Dancing Bear Pub
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Taps: 16 / Bottles: 60
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 18 | Reviews: 17 | Show All Ratings:
4.88/5 rDev +7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
Dancing Bear is a great place to hang out and drink beer. Their selection is always great; I like that they always have Texas breweries on tap as well as beers from all over the US. If you want to try a sample before buying a glass, they usually are more than willing to give you a small glass and get a feel for the beer. The staff are always knowledgeable and never mind discussing the brews on tap with you. They have the option for either a pint or 10oz glass which is nice. The small glasses let me try more beers in one visit which I really like. Food comes from Food for Thought next store which is pretty good (but maybe a little pricy for what you get). The beer is reasonably priced for craft beers. They also have a large selection of bottle beers from all over too which is really awesome. They also have specials all the time which makes the prices even better. If you are in Waco you should definitely stop by even if you are just driving through on I-35, it's worth stopping in for. Also if you ever have work to get done or studying to do, it is a decent place to work on it and enjoy some beers. Smokers are also free to smoke out back in the patio area which I know the smokers like since Waco doesn't let smoking in most bars.
07-17-2013 01:35:22 | More by E_Cox
4.79/5 rDev +5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5 | $$
Since the Dancing Bear is in the Baylor area of Waco, it's easy to find people digging on the city and everything it doesn't have. The Dancing Bear, though, is testament to a Waco that's more than meets the eye. A world-class pub that rotates their taps out on average every 1.5-2 weeks, the Dancing Bear is quiet (during down hours) and homey. They have a nice outdoor area as well. It's a small pub, with a short bar, but really, the ambiance is not the biggest draw--it's clearly the beer. They stock tons of rare and unique brews, and while they tend to focus on IPAs and Stouts, you can find almost anything you're looking for here.
Also, their bottle selection is fantastic. They didn't have Chimay Red when I asked, but were quickly (and successfully) able to recommend a substitute. They did have a 750 mL of Avery's The Reverend, which was a pleasant surprise.
Basically, the Dancing Bear typifies Waco; doesn't look like much from the exterior, but a pleasant surprise once you take the time to really experience it.
06-02-2013 00:05:56 | More by Garrettshu
4.56/5 rDev 0%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
The only place for craft beer in Waco. I've lived here for a few years now, and without the Bear, it's possible that I would have moved by now. The owner is a great guy that loves what he does and all the bartenders are really knowledgeable and friendly. Great food too since the pub is connected to Food for Thought.
My only qualm is that the bottle prices are really high, but being that it is literally the only place in town that you can buy them, I'll take the good with the bad.
If you're in Waco, stop by the Dancing Bear Pub.
05-09-2013 22:27:47 | More by TomTown
4.78/5 rDev +4.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
This is definitely the best place to have a beer within a 100ish mile radius of Waco. I believe they have 16 taps and they are always rotating in new beers, mostly from Texas craft breweries, but also from the staples like Stone, Dogfish Head, Oskar Blues and others.
The atmosphere is very friendly and chill. No loud blaring music, well lit and it is not all that weird to strike up a conversation with a random person (or someone you just always see there!) Although normally the atmosphere is rather quiet and reserved, on Wednesdays ($3 pint night) and during Baylor sporting events it can get pretty fun. One of my best experiences watching sports at a bar was watching the 2012 sweet sixteen/elite eight at the big projector screen here. excellent environment with Baylor students/alum drinking great beer and cheering on our Bears!
If you are in Waco for any reason and have time to go get a beer then stop here. Crickets might have liquor and more on tap but the Bear's atmosphere, staff and high quality of beers on tap make it THE place to grab a great beer in Waco.
11-07-2012 02:48:54 | More by Dwtucker90
4.68/5 rDev +2.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3 | $$
Upon walking up to this place it doesn't seem like much. There's a sign outside that says what it is. There's a glass wall and tinted windows to block the sun when it's low in the sky. Walking in your opinion will totally change. There is ample seating at tables, booths, and bars detached from the main bar, which has only several stools as the bar is pretty short.
As you walk up to the bar you see a good amount of taps. As of this review I think the count is 16. To the left of the bar is a chalkboard with all of the beers on draft listed. They have prices for full pints and half pints. Having half pints is a huge plus in my mind. Usually they have really high content beers and I want to drink more than two or three different kinds of beer sometimes. Boom. Half pint. I also like to try as many kinds of beers as possible and with half pints if I don't like it I either don't have much to drink or I don't waste money by giving it to a friend. They also have Texas stickers next to all the Texas beers. The selection is always nice. Even with 16 taps, you are bound to find a style you like and a great example of that beer.
Ordering is easy. The guys behind the bar are friendly and notice you pretty quickly. That's what nice about having a short bar. They might provide conversation. They might not. Keeping a tab is simple and paying when your done is simple.
Food is from the place next door. You order at the bar and they send the order next door. Then bring it to you when it's done. I've only had a mini pizza and it was average pizza. Can't remember how extensive the menu is though.
Decor inside is good. Tasteful hangings on the walls and a good amount. Not crowded and not sparse. The decor behind the wall is nice as well. Lots of empty bottles of all the bottled beer they have had and tap handles from old drafts. Lighting is good. Low light but not too dark. Volume is nice, even with a crowd. Music is background. A couple TVs and sometimes a big projector screen for sports and even movies sometimes. Bathrooms are clean. There's a deck out back with lots of seating on picnic tables with a tent to block the Texas sun.
There are specials almost everyday of the week. It's not a standard happy hour but a changing discount. Like a dollar off Texas beers. A dollar off big bottles. Pint of the night. Etc. They also have events every so often. Couple months ago they had Can Fest with 30+ craft brews in cans. On IPA Day earlier this month they brought in a good selection of IPAs including Dogfish Head 120.
One thing that I can't speak from experience on is the bottle selection. I hear it's really good, but I can never get past drinking from the taps.
This place would be an awesome bar anywhere. So glad it's in Waco.
08-16-2012 22:11:56 | More by wtkphoto
4.7/5 rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3 | $
The exterior impression is completely false, I almost didn't get my husband in - the Non-Smoking sign was my foot in the door so to speak. The place looked defunct and when the door opened, I was a little surprised.
But... It is very clean, smells nice, well-lit and quiet. There is one tv and the music is in the background. It is not fancy but looks like they've recently re-done some things. They have a small bar, a couple of seating bars, chairs and tables and old wooden booths. The bathrooms are remodeled also - yeah!
It is non-descript but it is what you wish the bar down the street would do - turn themselves into a clean well-lit pub, to paraphrase Hemingway.
Beer - that is why we went there - the other reviews cover it, they are very careful behind the bar - everything was fresh. Also, they have half pints, I really like this model because I can try more beers. When the most expensive half-pint is $3, the pressure is off besides, I just cannot physically consume 5 pints of beer!
We had on tap (Texas Beer Fest the day before):
Live Oak Hefeweizen
Deep Ellum *Wit (*this is what we remember but I can't find it on their blog so this may need correcting)
Jester King Le Petit Prince Farmhouse Ale
New Republic Dunkelweiss
Adelbert Scratchin' Hippo Biere De Garde and
Adelbert Dancin' Monk Dubbel
They had a few IPAs, a stout and a couple of lighter beers we didn't try.
We filled our growler and had one of the pizzas from next door which was okay.
I wrote this review because I felt the others, though addressing the quality and selection of beers, did not express that this is an establishment which has a pleasant atmosphere.
April 28, 2012
04-30-2012 15:46:17 | More by Kellya
4.65/5 rDev +2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
If you love beer and you are in Waco this is a wonderful place for a pint. The staff is very knowledgable about the beer they serve and can answer your questions to make sure you get the right pint. From bombers to bottles there is always something new to try. With a wonderful outdoor beer garden you can enjoy your beer with good company, and still carry a conversation. Their texas craft beer fest is a wonderful seasonal event with great beer, food, and music. If you live in the Waco area, or just need a craft beer fix and are passing through this is a must stop.
01-07-2012 20:11:03 | More by CLBizzle
4.13/5 rDev -9.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Was manager there for first year it was open, so perhaps a bit biased...Still the best place for a beer in Waco and better than a good chunk of Austin bars, with the exception of a few brewpubs.
The inside is kinda dark but alot of wood and low lighting makes for a relaxing atmosphere. No blaring music or TVs everywhere. Just some tasteful games on behind the bar.
16 taps and prob. about 80 or so bottles? No BMC on tap ever, and most the time none in bottles either. It is a craft-centric bar. Bottles to go and growlers...plenty of good locals and special releases/ferkins on occasions. Paxton does a good job of acquiring kegs of stuff intended for bigger markets. regular monthly tastings either focusing on a style, a brewery, or season. Regular appearances by Texas brewers at tastings for Q&A.
Food served from Food for Thought sandwich shop next door (owned by Paxton's sister and brother-in-law).
Pretty solidly informed staff and helpful/friendly crew.
Stop by on your way to Austin or Dallas
05-26-2011 19:28:39 | More by jhimstedt
4.88/5 rDev +7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$
I went to and graduated from Baylor so, for me, the bear was a light in the lame darkness that i came to know as Waco. The bear also holds and will always hold a special place in my heart because my now fiancée and i feel in love with each other over pints here. enough about the sentimental aspects of the bear, as a beer pub, it is far and away one of the best in the state IMO. their selection is constantly being updated and will always feature Texas rares and out of state hard to finds. the atmosphere is fantastic with the dimmed lighting accented by the soft glow of a flat screen that seems to always be featuring BU giving some poor team a pound down. food from next door (food for thought) amazing, breakfast pizza BEST IDEA EVER. And finally the staff, they are amazing, enough can't be said for them (props Paxton).
anywho point is, the bear is amazing and my fiancée and i miss it a whole whole lot. Sic' Em Dancing Bear
05-12-2011 01:25:16 | More by texasclimber
4.6/5 rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $
I rode with another BA up to WACO to attend beer church that was held at Dancing bear by a fellow BA that used to be in austin.
The place is not much to look at from the outside. Once you find parking and enter you will not regret it. The 20 or so taps were all great craft beers including Double Pecan PorterWB which sells out very quickly in austin. Also had stone, live oak, bear republic just to name a few taps. THey also fill growlers here. THe bottle selection was great also. Paxton was an awesome host and we had a great time. Ordered the chicken BBQ pizza upon paxton's recommendation. It was really good. Sundays they have a dollar off all drafts. I think most pints run about 4.50 which is on the reasonable side for great craft beers. If I am traveling between Austin and Dallas this will be a great place to stop after stopping by vitek's for their gut pack of course./
03-07-2011 15:51:29 | More by BgThang
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Dancing Bear Pub in Waco, TX
97 out of 100 based on 18 user ratings.