Deep Ellum's Next Big Coup? BrainDead Brewing, The Latest Venture From Three Beer-Focused Minds

The hits just keep on coming for Deep Ellum these days.

Less than a week after the announcement that the esteemed Dallas barbecue destination Pecan Lodge would be moving out of the Farmer's Market and into the historic, just-east-of-Downtown Dallas neighborhood comes this news: About a block away, and also on Main Street, a new brewpub will open, helmed by three entrepreneurs behind some of North Texas' most revered food and drink brands.

BrainDead Brewing, which will set up shop in the 5,250-square-foot space at 2625 Main Street (pictured above), comes from the minds of three locals: certified cicerone Sam Wynne, the owner of the highly regarded Fort Worth burger-and-beer joint Rodeo Goat, and the son of Flying Saucer, Meddlesome Moth and Lark on the Park owner Shannon Wynne; certified cicerone Jeff Fryman, formerly of the Common Table; and brewmaster Drew Huerter, the former chief brewer at Deep Ellum Brewing Company.

Wynne tells Central Track that the brewpub, which will open sometime in 2014, will feature a full kitchen, a “small but diverse” menu and “30 to 40 [beer] taps” with, “eventually, 10 to 12 of the [the taps] being our own brews.”

And those brews, per the brewpub concept, will be brewed on site at the new spot.

Preferring to “save some surprises,” Huerter chose not to go into too much detail on any specific beer plans, saying instead that he “would rather keep that kind of mysterious for now.” But Huerter's past should nonetheless excite the local beer-adoring masses. A noted outside-of-the-box brewing mind, it will be interesting to see where he takes things when left to his own brewing decisions.

Fryman's presence, meanwhile, surely bodes well for the rest of the tap selections at BrainDead. At Common Table, he helped curate what could easily be argued as one of the best and deepest beer selections in town.

Similarly, Wynne's history — Rodeo Goat boasts among the best burgers in the region — would indicate that any future kitchen directions, though not yet announced, will be on point.

Perhaps most interesting, however, is that this crew will be among the first in the region to open an all-out brewpub in the region, the likes of which are few and far between in the area thanks to legislation that, until recently, prevented the on-site sales of beers at breweries.

These law-changes haven't been lost on Wynne, though, who has been eyeing a Deep Ellum concept for some time now.

“Laws in the state limited brewpub growth in Texas,” he says. “Many — but not all of these laws — were changed effective September 1 of this year.”

Still, while BrainDead may be among the first of these new brewpub concepts to be opening up in Dallas as the result of these rule changes, the group behind this new spot doubts that it will be the only such entity arriving in the near future.

Says Wynne: “I'd expect to see a few more popping up.”

It's doubtful, though, that other ventures of this ilk will come from ownership group's boasting such impressive pedigrees.

Exciting times in Deep Ellum, indeed.

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