North Texas Daily

Free Beer Friday spills onto the Square

Free Beer Friday spills onto the Square

Denton Welcome Center hosts Rabbit Hole Brewing for Free Beer Friday. Jackie Torres

Free Beer Friday spills onto the Square
March 01
08:21 2017

Alec Spicer | Staff Writer

With every Friday new opportunities to explore the city of Denton are made available, few local events are more unique than “Free Beer Friday” on the Denton Square.

Tucked in between LSA Burger and Norman Roscoe sits the Discover Denton Welcome Center, host to a number of free events in Denton. With a different brewery or vendor is featured every Friday, no two Free Beer Fridays are the same.

Craft and Conception

As event attendees mingled throughout the room while sipping on craft beer, UNT alumus Ben Esely, and owner of The Bearded Monk, bounces around the room. Esely, the man responsible for the formation of Free Beer Friday, is enthusiastic about Denton’s response to the relatively new weekly event.

“I did a radio show with [] and it ended up being one of their highest rated shows,” Esely said.

That interview is the same one that Esely credits as the catalyst for “Free Beer Friday’s” creation and ultimate success.

“After the radio show did so well, [Discover Denton] asked if I would just do a tasting for the Bearded Monk in late summer or early fall of last year,” Esley said.

What started as a one-time tasting would soon become a mainstay at Discover Denton.

“I love this event, it’s so much fun to be a part of every week,” international business senior Robyn Ferguson said. “I’m the official Free Beer Friday girl.”

Discover Denton  Welcome Center hosts Laron Cheek and Matt Morriss from Rabbit Hole Brewing for Free Beer Friday. Jackie Torres

Although the weekly gathering is a seemingly fun experience for anyone who finds themselves strolling through the Square on any given Friday night, it also serves as an efficient tool for local sustenance and culture.

“Plenty of people around here want to both learn about craft beer and support local businesses,” Esely said. “That’s the whole point of this event.”


Most recently, the Rabbit Hole, Denton County’s oldest craft brewery founded in 2012, sampled their most popular beers to patrons of the Discover  Denton Welcome Center. Having just celebrated their five-year anniversary the day before, the Rabbit Hole’s team of beer connoisseurs were eager to introduce the madness that is their ale.

Though it was their first time presenting at Free Beer Friday, The Rabbit Hole co-founders Laron Cheek and Matt Morriss were in their natural habitat as they handed out samples.

“Each beer has a story, it’s an ongoing theme,” Cheek said of the Rabbit Hole’s five beers being showcased on Friday.

With names like “10/6 English Pale Ale” and their newest release, the cleverly titled  “Off With Your Red,” a hoppy red India Pale Ale, the Rabbit Hole doesn’t miss an opportunity to reference their inspiration, based largely on Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass.”

“If you look closely at them, there is a chess move on every single can,” Cheek tells beer lovers in attendance.

In a nod to their continued influence, each flavor of beer that the Rabbit Hole releases is strategically adorned with a chess move on the can that leads to another flavor.

Maintaining a concept isn’t the extent of the Rabbit Hole’s priorities. The brewery brought in their neighbors at the Cultivate Agency to design all of their cans, promotional material and merchandise.

“They have helped us create really awesome products,” Morriss said. “And they’re local. We definitely try to involve anything local with our company that we can.”

The same focus on encouraging local support is the very crux of why Free Beer Friday has proven to be a hit among Dentonites.

As the Discover Denton Welcome Center wraps up another Friday, there’s a sense of community clear to Esely.

“That’s what this event is all about,” Esely said. “Where else can people come share a beer and hang out with their fellow Dentonites who are also brewing their beer?”

Featured Image: Denton Welcome Center hosts Rabbit Hole Brewing for Free Beer Friday. Jackie Torres

About Author

Alec Spicer

Alec Spicer

Alec is the Editor-in-Chief of the North Texas Daily.

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