A new brewery in Fort Worth is cooking up something different from the rest — an on-site cafe with chef-driven food. Funky Picnic Brewery & Café opened June 26 in the buzzy new South Main Village development.
The brewpub sells beer brewed in house along with sandwiches, appetizers, salads, and desserts — picnic-inspired fare.
Home-brewing was a social hobby for co-founders and friends Samantha Glenn, Collin Zreet, and husband-and-wife duo John Koch and Jenni Hanley before the foursome collaborated to create the concept. The curious name comes from the owners' shared love of beer, bread, and the great outdoors.
"John and Jenni started brewing together on their stove, seeing it as a fun challenge to try as a couple," says Glenn. "John knew me through the local kickball scene, and I played Ultimate Frisbee with Collin, who was a high-school friend of Jenni’s. Full circle. We were all brewing separately before coming together as a team."
They've enlisted the guidance of lead brewer Michael Harper, most recently with Oak Highlands Brewery in Dallas. Patrons can expect a rotating mix of classic beer styles along with brews infused with unusual ingredients, like prickly pear and pink peppercorns. The beers are available in half-pours, full pours, or to-go by the "crowler," which is a 32-ounce canned version of a growler. A flight of four selections is $10, or a "the whole picnic" (a taster of every beer) is $16.
Chef Josh Rangel, whose resume includes stints at La Perla, The Dive Oyster Bar, Waters, and HG Sply Co., leads the kitchen and is incorporating beer into many menu items. Find beer-cheese fondue, beer bacon jam, and dill pickles brined with pale ale.
There are all also picnic basket staples offered in elevated form, like fingerling potato salad, a pimento cheese and cured ham sandwich, house-made potato chips, and fruit cobbler topped with Henry's Homemade Ice Cream.
"The beers are created to go hand-in-hand with the food menu. They complement one another," says Glenn. "We love to use classic styles, as well as experiment with unique flavors. For example, our brewer Michael Harper just fermented some peaches with lactobacillus, and they can theoretically be used for both beer and in a dressing in the kitchen."
Between bar seating, tables, and a couch nook, the space seats just more than 120 people. There's not a patio, but there are barstools that sit against garage windows along the outdoor sidewalk.
Funky Picnic is located at 401 Bryan Ave., Ste. 117 and is open 8 am to 10 pm Wednesday through Saturday and 11 am to 8 pm Sunday. A grand opening celebration will take place July 20.