Monday, July 6, 2015

Hyatt Regency partners with area brewers for Craft Brewery Package

Image credits: Hyatt Regency Dallas,
Deep Ellum Brewing Co., Texas Ale Project.

The Hyatt Regency Dallas, home to the iconic Reunion Tower, has announced a new partnership with local breweries to "provide visitors with an authentic Dallas craft beer experience."

According to a press release, Deep Ellum Brewing Company and Texas Ale Project have signed on to be a part of the program which seeks to make it easier for out-of-town guests to enjoy one of the city's fastest growing trends. As a vacation option, it makes for a fun, responsible way to explore two of the area's popular breweries.

"Texans are no stranger to good beer," said Fred Euler, general manager of the Hyatt. "Dallas' craft brewery scene has really boomed over the past few years and we are proud to be the first in the city to offer our guests a hassle-free way to try some of the state's best."

Guests who book the package will enjoy overnight accommodations, beer tastings at both breweries and a tour of Texas Ale Project. Complimentary round-trip shuttle service will be provided, and participants will receive commemorative pint glasses to take home from each brewery.

Reservations can be made now by way the following link, where you'll also find full details as to the number of samples available at each brewery and a rundown of the trip schedule:

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Noble Rey now open in Dallas

All images the property of Brian Brown/Beer in Big D.

After more than three years in development, the Noble Rey Brewing Company can finally claim the title of being the newest craft brewery in North Texas. Owner Chris Rigoulot and his team began welcoming consumers during a series of soft opening events last week before the official debut this past Saturday.

First appearing on the scene in early 2012, Noble Rey would be forced to scrap plans to open in Grapevine and Oak Cliff before winding up at its permanent location in the Dallas Design District. Now settled at 2636 Farrington Street, the brewery sets up as the northern bookend to a two mile stretch of the city which includes neighboring brewers Peticolas, Community and the Texas Ale Project. Cross the Trinity River and Four Corners is in the vicinity as well, which if you ask me means there's an opportunity for a rather epic brewery crawl for anyone willing to take up the challenge.

The entrance (left) and brewhouse (right) at Noble Rey Brewing Company.

The building Noble Rey occupies takes up a total of 8400 square feet. An eyeball estimate suggests a little less than half of that is devoted to production, with the rest set aside for the taproom. The work space contains a two-vessel, fifteen-barrel brewhouse flanked by a wall of thirty-barrel fermenters, while the public area has two bars, couch and table seating options, arcade games and a TV equipped with a gaming console.

Taproom offerings on opening day featured an array of mostly Texas taps, including beers from Noble Rey's Pilot Series. Thanks to a brewpub license, upwards of twenty guest beers will pour from the larger of the two bars on days the taproom is open, with as many as four house beers being served at the other. While only select Noble Rey products were on tap this weekend, a larger selection of the brewery's beers will be made available once operations ramp up later this week. That's when Rigoulot and brewer Justin Krey will begin crafting commercial batches on the brewery's production system. Not that you would have noticed, necessarily, but all of the beers served in the taproom up to now have been produced on Noble Rey's pilot rig.

Guest beers are on tap at Noble Rey Brewing Company.

One of those I sampled was Clockwork Orange, billed as the brewery's standard Steam Punk brewed with blood oranges, Himalayan pink sea salt and a French saison yeast. Here, the bitterness from the fruit addition provided a nice balance to the somewhat sweet, grainy malt making up the foundation for this beer. At least to my taste I thought the salt and yeast influence was fairly subtle, but Clockwork Orange is a beer I'd gladly come back to again in order to do some additional research.

As for the rest, once in-house stock gets built up, patrons will have the option of taking home Noble Rey beers in both glass growlers and aluminum crowlers. Further out, cans will be another take-home option, though Rigoulot mentioned during an impromptu tour he gave that canning would happen a few months down the road. For now, you'll have to get your fill on bottles and cans from local and national breweries which are on sale to-go in the taproom.

Noble Rey Brewing Company
2636 Farrington Street

Taproom hours: Wednesday-Friday 4-9 p.m., Saturday 12-10 p.m.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Caramel 'meats' beer during Summer Sampler at Franconia, July 18

Image credit: Piebird Services.

Not week goes by, it seems, that there's not some sort of beer and food pairing event going on somewhere here in the Metroplex. Beer dinners, in particular, are a virtual staple in weekly event listings, with cheese pairings not following too far behind. Lately, we've even seen donuts thrown into the mix, perhaps being a sign that consumers are open to a little something different when it comes to enjoying their favorite craft beers with food.

Along those lines, three local business are coming together for an event they're calling the Summer Sampler. Born of an idea they came up with in March while participating in the NARI Home and Garden Show in Plano, the owners of Franconia Brewing Company, Local Yocal Farm to Market and Dallas Caramel Company thought consumers might enjoy their fresh, quality offerings even more if they could enjoy them together.

Happening Saturday, July 18 at 5 p.m., brewery owner Dennis Wehrmann and crew will be your hosts for the Summer Sampler to be held at Franconia in McKinney. The event will feature six sampling stations bringing together hand-cut meats, hand-crafted all natural caramels and, of course, locally-made beer. Examples of the pairings include:

Franconia Kölsch
 Beefy grass-fed hanger steak and a creamy orange caramel.

Franconia Dunkel
Krautwurst sausage and a Texas-style caramel turtle called the Armadillo.

In addition to Wehrmann, Matt Hamilton of Local Yocal and Rain McDermott of the Dallas Caramel Company will also be on hand to answer questions and provide insight into their product offerings. 

Tickets for the Summer Sampler are $40 per person (all-inclusive, no fees), and can be purchased on Eventbrite by way of the following link:

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Evil Twin and Stillwater Artisanal headed to Texas

Image credits: Evil Twin Brewing, Stillwater Artisanal.

After entering into an agreement with 12 Percent Imports, Favorite Brands has revealed that they are in the process of bringing the products of Evil Twin Brewing and Stillwater Artisanal to Texas.

Evil Twin and Stillwater make for a rather unique pair, in that each company's founder is a gypsy brewer. Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø founded Evil Twin in 2010 and since then he's released over 100 beers commercially. Based out of Brooklyn, New York, he's conjured up recipes that have been brewed both in the United States and abroad. Texans have been privy to some of his work in the form of Bible Belt, a collaborative brew created with Prairie Artisan Ales, yet another brewery in the Favorite Brands portfolio.

As for Stillwater, Brian Strumke is the mastermind behind the Baltimore, Maryland-based outfit that began operations in 2009. He too has traveled the world seeking inspiration in order to craft beverages that meet the brewery's goal of representing "living art." Together the two breweries should add a new level of depth to the roster of craft beers available to local consumers.

According to John Maestas, who oversees National Chain Accounts for Favorite Brands, the firm's parent company L&F Distributors will handle deliveries to the Rio Grande Valley, while Favorite Brands will supply other areas throughout Texas. There's no word yet on what might be included in initial shipments, as the ink is just now dry on the contracts and both brewery's are still awaiting TABC label approvals.

For more on Evil Twin Brewing, visit, and for Stillwater Artisanal, visit