Two individuals smiling as they sit at a table outdoors, while enjoying a glass of beer

12 essential local beers you must try this fall

Bring one (or all) to your next cookout, tailgate, happy hour or holiday celebration

As a blistering summer comes to an end, Dallasites are looking forward to sitting on their go-to patios and decompressing with their favorite ales. Pumpkin spice might not be your thing, but a good old-fashioned pumpkin brew is the perfect treat on an autumn day. Additionally, Hazy IPAs have an assortment of hoppy fall flavors which pair well with hearty sandwiches and cozy comfort food. Even a brisk cider provides the taste of apples straight from the orchard, providing both flavor and refreshments.

Thankfully, Dallas isn’t short on places to get your fall beverage fix. Here are a few of our recommendations.

Funnel Cake Ale at Community Beer Co.

3110 Commonwealth Dr., Dallas (Uptown)
The State Fair of Texas is almost near the end of its run this year, but you can still find the joy of a tasty funnel cake all season long. Community’s Funnel Cake Ale is the ultimate fall Texan beverage, brewed as a Golden ale but infused with pureed Madagascar vanilla beans to provide hints of our favorite fried fall delectable. Community writes that the beer “pairs well with corn dogs,” so please listen to the experts.

Flying Red at Pegasus City Brewery

2222 Vantage St., Dallas (Downtown)
One of the most talked about IPAs in Dallas this year, Pegasus City Brewery just introduced Flying Red, a new brew with notes of stone fruit, with a medium amber body and a bit of bitterness at the end – just like fall itself.

Punkel at Lakewood Brewing

2302 Executive Dr., Garland
Don’t call this one a pumpkin spice beer. Lakewood’s Punkel prides itself on being pumpkin-pie-flavored – though, there’s actually no pumpkin in this German lager. The punkel is a German lager spiced-up with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger flavors. Mind. blown.

Somethin’ Shady at Texas Ale Project

1001 N Riverfront Blvd., Dallas (Design District)
Porters aren’t everyone’s thing. But Texas Ale Project’s Somethin’ Shady might change your mind. The brewers have described it as “unusually drinkable.” Made with subtle notes of chocolate and coffee, this porter is the perfect companion to a dessert. (Or a good pick-me-up after work.)

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Deep Ellum IPA at Deep Ellum Brewing Company

2823 St Louis St., Dallas (Deep Ellum)
A perennial Dallas favorite, the Deep Ellum IPA is a perfect bridge between warm and cool weather. It’s the brewery’s interpretation of a Texas IPA, packed with notes of citrus and pine, with an aroma that will remind you of crisp, fall evenings on a patio in Deep Ellum. A touch of all-American Hops packs a punch without overwhelming.

Two hands toasting with full glasses of beer

Dry Spell Cider at Trinity Cider

2656 Main St. #120, Dallas (Deep Ellum)
Okay, so cider isn’t technically beer, but Trinity Cider’s signature Dry Spell is perfect for those who want to keep it light. Made with a blend of fresh apples, you can save yourself the trouble of visiting an apple orchard and replicate the experience with every sip. A trivia night at Trinity Cider, accompanied by a pint of dry spell makes for a lovely way to spend a fall evening in Dallas.

White Rocktoberfest at White Rock Alehouse & Brewery

7331 Gaston Ave. #100, Dallas (White Rock Lake)
The White Rocktoberfest is far from your typical German-style Marzen lager. This fall-exclusive brew boasts a score of 25 IBU (which measures bitterness) to create a complex, enjoyable brew. It even won a silver medal at the 2020 Great American Beer Festival.

Chingo Haze at Four Corners Brewery

1311 S Ervay St., Dallas (Cedars)
Four Corners’ Chingo Haze encapsulates the best parts about Texas. This particular hazy IPA is slightly more bitter than a typical IPA and boasts a bit of sweetness balanced by tropical notes. Come for the beers, stay for the captivating music mix playing throughout the brewery.

Crackberry at Bishop Cider

509 N Bishop Ave., Dallas (Bishop Arts)
Ok, we couldn’t resist another cider. It’s fall! If you can’t wait until Thanksgiving to get those juicy berry flavors, try the ultra-popular Crackberry which blends cranberries and blackberries. And, it makes for a sweet companion to all of your fall fruit pastries, which we hope you’ve got in the oven right now.

Same Time Next Year at Peticolas Brewing Company Taproom

1301 Pace St., Dallas (Design District)
As its name suggests, the Same Time Next Year rolls around Dallas-Fort Worth each fall. This award-winning brew is notably more malty, but contains additional hops to maintain a balance of flavor palettes.

Barrel-Aged Oktoberfest at Rahr & Sons Brewing Co.

701 Galveston Ave, Fort Worth
Fort Worth’s Rahr & Sons offers a solid, traditional Oktoberfest ale. Equally parts sweet and hoppy, the Barrel-Aged Oktoberfest is rich and toasty – like every fall drink should be. If you aren’t a Fort Worth local, you can still have the beer on hand: It’s also available for purchase at many local Kroger and H-E-B stores.

Symbol Red Pecan Pie Porter at 3 Nations Brewing Company

1033 Vandergriff Dr., Carrollton
Rounding out the list is a decadent specialty porter with notes of pecans and a hint of pie crust, which will send you into the holiday season slightly buzzed and completely happy. Plus, no dishes to wash afterward.

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A full moon illuminating a nearby lake

Explore Dallas’ haunted neighborhoods with these DIY date night ideas

4 infamous locations to explore with your — ahem — boo

It’s easy to get your fright-fix during Dallas’ spooky season. But if you want to skip the long lines and exorbitant ticket prices of popular haunted houses or sponsored parties, there are plenty of other ways to scare up a good time.

In almost every Dallas neighborhood, rumors of spirits and inexplicable phenomena abound, and you can easily tailor a date night or weekend getaway to experience them all. We’ve rounded up four ideas to get you started on your ghost-hunting tour across the Big D.  

1. Arts District/Downtown Dallas

Winspear Opera House

Though the Winspear Opera House hosts big-name entertainers and touring shows, some of its most intriguing performances may happen backstage. The theater’s “ghost light” — a standard safety measure that increases visibility in dark theaters — is also said to illuminate performing spirits who can’t resist one last curtain call. Join for a First Saturday tour or follow the AT&T Performing Arts Center’s calendar to enjoy a show and experience this staple of theater lore.

The Adolphus Hotel

After a day at the theater, check into the storied Adolphus Hotel, originally opened in 1912 by Anheuser-Busch cofounder Adolphus Busch. One of the most iconic upscale high-rises in downtown Dallas, the elaborate, gilded exterior gives way to upscale eateries, a stunning pool and — according to guests — a viscerally creepy vibe at times. 

Reports include accounts of phantom music reminiscent of the many big-band performances hosted in the ‘20s and ‘30s, disembodied screams and haunted elevators, perhaps due to several gruesome deaths that have occurred within the shafts. Grab a room and hunker down ‘til morning. You may want to sleep with one eye open.  

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2. Lower Greenville/East Dallas

Originally opened in a former pool hall, Snuffer’s has maintained its no-frills fare and curious occurrences since 1978. Staff there report glasses shattering out of nowhere, children’s echoing giggles, mysterious shadows climbing the walls and other mischievous ghost shenanigans — which haven’t stopped patrons from bellying up to the bar to try signature dishes like Snuffer’s gooey cheddar fries. Reportedly, the ghosts are friendly, and we can confirm the burgers are divine — plan a visit to see for yourself. 

White Rock Lake

Move further east and enjoy a scenic fall walk around White Rock Lake. You may encounter “The Lady of the Lake,” an apparition who dons all-white clothing and appears to be drenched from — allegedly — a deadly dip in the water. Reports say the ghost asks motorists for a ride home, only to disappear once invited into the vehicle. Or, wander over to Flag Pole Hill, where motorists say spirits have ever-so-subtly encouraged them to leave by launching rocks at passing vehicles. 

3. The Cedars/Deep Ellum

The Millermore Mansion at Dallas Heritage Village

This Civil War-era mansion originally housed a misanthropic family who kept to themselves — which caused suspicion among neighbors. What went on inside the house inspired plenty of rumors about dark deeds, and it’s believed that two of owner William Brown Miller’s three wives passed away within the mansion’s walls. Though the structure eventually fell into disrepair, those who have restored and visited its grounds since swear they experience apparitions and full-body chills that cut through even the hottest Texas heat.

Sons of Hermann Hall

After a visit to the infamous mansion, grab a beer at the oldest bar in Dallas, Sons of Herman Hall, which was originally a community gathering place and bowling alley. It later became a concert and events venue, and still draws communities of all kinds – allegedly even the formerly alive. Visitors and staff report eerie flashes of light, and have heard tables and chairs being scooted about. One group swears they saw a couple dressed in Victorian garb enter the venue, walk up the stairs and disappear forever. Catch some music or track down the vanishing couple this fall. 

Headstones covered in vegetation at Oakland Cemetery

4. Oak Cliff/South Dallas

Coombs Creek Trail

Locals say a young girl was riding her bicycle along the Coombs Creek trestle when she was tragically struck by a train. Her spirit is said to have remained there ever since. According to legend, you’ll know she’s near when you hear the sound of a phantom bicycle bell. Visit the scenic route along Kessler Parkway for idyllic bridges and plenty of greenery, but beware of oncoming cyclists, real or imagined. 

Oakland Cemetery

Though all cemeteries are likely epicenters for otherworldly activity, historic Oakland Cemetery offers a decidedly haunted aesthetic, with sizable crypts, chipped headstones, gorgeous gardens and plenty of sculptures dotting 47 acres. Though the cemetery’s condition deteriorated over the years, new efforts to preserve the historic site are underway, preserving the resting place of numerous Dallas luminaries. Take a stroll and explore the grounds, absorbing the ghostly ambiance while enjoying the stunning grounds.

Going on your own tour? Tag @Localite and tell us where you’re going and what you’ve found. And sign up for the Localite newsletter, compiled for you to enjoy where you live.

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A Bowl of Chili Surrounded by Ingredients and Tortilla Chips.

Is Atlanta the chili capital of the Southeast?

We explore the phenomenon and tell you where to find new classics in Atlanta.

Like many cities across the United States, fall is the peak event season for Atlanta. Families enjoy haunted houses, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, art fairs and more, but there is a signature event that sets the Greater Atlanta area apart from other cities: The chili cook-off. 

Though the Texas-born stew is common in parts of the South, Southwest, Midwest and Northeast, Atlanta has helped popularize — and change — chili culture in the Southeast and beyond.

Arguably one of the city’s most anticipated autumn events, The Chomp and Stomp Chili Cook-Off and Bluegrass Festival draws more than 30,000 total guests each year. In fact, for the last 13 years, Stomp and Chomp has seen a 20%+ rise in attendance year-over-year. The event began in 2003 by locals to preserve the parks and other public areas of Cabbagetown, Atlanta’s first National Landmark Historic District, but has since transformed into an unofficial rite-of-fall-passage for Atlantans.

Chomp and Stomp isn’t the only chili game in town. The Atlanta Chili Cook Off in Dunwoody features 50+ competitors, from home cooks to restaurants and caterers. The Suwanee Chili Cook-Off & Music Festival is a newcomer celebrating its second year of operation and is certified by the International Chili Society — meaning winners will be eligible to compete at the World Champion Chili Cook-Off. And, in restaurants and bars across Greater Atlanta, you’ll find chili on the menu, with variations that bring the heat and change the game. 

The spread (and enthusiastic attendance) of events like these is interesting for a region that hasn’t traditionally been known for its historic chili roots.

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How chili spread across the U.S. 

The earliest accounts of chili are unsurprisingly from Texas, beginning with cowboys and carried westward by gold miners on the trail to California in the late 19th century. One written account from a “forty-niner” (the moniker for someone seeking gold) describes combining chunks of beef with chili peppers, seasonings and a thickening agent to make the stew that we know today as chili. Thus, chili’s roots extend from Texas through New Mexico and all the way to California, following the dining traditions of pioneers on the trail.

Chili was then exported to the Midwest by way of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, where the dish became a trend du jour in places like Cincinnati and parts of Missouri. These regions popularized “chili parlors” which spread across parts of the U.S. in the mid-1900s, where novel approaches and ingredients diverted from traditional Texas red chili. 

Later, parts of the Southeast contributed to modern chili adaptations. Louisiana chilis may substitute sausage in place of beef, or integrate Cajun spices, for instance. Kentucky chili adds spaghetti noodles into the mix à la Cincinnati’s infamous Skyline Chili. (A discussion for another time.) 

Yet the Southeast region, as a whole, can’t compare to Atlanta’s mainstream embrace of chili, with spirited competitions, tens of thousands of fans and widespread chili options at restaurants and bars throughout the Greater Atlanta area. 

Atlanta is creating signature iterations of the classic dish

One of the easiest routes for finding a bowl of chili in the Atlanta area? Follow the chili champions. 

The 2022 Chomp and Stomp winners in the restaurant category all have barbecue and burger ties, with the number one prize going to Grindhouse Killer Burgers, whose signature sandwiches begin with premium beef — the cornerstone to any great burger or bowl of chili. Peek at the chili description on its restaurant menu and you’ll see a familiar combo with a twist: Combined with ground beef and brisket, they’ve added chorizo, which brings another level of spice and an extra dimension of flavor. 

Souper Jenny is another reigning chili queen who has won several titles thanks to her family recipe, which diverts from traditional chili by using turkey as the primary meat. The satisfying bowl combines brown sugar with a generous dose of chili powder, balancing the “sweet and heat” for a flavorful spice that won’t overwhelm your senses. 

Over at Park 82 Restaurant, Executive Chef Aaron Jones has won multiple awards for his chili recipe, including taking the title at The Atlanta Chili Cook Off in 2022 and 2021. You can stop by the restaurant and order “Aaron’s Famous Chili” notable for its fried chili peppers, providing an extra kick.  

For vegans and vegetarians, finding a delicious bowl in Atlanta is surprisingly easy. Slutty Vegan’s Hawt Toddy, for instance, is a decadent meal in itself, loaded with bean, peppers, Impossible Pork and a savory mix that has “Sluttified” chili in the best way possible. 

Go out and a grab a bowl for yourself

If you find yourself wanting to get in on the Atlanta chili craze this fall, make sure to patronize one of the restaurants or above, and attend one of the many chili cook-offs where you can experience the novel interpretations of a dish that’s nearly as old as the United States — but making strides right here in ATL.

Chomp and Stomp Chili Cook-Off and Bluegrass Festival
Nov. 4, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Purchase of spoon required to taste, $15

Atlanta Chili Cook Off
Nov. 4
Brook Run Park
Tickets start at $15

Suwanee Chili Cook-Off & Music Festival
Nov. 11, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Suwanee Town Center Park
Ticket prices TBA

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