The Bearded Monk opened up shop on McKinney St. in Denton last month and they've already made a pretty big mark on Denton. Aside from biking down Hickory St. in the coffin race, they've also been selling some awesome brews, creating some great mural art outside their building. We recently spoke with owner, Ben Esely about opening up a craft beer shop/growler stop in Denton, mural creation and more. Check out that info and some beautiful photographs in the post below!
Ben Esely fell in love with Denton because of its inherent creative culture and tight-knit, collaborative community. It's for these reasons he was also drawn to the craft beer industry. The artisan brewers that spend so much of their time thinking about combinations of ingredients that produce new and innovative tastes and scents and that reinvent style and share their knowledge, have intrigued him for over a decade. So it was only natural for him to open his new craft beer bottle shop and growler bar here in Denton, just north of his buddies at East Side.
"John and I have talked for a couple of years about the need for a dedicated growler bar with a focus on only craft beer," Esely said. “Craft brewers are more akin to the arts culture that’s so prevalent in Denton than to a production facility like we see with the really big breweries.”
Esely has transformed the spot at 122 East McKinney Street into an inviting craft beer bottle shop and a growler bar. That transformation was fueled by the creative culture and artists of Denton.
“Our main goal for the shop is to promote craft beer over big-macro and encourage drinkers’ experimentation into new craft beer styles and new breweries that they may not have tried before. Our second goal has been to encourage beauty and creation in the visual arts. We want to pull design and creation into Denton’s everyday life.”
Inside The Bearded Monk you’ll find works from local artisan makers like Vile Victorian, Denton Sustainable Creations, Haus of Growlers, Pan Ector, Norman Roscoe and ND TShirt Company. The bar and store hybrid also has two gallery walls dedicated to rotating artists’ images. Esely wants to give local artists a place to reach the community, but also to inspire craft beer drinkers to develop that love they have for craft beer in visual works as well.
The shop’s focus on aesthetics moved beyond its walls last week when Denton’s veteran mural artist Warren Lunt began an epic mural of a Rube Goldberg-style brewing machine on the outside of The Bearded Monk. In a series of events, Lunt taught Denton residents the finer points of mural painting as they worked alongside artists like; Dan and Matt Black, Erika Tolbert, Stacie Forest, Matt Long, David Piper and Estelle Dailey. The mural was an open invite painting to inspire residents to think about visual art in open spaces and recognize some walls that could use a little beauty. This mural is hopefully the beginning of a series of outdoor murals that will spring up around the Denton Square.
The main mural painting event was also a fundraiser for The Greater Denton Art Council and their new initiative of grants for individual artists’ projects. Esely hopes this grant program will allow artists and property owners the ability to create murals of their own. Funds are still being raised at The Bearded Monk with the sale of a limited run shirt from Norman Roscoe and through the sale of Four Corners Brewing’s La Lechuza S’more Stout.
The Bearded Monk is open from 11 a.m. to midnight Monday - Saturday and from noon - 10 p.m. on Sunday. You can like their Facebook Page here or visit them in person at 122 E McKinney St, Denton, Texas 76201.