Scenes From Armadillo Ale Works' Quakertown Stout Launch on Friday Night in Denton.
With its rich hints of roasted barley, thick maple syrup aromas and copious amounts of chocolate and coffee flavors, Quakertown Stout, the debut brew from Denton's Armadillo Ale Works, is more than just a memorable beer. It's an easy one to drink. And I say that as someone who doesn't like coffee at all.
The full-bodied and delicious concoction — the brainchild of University of North Texas alumni, friends and Armadillo Ale Works co-founders Bobby Mullins and Yanni Arestis — took its first bow before an eager crowd of craft beer lovers at Denton's Oak St. Drafthouse on Friday night.
“We just want people to enjoy the beer and have a good time,” Mullins said, minutes before the beer's official launch, for which Armadillo received some help, courtesy of Dallas' Deep Ellum Brewery. “We're celebrating tonight. We've been working on this for over two and a half years, and this is the first time our beer is commercially available.”
The duo met nearly a decade ago through mutual friends and eventually bonded over a shared love of good music and great beer. After Mullins graduated, he went off to work at the St. Arnolds Brewing Company in Houston until he decided to pursue his dream of opening a brewery in his hometown.
“Whenever we would hang out, Bobby would always bring craft brews and educate us on beer,” Arestis says of the foundation for his would-be partnership with Mullins.
Before long, Mullins and Arestis, who was working on a master's degree in strategic management at the time, were taking the idea of starting their own brewery seriously. While waiting for the legalities of their brewery to be straightened out, the pair worked on a specialty soda line to pass the time. Then, after a successful Kickstarter campaign, along with a Murphy Center Grant from UNT and some help from Deep Ellum Brewing Company, Armadillo Ale Works temporarily suspended the production of their sodas to focus solely on their beers.
And, given the turnout on Friday, that's something Dentonites as a whole are fairly excited about.
“We wanted to let Denton know that there is craft beer available,” said John Williams, owner of Oak St., as the crowds filtered into his spot on Friday evening. “I think it's more important to support Denton than it would be to support Austin or Dallas brews. I'd rather have my bar full of all Denton breweries, and that might be possible one day.”
For now, though, Armadillo Ale Works is working on more seasonal beers, such as their Green Belt Farm House Ale, which is said to launch this spring. They're also in the process of trying to get their beers out to as many people as possible at the moment, starting out with several outlets through out Denton and Dallas. (Check out their handy store locator for quick reference.)
Added Arestis before fully joining in on the celebration himself: “We want to be put on the [craft beer] map, put Denton on the map and just be known for having great beers.”