June 2, 2022

Nothin but the Hits

By FWTX Staff, Fort Worth Magazine, June 2, 2022

Take this record for a spin to get in tune with the best this city has to offer. From the Stockyards to Stop Six, the tracks on this collection of greatest hits fully embrace the funk, the cow, and the panther.

Fort Worth is proud of its homegrown talent – and that extends to bars and restaurants. We’ll gladly, proudly snub an out-of-town eatery or drinkery in the name of waving the 817 flag.

Craft Beer: Reader Pick – Maple Branch Craft Brewery

Stuart and Allyssa Maples have shared a love for craft beer since they were college sweethearts at TCU’s Neely School of Business. They’d find themselves at home most weekends while Stuart worked eight- to 12-hour days developing the perfect home brew recipe — or visiting Funkytown’s most notable breweries, hoping to discover their new craft beer favorite.

While a lot of work went into developing their passion, Allyssa says it truly began about a decade ago when Stuart tried his first sip of craft beer from Sierra Nevada, a brewery in Chicos, California. From then forward, he put his feet in the mud and won dozens of home brew competitions with his personal brews, including first place for his American Brown Ale at the 2018 Bluebonnet Brew-Off, the largest single-site home brew competition in the world.

“He just had this hilarious thought process and went from ‘Oh, I love this beer’ to ‘I think I can make this kind of beer,’” Allyssa says. “It really takes a rare person to make that jump, but it’s exactly what he did.”

And after about seven years refining their concept, the couple brought Maple Branch Craft Brewery to an ivy-covered warehouse formerly owned by legendary interior designer Joseph Minton.

Though it opened in October 2020 — when COVID-19 numbers escalated — Maple Branch Craft Brewery quickly became a sanctuary for beer lovers who preferred to distance themselves from others. Modeled after German biergartens, the 7,000-square-foot outdoor concept was the perfect safe haven.

Formerly a parking lot, the biergarten was a labor of love that they brought to life — with beer lovers, occasional wildlife, and newly planted bur oaks, live oaks, and, of course, maples to coincide with their namesake.

“We really love nature, so a big thing for us was planting the trees in our biergarten,” Allyssa says — adding that they also wanted to be able to incorporate their name into the business without it being too pushy. “That’s also how he came up with ‘Maple Branch.’ We just kind of want people to branch out.”

On any given day, Maple Branch has at least 20 beers on tap, though the number is usually higher. Her personal favorite is Monkey Business — a 5.4% ABV Hefeweizen, which recently won silver in the Texas Craft Brewers Competition. Stuart says they’re all his favorite. 2628 Whitmore St., maplebranchbrew.com

Beauty and Wellness – The Greatest Hits – See the full list HERE

This is a fairly new category. After all, the decades leading up to the turn of the century weren’t particularly kind to the hemp and marijuana industries. Let’s face it, we’re not that far removed from documentaries like “Reefer Madness.” While laws have no doubt relaxed, the bigger win is the cultural acceptance of cannabis (hemp and marijuana are technically the same species) as a plant that offers numerous health benefits. A business like Thrive Apothecary, whose target demographic is people over the age of 45, would have once been the most taboo shop in town. Today, its parking lot is routinely full of sedans and SUVs.

Co-founded by husband-and-wife duo of Trey Phillips — a former sergeant in the Fort Worth Police Department — and Dr. Lisa Gardner, Thrive opened its doors five years ago — a forerunner to the wave of CBD stores that started popping up more rapidly throughout the city. But what separates Thrive Apothecary from others is its knowledge and vast product selection — which includes its own line of products that are of exceptional quality. Lisa, who’s a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist and a licensed medical marijuana doctor in the state of Texas, has also been one of the region’s leading CBD advocates, having appeared in numerous publications as a subject matter expert — present publication included.

Located next to the popular wine bar 38 and Vine, over the past few years, Thrive Apothecary’s small brick-and-mortar has become a staple of the Foundry District. The shop offers various products and services that highlight the numerous benefits associated with CBD and cannabis in general. Products include creams, sprays, and gels for hair, skin, and body; edibles; Delta-8 and Delta-9; inhalers, and even products for your pet — oils, shampoos, edibles, and skin care. Similar to humans, studies show pets that are given a daily regimen of CBD showed significant improvement in pain relief and overall quality of life.

The store’s most popular products include Delta 8 and Delta 9, both THC products that are derived the hemp plant (not marijuana), and neither requires a prescription. However, six months ago, with Gardner a fully licensed medical marijuana doctor, the store began seeing clients — those who might have ALS, multiple sclerosis, cancer, epilepsy, or any one of the qualifying conditions — in need of medical marijuana cards. The store offers physician appointments with Gardner who can write prescriptions for those who qualify. Customers who want to get evaluated just need to visit thrivemedicalcannabis.com. 212 Carroll St., Ste. 120, thrivemedicalcannabis.com