Plano has come a long way and the Plano Magazine Craft Beer Tour highlighted some of the latest developments. Plano is now home to two independent craft breweries that make quality beer and provide a great experience for locals and visitors alike.
The beer tour met up at Unlawful Assembly Brewing Company located on the third floor of Legacy Hall. Legacy Hall’s first two floors are lined with food stalls and no matter what your food preferences are, you’re likely to find something you like. After check-in, we headed straight for the bus and met our tour guide, Matt, from Dallas Brew Bus.
Matt gave us a brief history of the beer scene here in North Texas. It is a brief history because just eight short years ago there were only two breweries in the DFW area. Now there are something like 70. Matt has built a business on the growing craft brew scene and is booking tours over at dallasbrewbus.com. Check out their page and get some tickets. The other reason that Matt’s history lesson was brief was that we only had to travel about 5 minutes to get to our first destination which was Union Bear.
Union Bear got its name from another business out of Dallas, but it created its own brewpub and vibe from there. Union Bear has some great beers with not just their own beers on tap but also a great selection of craft beers from outside their walls and a full bar. Even though I’m partial to beer, it is hard to ignore the great food they serve. I’d recommend Union Bear if you’re looking for good food or beer. However, food and beer aren’t the end of the story. Union Bear backs up to The Boardwalk at Granite Park making the outdoor seating great, their indoor space is great too.
Because Union Bear was the first stop on our tour, I feel pretty secure in my opinion about it. I would definitely recommend it as a destination for residents and visitors alike. I’ll go back and will bring the family along.
Our second stop on the tour was Tupps Brewery in McKinney. Two years ago, Tupps was one of my favorite breweries to visit. I hadn’t been there lately though, so I was excited to go. Unfortunately, Tupps did not live up to my expectations. Sure the beer was good, but when visiting a brewery I hope to have a great experience. The best way I can put it is that Tupps is in need of a good spring cleaning. What had been a really cool, rustic building and decor is definitely showing its age and needs some TLC. The area in back is starting to look like a place American Pickers might spot as they drive by. Tupps recently signed a distribution deal with Ben E, Keith, so they are probably busy making enough beer to keep up with the new demand which is a good problem to have. I’d still make Tupps a stop if you’re in the area, the beer is good.
Our third and final stop was right back where we began at Unlawful Assembly at Legacy Hall. The brewery occupies the third floor along with the taproom. Our tour guide gave us an awesome tour and did a great job explaining their beer making process. The beers are great and they are about ready to start canning so you can enjoy their beers at home. When you visit Union Bear, plan to go downstairs and get some food from one or more of the many food stalls.
It was a great afternoon and I’m grateful that Plano Magazine hosted a fun tour. It is great that Plano has a growing craft beer brewing scene with Union Bear and Unlawful Assembly leading the way. Check out our slideshow below. Visit Plano Magazine and Dallas Brew Bus.