Bankhead Brewing Co. Open for Business

Bankhead Brewing Co. in downtown Rowlett is finally open after months of anticipation.

The brewpub opened last Monday, Aug. 29, but wasn’t advertised because the owners, Ryan Pyle and Kevin Lefere, wanted to make sure everything was set and ready to  take on the traffic of locals wanting fresh food and brews.

The craft beer is brewed on site by Pyle and master brewer, Chad Moshier, and the food is headed by Lefere, the executive chef and owner of Zanata in downtown Rockwall.

“We’ve been holding onto our britches from day one,” Lefere said. “It’s been awesome and unbelievable.  The overall reception has been phenomenal; we can’t complain.”

A few dishes have already been favorited by customers: the jumbo pretzels, meat lover’s pizza and the mushroom risotto.

The brewpub has been under construction since the beginning of the year and experienced a few construction delays. Lefere said the contractors were backed up with other projects but the city was a hug help in getting the front doors open.

Another hit at Bankhead is the open patio decorated with plants and wooden benches. Pyle said he built the plant pots and they gathered family and friends to plant. He also said the cedar wood on the inside of restaurant was done by him, Moshier and Lefere.

Moshier was brought into the business by Pyle, who has been brewing more than 20 years. Pyle met Moshier at a brewers conference in Irving earlier this year. Moshier was in the brew scene in the bay area in California, where he’s from.

Moshier and his wife moved to Rowlett because his wife was offered a job.

“My wife and I are building a house a half mile away,” Moshier said. “It was dumb luck, we just happened to pick Rowlett.”

Moshier says he and Pyle are like yin and yang while working together to brew. Pyle agrees that it’s a natural balance for the pair.

The brewpub has three tanks for brewing and is featuring the following beers for now: Bavarian Hefeweizen, English Extra Special Bitter, Citrus IPA, Munich Helles-Style Lager, Vienna Lager, Raspberry Wheat, Hoppy American Brown Ale, and a Blonde Ale.

Eventually there will be more brews offered but for now Pyle and Moshier want customers to have a variety of familiar tastes.

“We wanted to keep the beers diverse,” Pyle said. “For someone who hasn’t tried craft beer for the first time we wanted something that’s a bit more intro but we also have something on the tail end.”

Pyle wants there to be a balance between “the newcomers and craft beer veterans.”

Bankhead is all about quality over quantity and Pyle says they’ll throw out a brew if it’s not right and start over.

“Being a brewpub and serving our beer on draft right here, we’re in control the whole way,” Pyle said. “It’s tank to table, it’s as fresh as you can get.”

Moshier adds that the overall atmosphere of the brewpub adds to the positive reception they’ve received from visitors.

“It feels comfortable, warm and inviting,” he said. 

History behind the brew

The name, Bankhead, pays homage to the 100-year-old Bankhead Highway that runs from Washington, D.C. through Texas to San Diego. A part of the bridge was abandoned, underwater in Lake Ray Hubbard after a portion of it going through Rowlett had to be rebuilt. Main Street in downtown Rowlett was part of Bankhead Highway years ago when the highway was built in 1916.