In 1847, William Rahr brought his passion for beer from Rhineland, Germany—where his ancestors had been stirring hops for years—to Manitowoc, Wisconsin, where he opened his own brewery and, later, a malt house. William's passion passed through the generations, eventually inspiring his great-great-grandson Fritz Rahr to open his own brewery with his wife, Erin, in 2004.
Today Rahr & Sons Brewing Company—whose Iron Thistle brew was named a National Grand Champion at the United States Beer Tasting Championships in 2009—pours more than 5,000 barrels each year. Encompassing amber lagers, bocks, IPAs, and more, Rahr's lineup of year-round and seasonal brews take their names from weather systems, homely dogs, buffalo hindquarters, and the storm clouds William saw on his voyage to America. The 20,000-square-foot facility welcomes visitors on popular Saturday and Wednesday tours, where fans can watch grain swirl and bob before it ships off to local farms and bakeries as a special treat for cattle and unique ingredient in artisanal bread.
Located on Main Street of Grapevine, Texas, D'Vine Wine treats visitors to countless varieties of wine paired with savory cheese and charcuterie plates. In the tasting and dining area, honeycombed wine racks and wooden barrels line the earth-toned walls, allowing visitors to imagine they've been swept away to the rustic cottage of a Tuscan vintner or the panic room of a billionaire. Guests sip house-made sauvignon blanc, malbec, and fruit-infused wine, while customers consult with sommeliers to custom-make a batch of their own wine, replete with one-of-a-kind labels.
Featuring an extensive menu of creative American food—including The Reuben 1976, born on the restaurant and brewery's opening day—Humperdink's has served the mertroplex area for 36 years. Humperdink's boasts menu items such as barbecue ribs, sustainable seafood, steaks, gourmet burgers, and original buffalo hot wings, along with a number of award-winning microbrews crafted on the premises and served on tap.
LightCatcher Winery & Bistro, owners Caris and Terry offer relaxed fine dining every Thursday through Saturday. They curate Tasting Menus and Prix Fix specials, which highlight the restaurant's finest wine and food pairings.
They welcome fledgling sippers to sample wines in the tasting room and happily answer wine-related questions, such as how to choose the perfect glass or how to properly perform a spit take when confronted with the indecency of a gentleman caller without a top hat.
Caris and Terry take wines seriously. They scour Texas vineyards in search of the most flavorful grapes and have won numerous awards for their winemaking efforts. As a winemaker and chef, Caris tailors LightCatcher Winery & Bistro’s menu to complement the libations with savory flourishes such as goat cheese creamed corn, gouda-truffle orzo, house made duck prosciutto, and smoked rabbit with fresh oysters.
Nestled among the wooden corrals and brick façades of the historic Fort Worth Stockyards district, Cowtown Winery pairs meats and cheeses with red, white, semisweet, and dessert wines handcrafted by an in-house vintner. Amid shelves stocked with emerald rows of bottles, the winery’s tasting bar hosts daily samplings of four premium wines such as the tart Silver Spur red and a pinot grigio with subtle aromas of apple, pear, and aged stetson hat. Handmade gifts crafted by Texan artists portray an array of southwestern motifs, and live acoustic music on the weekends helps to inspire first-time winemakers as they consult with vintners to design custom labels and concoct up to 29 bottles of their own signature wine.
The culinary ideology behind MAX's Wine Dive lies in a simple slogan: "Why the hell not?" With the gourmand irreverence to unite fried chicken with champagne, chili dogs with an Australian shiraz, and grilled cheese with a French sauvignon blanc, Executive Chef Patrick Russell's menu of eclectic dishes has earned MAX's Dallas location several OpenTable Diner Choice awards, including Hot Spot and Notable Wine List.
Though the cuisine evokes the flavors of a rustic diner, the ingredients are all gourmet—chefs spangle dishes with fresh seasonal produce, piquant cheeses, and unique sauces such as chipotle aioli and housemade crème fraiche. Meanwhile, an extensive inventory of world wines pours regularly, sending selections to tables by the glass even when the menu lists a varietal as bottle-only, thanks to the restaurant's two-glass commitment policy. Friday through Sunday, brunch bravely blends chicken fried steak and waffles, and the signature MAX 'n cheese puts a twist on an original in a more critic-friendly manner than editing a high-speed chase into Casablanca. Housing a private event space, MAX's Wine Dive can accommodate large groups of nearly 60 people.
Pop's Safari Room dishes out succulent, straightforward creations in a chic and exotically bedecked space. The simple dinner menu helps famished patrons muffle grumbling stomachs with sound-dampening appetizers such as bacon-wrapped scallops soaked in teriyaki glaze ($12), a classic lump-crab cake ($14), and grilled boar sausage served with blackberry sauce ($13). Burger buffs explore the flavorful evolution of bun-based species with sizzling patties made out of sirloin ($8.50), buffalo ($10), and ostrich ($11) meat.