A Friday afternoon pint at Division Brewing

Division Brewing in Arlington offers 20 beers on tap in a no-nonsense and enjoyable setting.

Division Brewing recently celebrated its 7th anniversary. Unfortunately for me, I was late to the party. I only recently took the plunge and walked through the door of their nondescript building in Downtown Arlington. But I’ve been there twice this month, including stopping by recently for a Friday afternoon pint. (A cancelled appointment gave me a few unexpected hours to explore and relax.) Only a few people were there in the mid-afternoon, which was fine with me. I prefer a quiet place to sip a beer to a rowdy one.

(Division Brewing logo – divisionbrewing.com)

It’s one of those places that, if you didn’t know what it was, you probably wouldn’t know it was a brewery. I like that. The building is understated, simple, and bare-boned, with muted, monochromatic colors and a no-frills utilitarian feel. It has a sticker as a sign on the door, although there is a much larger “Division” sign on the side of the building. (You know the brewery is open when the neon beer sign by the door is flickering.) The inside theme compliments the outside, with much of the decor being functional brewing equipment. It’s not “boring,” especially with their abundance of brewery stickers on the walls and restroom doors. They focus more on the beer than the aesthetics.

(Division Brewing sign, entrance, kegs, and taproom.)

Division Brewing has 20 beers on tap, with the usual craft beer-style lineup of IPAs, stouts, blondes, pilsners, and others. They do a decent amount of sours, too. I like the dark side, though, and will almost always take a stout over the others. Division currently has four stouts available, including two imperial stouts, an oatmeal stout, and a casked version. I’ve tried two so far, but my current favorite is the “Ben Stout”—a hearty 7.2% oatmeal stout made with Cascade hops. It’s $6.50 for a 16-ounce pour, which is a fair price for the quality.

Ben Stout is smooth and rich. It’s well-balanced, not too sweet or not too bitter. It has subtle chocolate and coffee flavors in its taste and aroma. The beer pours darker than a cave at midnight and has a fluffy, tan-colored head. It’s traditional, sippable, flavorful, enjoyable, and one of the best local stouts I’ve ever had.

It was a perfect beer for their patio and the mid-February weather in North Texas—chilly in the shade but warmer in the sunshine. Stouts pair well with colder weather, and this one was no exception. Smoke & Scratch BBQ, which I believe is a local, one-man pop-up shop, was smoking meat on the patio, getting ready for Saturday afternoon. He is often at Division Brewing selling brisket, ribs, and sides. The aroma from the smoker filled the patio with the intoxicating lure of smoked meat. (Stouts also pair well with barbeque, so Ben Stout would be a suitable beer choice for the food.)

(Division Brewing’s Ben Stout on the patio and info sheet.)

Division Brewing was Arlington’s first—and is currently our only—hometown brewery. Revolver Brewing from nearby Granbury has a small brewery and taproom in our Entertainment District, and Bishop Cider from Dallas is opening a “cidercade” in Arlington this year. Still, I don’t count those as hometown breweries. I was disappointed when Arlington’s Legal Draft Beer Company shuttered its doors in March 2022, but I must admit, I’ve been impressed with Division so far. I’ve yet to venture past their stouts, and maybe never will, but I highly recommend their Ben Stout.

In addition to draft beer, they sell cans to-go. In contrast to their building, the can artwork has bold colors and personalities. Their taproom has limited seating indoors, but the patio has room to spread out. The brewery has t-shirts and other merch for sale, and they sometimes have food trucks or other options, such as Smoke & Scratch BBQ. Across their patio is GROWL, a record shop owned by Division Brewing, selling vinyl, posters, and other music-related items. They have a small stage inside for live music, with a larger stage outdoors on the patio.

(Division Brewing’s tap menu and cans-to-go offerings.)

Wade Wadlington, Division’s Co-Founder/Brewer, grew up in Arlington and returned here later in life. Like many in the business, he started out homebrewing in his garage. He left his “real job” in finance to turn his brewing hobby into a career. His brewery is a fine place to enjoy a beer, and a welcome addition to Downtown Arlington.

Check out Division Brewing next time you’re in Downtown Arlington. Support your small businesses and local breweries!

Division Brewing
506 E. Main Street

Also check out this short video about Division Brewing from Downtown Arlington’s YouTube channel!

“The Hands Behind the Counter of Division Brewing” — Downtown Arlington’s YouTube channel

Blog post and photos by Jason S. Sullivan, 02-20-23

Photo Credit: Division Brewing logo from divisionbrewing.com

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