New brewery in the works near Denton Square

New brewery in the works near Denton Square

New brewery in the works near Denton Square
October 28
10:59 2016

A new craft beer brewery is under construction on Bell Avenue next to Boca 31, courtesy of the boys at Armadillo Ale Works, Yianni Arestis and Bobby Mullins. The duo met at UNT after attending some local shows and drinking beer together.

The 18,000 square foot building and 2,000 square feet of outdoor space, which used to be Sanford Muffler and Automotive, will transform into a craft beer haven by spring 2017.

Mullins, co-founder and chief brewmaster at Armadillo, said he was introduced to craft beer after working at Metzler’s Food and Beverage while he went to school. He then began his startup in craft beer when his brother bought him a homebrewing kit to try his wits on. Those first few trial runs peaked his curiosity in craft beer, and he said things took off from there.

“I started making it in college, and it was terrible, but I was in college and my friends didn’t care because it was free beer,” Mullins said, joking about his first attempts at craft beer.

Throughout college, Mullins noticed Denton beginning to explore craft beers, with more bars here and there serving special brews. Until recently, however, the town didn’t have too much craft beer exposure.

After stepping away from Denton for a while after college, Mullins found expertise working for Saint Arnold Brewing Company in Houston.

“I went to work for Saint Arnold and really learned how to dial it in and make better beer, and make it consistently and work on a commercial level,” Mullins said.

After moving back and teaming up with Arestis, the two began their pursuit of craft beer and brewing in Armadillo Ale Works, the brewery they dreamed of bringing to Denton, the town they think is perfect for such an endeavor.

“All the breweries, bottle shops, growler shops and awesome bars, I really don’t think there are many places like it in Texas, or even across the country, where within a few blocks you can walk and just hit up so many awesome places,” Arestis said.

The duo launched a Kickstarter campaign in 2011 asking for a donation goal of $30,000 to bring their idea to fruition. With the Kickstarter, they crowdfunded $34,002 between May 12 and June 30 and began their journey into craft beer brewing.

“I moved here for college and love the town,” said Arestis, CEO and co-founder of Armadillo Ale Works.  “I’ve been here ever since. I think we just wanted to kind of plant our roots here.”

A city ordinance adopted in 2015 allows for “craft alcohol production” within city limits as long as the brewery has a restaurant or brewpub attached. Because of this, Armadillo Ale Works is permitted to open its own craft brewery near the heart of Denton’s downtown area, within walking distance of the train station. Patrons will soon be able to travel from across Dallas-Fort Worth via the DART train to stop and visit Armadillo Ale Works for a tour of the brewery and a pint or two in their showroom.

“Denton’s going to be a big craft-beer destination I think here shortly,” Arestis said.

Arestis and Mullins, who both consider themselves “foodies,” said their beer is more “culinary inspired” than some other traditional brews. Arestis said he has found a special fascination with fermentation where it’s used in food, be it in cheese, wine, beer or other foods and drinks, and has used this curiosity to specialize and perfect their beer recipes.

Where a traditional German brewery might stick to a practice called the Reinheitsgebot, which includes strict guidelines for brewing only four specific ingredients, Armadillo Ale Works looks for more creativity by utilizing many ingredients to highlight each specific brew.

“Most beers you have to brew a least a few times to get it right,” Arestis said. “Some many, many times. But then others, you’re just like, boom, right from the beginning.”

For now, Armadillo has two beers, Dapper Apple and Honey Please, out on tap for public consumption at close to 100 different bars and pubs across DFW.

After teaming up and working together to build their brand, taking years to perfect their recipes and products, the two said Denton was the place they wanted to be.

“We’ve always wanted to be part of the community and always wanted to make unique, interesting beers,” Arestis said. “People throw that word around a lot, but I feel like in Denton you really do get a good sense of community, whereas in a lot of other places, you don’t.”

Featured Image: Yianni Arestis (left) and Bobby Mullins (right) want to make beer that people remember. Being known for beers like Honey Please, they explain that the creating process is different for every beer they make. Zoee Acosta

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Kyle Martin

Kyle Martin

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