Monday, July 10, 2017

North Texas breweries land 13 medals at 2017 U.S. Open Beer Championship

Image credit:
U.S. Open Beer Championship
Winners were announced today for the 2017 U.S. Open Beer Championship, with the results showing seven North Texas breweries to be among those earning recognition.

According to a press release, breweries from Vermont to Vietnam sent in more than 6,000 beers representing over 100 different styles for evaluation in this year's competition. Just like in prior years, the event was open to both professional brewers and award-winning homebrewers.

As far as the 2017 performance of North Texas breweries goes, first-time winners at this year's competition include Bankhead Brewing Co. of Rowlett and HopFusion Ale Works of Fort Worth. Their wins are included in the list below, along with other local breweries, each of which has brought home at least one medal from the U.S. Open in the past (a complete list of winners may be found by clicking here).

903 Brewers
  • Bronze for Sasquatch in the American Stout category
  • Silver for Highway 1 in the Bohemian Pilsner category.
  • Silver for Fur Slipper in the Cream Stout category.
  • Silver for Feisty Blonde in the Honey Beer category.
  • Bronze for Hairpin in the Rye/Roggen Beer category.
  • Silver for All Call in the English Summer Ale category.
  • Silver for Sin Mint Temptress in the Experimental Beer category.
  • Silver for Sledgehammer in the American Barley Wine category.
  • Silver for Velvet Hammer in the Imperial Red Ale category.
  • Bronze for Irish Goodbye in the Irish Red Ale category.
  • Gold for 10/6 in the English Pale Ale category.
  • Gold for Off With Your Red in the Imperial Red Ale category.
  • Gold for The Regulator in the Doppel/Strong Bock category.

Cheers and congratulations to all!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Grapevine resumes canning ahead of return to retail

Image credit: Grapevine Craft Brewery.

Nearly one year ago, Grapevine Craft Brewery made the decision to cease distribution of its products throughout the State of Texas. Now, however, the company has regained the right to self-distribute its brands in the Dallas-Fort Worth market, which means a return to local retail shelves is at hand.

According to a press release, the brewery will continue to operate its contract brewing subsidy, North Texas Brewing Co., but plans are to reinstate shipments of house brands to area grocers and craft beer retailers. At this time, though, only cans will be sent to outside accounts, as draft beer will continue to be served exclusively in Grapevine's taproom.

"It's because of great industry partners and friends that contract brewing has provided a platform for a sustainable business," says Gary Humble, CEO of Grapevine Craft Brewery. "Beyond that, we continue to see great success on the local level in our taproom and beer garden, and fans have continued to support our small business. We love people and we love our community. We could not be more excited to have the opportunity to once again make our beers available to our friends in stores across DFW.”

Six-packs of Lakefire Rye Pale Ale and Sir William's English Brown Ale will hit shelves across the region beginning the third week of July. After that, keep an eye out for the new Railcar Double IPA (ABV 8.5%). Originally marketed as Grapevine's highly-regarded Brewers' Reserve Double IPA, Railcar is set to make its debut in four-packs of 12-ounce cans.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Two new breweries on tap for Parker County

Craft beer continues to expand its reach across North Texas, as news comes of a two new breweries planned for Parker County. The opening of either would represent the first new brewery to operate in the county since before Prohibition, when W.F. Both & Co. was producing beer in Weatherford up until it closed in 1879.
Image credit: Parker County Brewing Co.

The first of these is Parker County Brewing Co., a venture in Willow Park headed up by Ryan Stewart and Joshua Tarbay. Currently under construction at 225 Shops Blvd., in a development called the Shops at Willow Park, the brewpub-to-be will offer beer, wine and cider on tap alongside food prepared in its full-service pizza kitchen. According to Tarbay, cask ale will also be on the menu at Parker County Brewing once it opens in the fall of this year.

Image credit: Pathfinder Brewery, LLC.

Also in the works, though a little further out on the development calendar, is Pathfinder Brewery. Eric Addison is leading that project after moving to Texas from California, where he spent time running his own homebrew shop. Currently, Addison is working to develop plans for Pathfinder's building, which will be built from the ground up on a site off Cinema Dr. in Hudson Oaks. Branding is still in the early stages as well, says Addison, who hopes to be open by the summer of 2018.

Stat up-to-date on the progress of the two breweries mentioned herein by following each company's Facebook page (Parker County Brewing Co., Pathfinder Brewery).

Thursday, June 29, 2017

All aboard for Armadillo's new Land Yacht IPA

Image courtesty of Armadillo Ale Works.

After more than four years of being one of the few North Texas brewing operations to eschew the IPA, Armadillo Ale Works of Denton has altered course to produce a version of craft beer's most popular style.

Land Yacht IPA (7.3% ABV, 75 IBU) is set to embark on an introductory tour of the Metroplex, after which it will join Armadillo's core lineup alongside Honey Please, Royal Champ and Greenbelt Farmhouse Wheat. The beer is an American IPA that's been brewed to style, featuring a copious amount of Azacca, Mosaic, Citra, Columbus, and Centennial hops.

But why, you may ask, would a company that's known for its uniqueness decide to release a stylistic IPA at this point in its evolution? According to co-founder Yianni Arestis, it's all about doing the unexpected, which up to now has been a hallmark of Armadillo's approach.

"Normally, we cross style boundaries and use special ingredients in our beers to offer the consumer something tasty, interesting and truly different," says Arestis. "After coming out with seven beers like that, though, we felt it would be cool to show people we can brew to style with the best of them."

Special Land Yacht IPA glassware will be available at launch events occurring this weekend (Armadillo Ale Works).

Along those lines, you won't find any additives in Land Yacht IPA. With so many different takes on the IPA in the market these days, many falling in line with the current trend of adding fruit infusions, Arestis and co-founder Bobby Mullins chose to go against the grain in sticking to style. Accordingly, their first IPA foray is all about the hops, a characteristic that's been subtly built into the Land Yacht name.

"We wanted a name that hinted at the beer using 'a boatload of hops,' as well as something that alluded to going on a 'tropical flavor trip,'" says Arestis. "Since it's an American IPA, we figured a big, classic American car, a land yacht if you will, would make sense. Plus, the longhorns on the hood are an obvious tie-in to our Texas roots."

As for how it turned out, an early sample of Land Yacht IPA shows it to be a beer that gives off notes of sharp citrus and pine initially, with a ripe pineapple and tropical fruit character developing as it opens up. It's a little dank and a little musky with not a lot of bitterness, the latter meaning more emphasis was put on highlighting hop flavor and aroma. The beer is neither east coast or west in terms of a regional designation, but rather something that falls somewhere in the middle. Given that, instead of trying to pin it down, maybe just call Land Yacht IPA what it is...a really good, easy-drinking Armadillo-style IPA.

Land Yacht IPA will be available as a draft-only offering. Look for it on tap beginning this weekend at launch parties planned at the following locations.

Friday, June 30
  • East Side, Denton: 7-10 p.m.
Saturday, July 1
  • Lakewood Growler, Dallas: 4-7 p.m.
  • Brewed, Fort Worth: 6-9 p.m.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Celis signs with Andrews for North Texas distribution

Image credit: Celis Brewery.

Taking another step in its brand revival, Celis Brewery of Austin has signed with Andrews Distributing Co. for the delivery of its products to the North Texas market.

Celis Brewery originally arrived on the Texas scene in 1992, being founded by renowned Belgian brewer Pierre Celis. His daughter Christine now carries the mantle of the family name with her new venture, which will operate out of a 22,000 square-foot facility in Northwest Austin. There, Christine's team will brew Pierre’s famous Belgian-style recipes, including the award-winning witbier, Celis White.

Christine Celis, founder and CEO of Celis Brewery, says she is excited to watch the re-introduction of Celis’ beers in North Texas.

“Our beers from Celis Brewery were really popular in North Texas when we were first brewing in the 1990s. It is incredibly exciting to be back brewing Celis Brewery’s original recipes like the famous Celis White and Celis Grand Cru using the proprietary yeast from Belgium,” says Celis. “We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and enthusiasm we have received as we have started reintroducing our Celis beers this month. We are thrilled to be working with Andrews Distributing to make sure people in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex can find Celis beers at their favorite locations.”

Kelli Hopson, Andrews craft brand manager, says the Andrews team looks forward to being a part of Celis’ growth and success in Texas.

“The Celis name is famous in the beer community and is synonymous with Belgian-style beer,” says Hopson. “All of us at Andrews are thrilled to work with this award-winning team and its world-class beers. We look forward to helping them expand their presence in their home state of Texas and connecting them with beer lovers in Dallas-Fort Worth.”

According to a press release, Andrews plans to launch Celis in North Texas the week of July 3. The initial rollout will include Celis White on draft, with beers like Pale Bock and Citrus Grandis IPA slated to arrive on draft in August. After that, consumers should expect to see all three beers in bottles come September.

For more information on Celis and the brewery's upcoming events, visit