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Meet Molly Reynolds of Celestial Beerworks in Medical District

Today we’d like to introduce you to Molly Reynolds.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Molly. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
Opening Celestial Beerworks was just a pipe-dream for many years. Matt Reynolds, my husband, was an engineer while home-brewing for years. We both enjoyed craft beer and, generally over a pint or two, we liked talking about the possibility of opening a brewery of our own where our future kids could grow up. The more he brewed, the more passionate about the process he became.

In 2015, he took a position at Malai Kitchen, a DFW Thai-Vietnamese Restaurant, where he was able to help grow their brewing system while they expanded into more locations. At this time, I was teaching art in Oak Cliff at an elementary school trying to spread to the love of art and expression to young minds. Celestial became more of a reality to us when some of Matt’s beers at Malai started to get recognized in the DFW beer scene.

We decided that opening something of our own could really happen, marrying our two passions- brewing and art. We started looking for locations and figuring it out as we went, dove in head first. Friends and family really came through in helping make our dreams a reality and putting together our space. We have been open just over a month, and it has been so exciting looking around and seeing people enjoying the beer and atmosphere.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
This was our first time opening any kind of business and “going through all the motions” while learning what the motions were, made for a very confusing process. We joke now that “the next business” we open will be easier because our lack of experience during this process made every small step take so much longer than necessary.

Celestial is housed in an old building that had been used as a garden-fountain shop years prior. There were many setbacks and challenges in taking this location and designing/ building it into a brewery and taproom. The building flooded a few times because of drainage problems, the voltage was wrong for the type of electrical that we needed, the entire inside needed to be gutted and rebuilt from scratch. Our friend Nate quit his job and took on the rebuilding process with us.

Along with his help, Matt’s engineering background and my art background, we were able to change this “blank canvas” into a functional, aesthetically pleasing, and enjoyable space. Time was also a huge issue, as Matt and I had two children in a span of 15 months and both kept our full-time jobs until months before opening. This brewery was truly our life. Our oldest came with us to scope locations and sat in her playpen out on the sidewalk as I painted the outside mural, pregnant with our second.

They both have made the space their home, learning to crawl in the taproom and being a little too involved in touching the equipment. Family has been such a huge part of this business. We have been so lucky, as so much family and many friends have helped us along since day one. From tearing up the old flooring to painting walls to helping us build the bar, we truly could not have done it without the help that we had.

Celestial Beerworks – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Celestial Beerworks is a brewery and taproom that focuses on selling fresh beer on site.

We occasionally distribute kegs to growler bars, but won’t find us at gas stations or grocery stores around the DFW. This is because many of the beers that we brew need to be consumed fresh. We love to brew hop-forward styles, especially New England IPAs. This style tends to have a hazy appearance and a juicy taste with very little bitterness.

Besides the beer, our atmosphere is a very important part of who we are. Our taproom is filled with art. We want to be able to communicate an experience to those who walk into our space. Our name should give away that we have an interest in astronomy. Our space has a huge emphasis on this theme. I painted constellations all over the walls, and our beers have astrological names.

My sister, Madeline, moved from Denver to be our event planner, and we have had as many events as possible. We are in an area of Dallas that is growing, but there are many more residential buildings than beer or bar spaces. We are trying to create a place that gives all the people in the neighborhood somewhere to enjoy each other and events like our Repeal of Prohibition Party, Trivia Nights, Stretch and Sip Yoga Saturdays, Christmas Wrapping Wednesdays, Nerd Night educational talks.

We are very proud of how involved in the community we have already been. We have done some collaborative brews with other breweries in the DFW, have guest artists showing their work in our taproom, have hosted sock drives and participated in the Toys for Tots toy drive. It is important for us to involve as many people as possible and help out the community where we can.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Although I have poured my heart into all the art covering all of our walls, the most meaningful part of the brewery is the mural in the back. It was painted by two girls, Rebekah and Sarah, from The Kind Way. They travel from city to city promoting kindness with their Kind Murals. They painted a giant, beautiful mural in the back that is dedicated to my grandfather.

My Papau is a Holocaust Survivor who, as a teenager worked at a brewery in Poland. He is the kindest man I know, and it was unbelievably special to have this part of our heritage live on in our new business.

Through the long journey opening up Celestial, we would talk about how we couldn’t wait for the “easy part”: just being open and brewing beer. This was a little tongue-in-cheek as we have certainly had our share of obstacles since. One of our proudest moments since the opening is perhaps an unusual one.

Right after we opened, four of the fifteen trending beers in the DFW on “Untappd” right after we opened. For the average person this means nothing, but for beer nerds, this is a very cool thing. Untappd is an app where people check in and rate all the beers that they have tried and just seeing our little logo so many times on the list made us feel like, in a real way, we had “made it.”

We are really enjoying being in this growing area of the Medical District. It is a very exciting experience to be surrounded by Dallas staples like Avila’s Mexican Restaurant and Maple and Motor as well as up-and-comers like Redfield’s Tavern, set to open in 2019. We have such a huge mix of people surrounding us from the airport, the hospitals, and the apartments and it is so nice to be able to give everyone a place to wind down and enjoy a good beer. We have a ton of exciting plans in the new year, including new can releases, art classes in the taproom, an Adult Science Fair, and even brewing a beer made with hops sent up into space. We are so thrilled to be a part of the Dallas beer community and will continuously strive to create a sought-after destination filled with exciting events, art, science, and incredible beer.

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1 Comment

  1. JoAnna Rawicki

    January 3, 2019 at 9:56 pm

    Celestial Beerworks provides not only excellent beer, but the ambience is an experience as well… creative and welcoming!

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