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Restaurants / Bars

Fort Worth’s Funky New Beer Haven is Defying the Government Shutdown to Open With Free Beer

A Deep Ellum Favorite Makes a Big Move

BY // 01.23.19

Dallas’ Deep Ellum Brewing Company is spreading the beer gospel, opening a second location in Fort Worth on March 1. And it’s not letting the government shutdown slow its sudsy mission.

The new Deep Ellum Funkytown Fermatorium, located at 611 University Drive, is going to have to wait until the government reopens to get the required Tax & Trade Bureau approval, but the beer gurus have decided to go ahead and open the doors with free beer.

Now, that’s a big beginning.

Earlier this week, Ethan Minshew, Deep Ellum Brewing’s director of taprooms, told PaperCity: “The government shutdown has put the opening in a holding pattern as we are unable to hire employees or sell beer from this facility until the government reopens.

“That being said, there is likely a considerable backlog to clear before our permits will be in focus.”

But on Tuesday evening, a surprise was posted on the company’s Facebook page. It states: “Regardless where you stand, or what you believe, there are a lot of innocent people & businesses being affected by all this nonsense. That’s why we’ve decided to open our doors regardless of the Tax & Trade Bureau’s approval. Unlike our elected officials, I don’t find it right to sideline employees while the government keeps trying to put the FUN in dysfunctional.”

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The Funkytown Fermatorium also looks like it’ll be serving up some tasty pizzas and bites from its wood-fired pizza oven soon. The 221-seat Fort Worth location will look much more like a food-forward brewpub with an onsite brewhouse compared to the Deep Ellum Dallas favorite.

The food will be American fare with an Italian influences. Although a chef is not on board yet, Dino Santonicola, formerly of Cane Rosso, is helping to captain the wood-fired pizza and food program. Of equal importance, the beer list will “offer a lineup of usual suspects,” says Minshew. “Deep Ellum IPA, Dream Crusher, Neato Bandito, Dallas Blonde, Play Date, and Easy Peasy.”

The 5-Barrel Brewhouse will also allow the Funkytown Fermatorium to become a small-batch creative and produce a number of beers unique to the market.

Deep Ellum Brewing chose Fort Worth as a second location because North Texas is its home.

“This location will give us an opportunity to better service our existing customer base, our retail and distribution partners, as well as craft new relationships with those who have not gotten to know us yet,” Minshew says. “We felt it only natural to expand here first.”

As its name makes obvious, the decor of the Funkytown Fermatorium will be funky and lively. The space will be filled with a mixture of mixed media installations created by local artists, flier walls, repurposed keg lights, murals and graffiti.

A massive 32-tap 30-seat island bar greets you when you first walk in, backdropped by a five-barrel brewhouse. Forty additional bar seats along a horizontal window wall overlook the populous University Drive. The dining floor is filled with a mixture of fixed seated banquets and booths, offering a variety of seating options.

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