January 1, 2021
Lager Than Life: Inside The Foundry District’s Newest Brewery
Newly opened Maple Branch Craft Brewery sports a massive biergarten — plus plenty of killer brews.
When Stuart and Allyssa Maples decided to open their own brewery, they had zero idea it would become a haven for brew-chasers with more on their mind than just beer.
Over the past few months, newly opened Maple Branch Craft Brewery, located in The Foundry District, has become a sanctuary for brew-lovers who are also adamant about social distancing. At a monster 7,000 square feet, the brewery’s biergarten is the ideal place to sip on a craft brew while keeping 6 feet apart.
“We knew that we wanted a lot of space for the biergarten,” Allyssa says. “We modeled ours after traditional German biergartens, which are huge. It just happened to work out that we now have enough space for people to socially distance, too.”
Building the biergarten was a labor of love. “It was originally a parking lot,” Allyssa says, laughing. “When I say we started from scratch, I mean we started from scratch.” The beautifully landscaped area now includes three types of trees: bur oaks, live oaks, and, of course, maples.
Maple Branch’s tasting room and brewery area are spread out over an additional 7,000 square feet. That’s plenty of room for Stuart and Allyssa, both grads of Texas Christian University, to fine-tune their brews. On any given day, there’s at least 15; Allyssa says they’ll have up to 28 ready to roll by February.
Current brews include Ryes N’ Shine, a barrel-aged coffee stout; Czech Ya Later, a rich, pale Czech lager; Vienna Waits 4 You, an amber lager with a smooth maltiness; Igoe or You Go, a strawberry milkshake IPA; Defining Moment, an American-inspired brown ale with chocolate and caramel flavors; and the Knight’s Ale, a potent wheat wine with a satisfyingly bready flavor.
“We’re going to be as seasonal as possible,” Allyssa says. “New flavors will rotate in and out, depending on the time of year it is and the best seasonal ingredients available.”
The brewery has been nearly six years in the works. A year after the craft beer bug hit Stuart, the couple started stashing money away, in hopes they could someday open their own brewery. The Maples spent much of the last three years zeroing in on a good spot for it.
“We looked at every district in Fort Worth — the Near Southside, the Race Street area, random warehouses outside of the loop,” Allyssa says. “What drew us to The Foundry District was the amount of space we’d have. We were pretty unwavering on the fact that we wanted that massive biergarten.”
2628 Whitmore St., maplebranchbrew.com