness and a clean, refreshing finish. For those who might be intimidated by IPA’s, this beer is a great starter, offering a nice blend of both flavor and drinkability. It certainly didn’t hurt that the Sundial paired marvelously with the cheeses we ate alongside it. The Mahon Reserva, a firm Spanish cheese, in particular, had a sweet finish that complemented the Sundial’s subtle bitterness nicely.
After introducing just a hint of something bitter with the Sundial, Community doubled down (or tripled down, really) on the bitterness with their “Triple Yessir!”, Triple IPA. Clocking in at 12% ABV and 105 IBU’s, the “Triple Yessir!” drank like a meal and made our two earlier brews seem like mere appetizers. If you enjoy bold hop and fruit flavors, this is your drink. The standout cheese we ate with our Triple Yessir was called Ewephoria. Beyond having an amazing, punny name, this cheese worked wonders with the Triple IPA because of its substantial, semi-firm texture and nutty sweetness.
Now that we’d eaten our meal, it was time for dessert. What a dessert it was. Community trotted out the fourth ever batch of their barrel aged Russian imperial stout called Legion. A rich, chocolatey stout with strong notes of coffee and vanilla on its own merits, when aged for five months in Woodford Reserve barrels, this beer absorbs the leftover bourbon lingering in the wood and becomes another beast entirely. A robust cooperation between the smoky flavors of an imperial stout and the deep, oaky potency of bourbon, the barrel aged Legion is easily one of the best beers of its style native to North Texas. Pairing this beer with an Italian, whiskey washed rind cheese called Testun al Malto made for a truly decadent beer drinking experience. Instead of a slice of pie and cup of coffee for dessert, think slice of cheese and glass of beer.
All in all, after reflecting upon our experience at Community we strongly urge you to go and experience an event there yourself. For lovers of good beer residing in North Texas, Community Beer Company is well worth checking out. Go for both the delicious brews, and the genuine sense of communal goodwill they’ve managed to foster through the taproom, charitable initiatives, and great events like the beer and cheese pairing we were able to attend.