Fort Worth beer lovers might not be too familiar with Rick Ali. He and his father have made Lone Star Beverages in Carrollton a mainstay for DFW beer lovers for a decade. As a craft-beer-centric beer and wine store, it has carved itself into the consciousness of northern Dallas County brew aficionados and of the dedicated ones from elsewhere who are willing to make the trek.
However, recently, Ali went on his own as his father moved into retirement, expanding his business into something else entirely.
Having loved craft beer for many years and witnessing its steady rise firsthand, Ali foresaw a market for a shop that would solely feature craft beer. The Taps & Caps concept was born.
Ali launched his first Taps & Caps locations in Lewisville and Denton, and now he has expanded into Fort Worth. As a hybrid beer shop and growler bar, Taps & Caps delivers a new concept for Cowtown.
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For Fort Worth, getting a growler filled is nothing new. Central Market, Pouring Glory, Brewed and others along with several breweries will all fill growlers. Typically resealable glass or metal vessels filled from draft taps, growlers have become increasingly popular in the last few years among consumers who want to be able to bring draft offerings home.
The store has a coffee shop-style atmosphere and a small patio, and is just as much a place to hang out and have a beer on site as it is somewhere to get beer to go.
Located at 6115 Camp Bowie Blvd., in the strip center next to the Ridglea Theater, Taps & Caps both intrigues and confuses people. On a recent visit, two passersby opened the door, peeked in and then kept on going. It will be an adjustment and a learning period for some, but Ali thinks Fort Worth will fall in love with the concept.
“It’s like when you meet your significant other you never knew you really needed until you have them. Like, ‘Where have you been my whole life?’ ” said Ali. “I’m not saying Taps & Caps is like that, but it’s kind of the same kind of feeling that you get.”
TVs mounted above the draft wall highlight which beers are on tap as well as details about each beer and how much is left. It’s a feature that helps make an otherwise overwhelming smorgasbord easier to comprehend. Taps & Caps fans can reference that same beer list online, which makes it much easier for aficionados to hunt down their favorites before they run out.
“When I first started researching growler shops, Fort Worth was the first location I wanted to be at. We looked at a location at University and Seventh years ago that I wanted to be at. Craft beer wasn’t where it’s at now,” Ali said. “Craft beer now is more viable. The beer culture here is awesome because you have a lot of breweries. All my other shops aren’t near any breweries. Lewisville has one brewery down the street with Cobra.
“This is the first shop that I’ve had where I’m smack-dab in the middle of five or six breweries that I’ve known for 10 years up to the last few months.”
Fort Worth has come a long way in the last few years, and the viability of something like Taps & Caps shows it is thirstier than ever. Drop by the new location for the Grand Opening Block Party from 4:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday. It will heavily feature special beers from Fort Worth breweries. tapsandcaps.com.
Bye-bye, Beer Week
North Texas Beer Week will end with a bang this weekend, with more events than can be reasonably listed here. Check ntxbeerweek.com for a schedule.