All that tasting must've dried Mark Stuertz's mouth because he took a detour for Collin County's best breweries. Here's a list of his favorites.
This is an engaging, unwind-friendly beer hall with chef-driven interpretations of American classics, like house-cured beef jerky and the brewmaster’s Reuben to pair
with your favorite pours. Plano’s first brewery is billed as a communal expanse with a West Coast feel fused with deep Texas roots. Union Bear’s “no coast beer” is as refreshing as it is bursting with frothy
flavor. Its lineup of signature craft beers includes IPAs (of course), rich stouts, ales and our favorite, the tongue-tingling Blood Orange Wit wheat beer. These signatures are complemented by guest taps from craft brewers from all over. Enjoy a draft pour or choose a flight to experiment with.
Rollertown Beerworks has a full slate of brews: from lagers and Kolschs to hoppy IPAs and stouts, to hazy Hefeweizens and sours. We like the Rollertown Light, their namesake beer that’s crisp, shearing your lazy tongue with a revitalizing citrus layer. Or go all out with the War Daddy Imperial
Stout — pure diesel fuel for the soul. Rollertown takes its name from an episode in Celina history. When residents learned the railroad was skipping their town, they put city buildings on rollers, hooked them
up to traction engines and rolled them all several miles through wet wheat fields, rebuilding the town square just off the railroad. Think of it as a roller derby on suds.
One thing you must understand about Princeton, Texas, (population 6,807) is that it is a big water skiing destination. It’s a hub of competition ski lake homes and neighborhoods threaded with water skiing
channels. Whoda thunk it? Enter Big Spray Brewing, part restaurant, part pub, all water skiing thematic. Water skis are displayed on the walls, make appearances as beer tap handles and hold the beer flights. The nautical ski theme is replicated in the beer portfolio: Long Line Pale Ale, Driver Buoy Blond, Coconut Pale Ale, Deep Water Porter, Crash & Burn IPA, etc. All are as refreshing as a high-speed water ski wipeout. Dunk, rinse, repour.
Tupps Brewery is a Texas craft brew powerhouse—among the top 15 in production. The destination taproom is a cavernous space crafted from an old historic cotton mill. Old weather-beaten cars and vans glorified with Tupps nomenclature give it an upscale junkyard vibe. The taproom is furnished with a stage for live music and tables made from repurposed wire spools. But that will soon be eighty-sixed. By publication date, Tupps will be resettled in a 120-year-old McKinney grain mill on Greenville Road with a large outdoor stage, a 12,000-square-foot taproom and a 30,000-square-foot production facility, all on 4.3 acres. Production will zoom from around 11,000 barrels up to about 40,000. Tupps brews are clean and vivifying with accompaniments from the Barley Gastrovan. Don’t miss.
Crafting fermented glory in McKinney, Franconia Brewing Co. heritage shuttles back to 1800 to the Franconia region of Germany. Franconia bills itself as the essence of true Bavarian brewing craft and
to that end, it is compliant with the Reinheitsgebot, the "purity order” that regulates the ingredients in German beers. Experience these directives by acquainting your palate with a mouthful of Franconia Dunkel (German for Dark), Kolsch, wheat, red ale, blonde and more. While you’re at it, take a swig of the Walker Texas Radler Peach and Walker Texas Radler Pineapple
Hefeweizens. Thirsty? Book a tour: $10 and the fee includes three tickets for three pints of delicious Franconia suds. Prost!
Beer is quintessentially vegetarian — think of it as fresh-squeezed grain juice with a fizzy attitude adjustment. Union Bear Brewing has a delicious cauliflower elote and a flatbread with mushrooms, onions, potatoes and smoked gouda, while Big Spray Brewing offers a Beyond Meat veggie burger. The Barley Gastrovan at Tupps Brewery offers black bean hummus and cheese curds to accompany your sips.