Parker County Today June 2016 - Page 84

PA R K E R C O U N T Y T O D AY JUNE 2016 the logo sporting a guitar pick in its center and the location’s décor including a wall full of vintage album covers. “Since Ryan’s background of music, there are touches of music everywhere,” Operations Manager David Pico said. Other decoration in the warehouse/bar area is up-cycled packing crates fashioned into the Fort Worth skyline, tables are made from giant cable spools. Cocktail tables are made from more packing crates where you might see a tennis ball hiding from Luna the German shepherd who serves as mascot/doorbell/ alarm system and has the run of the place. Part manufacturing facility, part industrial-feeling cool Austin bar, Panther Island Brewing is open to the public on Friday and Sunday with live music both nights. “We always try to support local artists,” continued Pico. “Our bigger local acts are on Friday, and then newer artists who are coming on the scene play on Sundays. We have a pretty decent range on our music,” McWhorter said. On Friday, they open at 5 p.m. and the tour begins at 7:30 p.m. They close at 9 p.m. On Sunday they are open from 2-6 p.m. They host many different kinds of special events ranging from a wedding to a 1-year-old’s birthday party, according to partner Saxon Skidmore. They can accommodate parties of up to 600 people, including the patio area on Saturdays. “We do all sorts of events,” she said. “All of the other breweries are open on Saturday, so that is a great time for us to host private parties,” Skidmore said. On Fridays, food trucks are on hand, as are an assortment of games and a huge TV to watch sporting events. The patio has a wonderful view of downtown Fort Worth. And the patio is pet friendly, “as long as your pet is friendly and must stay on a leash,” according to their website. There is no admission to visit the taproom, but if you’d like to take a tour and have a tasting there is a $10 charge. It includes three beers plus a souvenir pint glass to take home. “What really sets us apart from other breweries in the area is the experience you get here is a lot 82 different. We are small and familyoriented, and you get that feeling when you are here,” Skidmore said. Panther Island Brewing is growing with the entire microbrewery industry. According to brewersassociation.com, there are 189 craft breweries in Texas producing a whopping 1,135,043 barrels of craft beer per year. Texas ranks sixth in the nation based on barrels produced and seventh with the number of breweries. A craft brewer is small, independently owned and uses traditional methods of brewing beer. “Consumers are getting more educated and interested in tasty craft beers,” McWhorter said. “I think people are demanding tasty and handcrafted beer. They also want to support local.” They must be doing something right— Panther Island earned a silver medal at the Great American Beer Festival in October 2015. Across the street from the brewery is a variety of heavy equipment and workers moving mounds of dirt as part of the project dubbed by the Trinity River Vision Authority as “Panther Island.” The project will first and foremost address flood concerns, outdated infrastructure and environmental issues. But more important to business owners who have invested in North Side real estate, it will open up the development of 800 acres connecting Downtown, the Cultural District and the Stockyards. Public improvements will virtually double the size of downtown and generate more than $600 million in economic development activity during the first decade alone, according to the TRVA. With the coming development and their riverside location, Panther Island Brewing seems perfectly poised to take advantage of the coming growth across the street. The project is expected to be completed by 2023. Expansion plans for Panther Island Brewing over the next year include adding the 6,000-square-foot building just behind their current facility to increase the ability to host special events as well as the group’s plans to begin canning their product based on customer demand. They recently inked a deal to begin distribution of their product to Northwest Texas, including the Wichita Falls area. To sample Panther Island Brewing’s beers at home in Parker County, they can be found at Vintage Grill & Car Museum, Justice Burger, Antebellum Ale House and Boo-Ray’s of New Orleans. You can also fill a growler, a reusable container that can be refilled with your choice of craft beer, with David Pico, Ryan McWhorter, Saxon Skidmore, Daniel Nobile, Tammi Parada Not pictured: Joe Chapa, Joe Marone