New NOLA-inspired craft brewery taps in with king cake beer for Fort Worth
After months of pandemic-related delays, Fort Worth's newest craft brewery is ready to pour: Neutral Ground Brewing Company has officially opened its doors at 2929 Race St., in Fort Worth’s up-and-coming River East District.
It's owned by Stan Hudson and Sean Doublet, brewery partners who are combining their backgrounds in Texas and Louisiana for both the brewery and the beers. Hudson is a Texas native who’s homebrewed for more than a decade, while Doublet is from New Orleans and has a chemistry degree from Tulane University.
The name "Neutral Ground" refers to the once-disputed border between Texas and Louisiana, after the Louisiana Purchase.
And the signature beer? A king cake flavor that nods to Doublet's New Orleans roots. It actually combines multiple styles of non-traditional brewing ingredients, they say.
Other selections range from the Force Majeur IPA to the Ode to Excess Oatmeal Stout. They plan to have 20 beers on tap, but are still waiting for larger equipment to arrive, so they're getting started with a smaller system with limited capacity, they explain.
“We pride ourselves on our diversity and want to draw under-represented groups to the craft beer scene,” says Doublet.
Patrons can expect a restaurant feel inside, with custom-designed booth seating, tables and chairs, distinctive architectural details on the ceilings and walls, and unique lighting fixtures. The building features open-air, street-side barstool seating and patio seating both in the front and the back.
They do not sell food; however, folks may bring food in, whether from neighboring restaurants or via Door Dash or Uber Eats.
As for the location in River East, the owners say they purposely shunned warehouse buildings in industrial parks for their project and instead sought out locations near restaurants and residences. For them, Race Street checked all the boxes.
“We wanted a location with foot traffic,” Hudson says. “We must have done a drive-by through at least 20 properties.”
It's been a hot area for new businesses in recent years, including Tributary Café; The Post at River East live music venue, bar-restaurant; the new Latin-inspired seafood destination La Onda; several boutiques and shops; and a high-rise apartment complex.
Hudson was especially excited about Race Street, he says, because he lived in and still owns property in the nearby historic Oakhurst neighborhood.
“I've seen the Race Street and River East area develop over the years,” he says. “Race Street has such a good vibe.”
Neutral Ground Brewing Company is currently open from 4-10 pm Fridays and 2-10 pm Saturdays. They're currently selling beer by the pint, and they plan on tastings, tours, and beer to-go in the near future.