Affluent Dallas suburb, Richardson, got its first genuine brewpub in 2015 when entrepreneurial brewmaster, Drew Smeeton, decided to create handcrafted “English ales with a Texas twist” for commercial consumption under the Wild West banner, FOUR BULLETS BREWERY.
Interestingly, the Brit-born zymurgist (now a 30-year-plus homebrewer) lived close to my hometown in Northern Jersey for a decade and experienced Suffern, New York’s now defunct, but once quintessential, Mountain Valley Brewpub.
During my initial visit, July ’17, assistant brewer Doug Steele joins Smeeton and I to talk beer styles and history while my wife and friend, Jeff, dig the rangy English Pale Ale on tap.
Inside a crude cement-floored warehouse at a corporate Industrial area just off George Bush Highway, Four Bullets’ friendly tasting room features a cozy living room with TV, several stainless steel brewtanks, a handful of draught lines, wood furnishings and strewn British flags. A rustic back porch with patio furnishings provides extra space.
Just for kicks, Smeeton’s original brews utilize cool card game jargon as monikers.
Dewy moderation, What Are The Odds English Pale Ale, brought dried fruiting to mild reedy and floral tones as well as leafy hop crisping.
Sweet-honeyed dark rye toasting enriched Royal Flush Red Ale, leaving ancillary apple-plum-pear illusions and mild floral hop daubs.
Leaning towards an IPA, emboldened Cascade-hopped Two Pairs Pale Ale dangled dried cherry, tart grapefruit and tangy tangerine illusions atop mild wood tones and caramel malts.
Stylishly combining the dewy peat mossing of a British IPA with the sharp piney fruited caramel malting of a West Coast version, All In retained a cornucopia of flavors.
For dessert, Four Bullet’s signature elixir, Black Jack Brown Ale (a traditional English Brown Ale) let its nutty core receive mild caramelized chocolate, cocoa and toffee creaming.