The Battle of Midway (Denton Style)

The Battle of Midway (Denton Style)
Shaun Tapia and his craft beer kingdom at Midway Mart / Photo by Shea Scott

By Shea Scott

In April, the City of Denton announced its participation in the new Brew City, Texas program, an initiative of the Texas Craft Brewers Guild to support and elevate the craft brewing industry in Texas. Rewind to the mid-2000s when the craft brew craze started taking off with companies like Anchor Brewing, Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada leading the charge. That’s when Midway Mart’s Shaun Tapia started stocking these exotic (for the time) 12oz treats, and he’s been keeping up with the new hotness in craft beer ever since. The 3 walls of fully-stocked coolers are a testament to his dedication, but even stronger evidence to how much he and Midway Mart mean to the community came last Saturday at the “Mid-day, at Midway, in Mid-May” event.

An Ode to Midway Mart

By Rob Curran

Midway’s quirky setup, a chain-store without a chain, a gas station without a gas pump, a 7-Eleven that leans more eleven than seven, has made it a beloved stop for the broke and the beautiful in Denton since its opening. This is the place we stumble to after the psych-punk gig ends to load up on dessert beer, American Spirits ‘n cigarette papers. When the backyard wedding runs out of Swisher sweets, trash-can beer and frito pie, this is where we go to reup on our essentials. Midway Mart may not look like the geographic middle of anything on a map, but it’s the center of Denton for many hearts that would break if it went away.

Organized by the Denton County Homebrewer’s Guild and the Denton chapter of the Connoisseurs’ Club of Smoking and Drinking(CCSD), two organizations whose names leave little to the imagination, the event was a response to “Out-of-town money…opening a store next door with the intention of driving Midway Mart out of business”, according to the event’s Facebook page

Despite the rival store, known on Google as, “Denton's Craft Beer & Wine Really Cheap Beer”, insisting that they aren’t trying to muscle anyone out and that they’re “...not a C-store we are different in many ways”, it’s hard to buy the argument when they are both selling the same items. The event’s organizers definitely aren’t buying it and are doing their best to discourage others from buying any of the interloper’s “really cheap” offerings.