Craft beer has been a “big thing” for quite a while now, and it seems that there’s a new local brewery popping up on every corner! What I’ve never seen until now is a brewery combined with an “in house” barbecue smokehouse! How obvious, once you think of it!
Tucked away in downtown Garland (right on their square) is the new (to me, anyway – they opened in 2015) Intrinsic Smokehouse Brewery. I’ve visited it twice with friends. Walking in, you can’t help but think “this is COOL!” You’re welcomed by a row of big, shiny brewing tanks (where, I imagine, the magic happens) along with stacks of board games to facilitate entertainment. The atmosphere is funky-chic post-industrial; warm, bright, clean and with a lot of character.
They offer about two dozen of their own recipes, to suit every taste. They also have some “guest draft” beers, as well as a house-made root beer and a “draft margarita.” A couple of wines are available as well, if that’s your thing. What’s on tap is constantly changing, so repeat visit promise a novel experience. Example beer selections include Intrinsic Garland Wiesse (a sour Beliner Weisse), Don’t Haze me Bro (IP/Brut), All Day Err Day (Blonde Ale), Six Foot Turkey (IPA/Imperial/Double), Porter is Chaos (Porter/Baltic) and the award-winning Honey Bail Hefeweizen. They give samples and are happy to lead you to your most favorite-ist flavor!
There’s an enclosed patio – which is actually a wonderful adaptive reuse of an adjacent building with the roof removed (by fire) – where a relaxing while can be spent sipping your brew and solving the world’s problems with your closest philosopher friends. Intrinsic uses the patio to host live music on occasion.
The BBQ and beer seem to fun on separate accounting, so you’ll have to pay for your beer at one bar and your food at another, in the back.
Speaking of BBQ, Intrinsic is a worthy competitor to today’s crop of “boutique” barbecue places. The Sweet St. Louis ribs are impressive, the smoked chicken is always succulent and the brisket is smoky, tender and juicy. Sides are available, but frankly I avoid them whenever the meats are worthwhile, as they are here. Exception: their rough cut coleslaw is a good side dish. The crunch and mild acidity are a good foil to the meats. A word of warning – Intrinsic does small batches of their smoked meats each day, and they sell until they run out. Don’t tarry too long and miss out!
In summary, Intrinsic Smokehouse Brewery & BBQ is a fantastic addition to historic downtown Garland! If I’m within 20 miles of it and need a tasty beverage and some good smoked meat in my belly, I’ll head there post-haste! Give it a chance, and see if you don’t agree with me!
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