Friday, December 6, 2019

Odd Muse open for business in Farmers Branch

 (All photos: © Brian Brown/Beer in Big D).

The latest brewing operation to join the ranks of North Texas, Odd Muse Brewing Co. welcomed patrons for the first time last night at its new facility in Farmers Branch. The event was the first of four previews the company will host as it prepares for grand opening festivities set to take place on Saturday, December 14.

Odd Muse is a project that's been in the works for a number of years, according to co-founder Bobby Diaz. It became a reality this past spring, once Diaz and partner Charles Roffino secured funding and a location for the brewery now up and running at 4488 Spring Valley Rd.

Regarding the space itself, Odd Muse is situated on the far eastern edge of Farmers Branch with easy access to the Dallas North Tollway. Inside, the build-out encompasses 5900 square feet, yet the design and layout gives the impression of something bigger. A roomy feel permeates the place, whether you choose to bide your time in the clean and comfortable taproom upfront, or in the production area out back.

Taproom attractions at Odd Muse include wide-screen televisions, board games and various artistic adornments.
Among art placements, wall murals and a rotating selection of framed pieces look to bring attention to local artists.

As for the beer, the taproom at Odd Muse is equipped with 14 taps. Five of those were pouring beer on opening night, with options including a blonde ale, a hefeweizen, two IPAs and a stout. One IPA, Muse Juice, was of the hazy variety, while another more piney-esque offering, Never the Lesser, was a bit more old school. In fact, old school is how I'd describe my favorite beer on the board, a dry and roasty Russian imperial stout called Opulence.

On that note, it's worth mentioning that Diaz is a self-professed "stout guy," with Old Rasputin from North Coast Brewing Co. of California listed among his favorites. Given that, visitors can expect an array of stouts to appear on the Odd Muse menu going forward. In particular, Diaz hopes to develop a series of stouts infused with various types of coffee.

Of course, explorations with other styles are planned as well. Some will be standards, like a Munich-style helles lagering at present, but Odd Muse also intends to delve into recipes featuring popular ingredients of the day (fruit, lactose, etc.). Some of those, like the occasional kettle sour, may occur sooner, while barrel-aged brews are something foreseen further down the road (an initial acquisition of spent barrels is on the agenda for later this month).

For now, though, consumers can check out what's currently on tap during remaining previews running from 4-10 p.m. on the following days: Friday, December 6 and Thursday-Friday, December 12-13. Beyond that, grand opening details are still to come, so be sure to follow Odd Muse's social media channels (Facebook, Instagram) for the most up-to-date details.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Deep Ellum, Rahr & Sons recognized at 2019 European Beer Star competition

Image credit: Private Brauereien.

Two local breweries have been honored with awards at the 2019 European Beer Star competition. The event took place earlier this month, with winners announced during a ceremony in Nuremberg, Germany, on November 13.

Now in its 16th year, the European Beer Star event bills itself as "one of the hardest beer competitions in the world." Entries are accepted from breweries around the globe, but submissions are limited to styles of European origin.

This year, a total of 2,483 beers from 47 countries were judged by an international panel, with prizes handed out in 67 different categories. North Texas winners are listed below, and it's worth noting that both beers have scored similar wins in the past. To see additional results, click here for a complete list of winners.

Deep Ellum Brewing Co., Dallas
  • Silver for Local Legend in the Sweet Stout/Milk Stout category (2017, 2019).
  • Silver for Regulator in the German-Style Dunkler Doppelbock category (2018, 2019).

Cheers and congratulations to Deep Ellum and Rahr & Sons!

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Small Brewpub closing in Oak Cliff

Image credit: Small Brewpub.

Opting not to renew its lease, Small Brewpub of Dallas has announced it will close on the occasion of its fifth anniversary.

Debuting in December 2014, Small Brewpub was part of a redevelopment effort along Jefferson Boulevard in Oak Cliff. Originally, the spot attracted the foodie crowd in addition to local beer lovers, based on unique culinary offerings created by chef Misti Norris. So much so, in fact, Bon Appétit  magazine included Small Brewpub on a list of 50 nominees for its 2015 survey of America's Best New Restaurants.

The overall approach changed, however, after ownership shifted gears in the summer of 2016. Hoping to appeal to a wider audience, Small Brewpub parted ways with Norris and adopted a simpler, more approachable menu in line with traditional pub fare.

With regard to the brewing operation, Black Pepper Pils was probably Small Brewpub's most well-known beer, but also notable was the brewpub's work with gypsy brewer Barrett Tillman of Black Man Brewing. Collaborations with Tillman began in 2015, having continued on through present day.

As for the when the closure becomes official, the final service at Small Brewpub is set for Saturday, December 7.

Monday, November 18, 2019

A winter IPA renewed and a decadent debut to come from Lakewood

Images courtesy of Lakewood Brewing Co

Adding to its popular Seduction Series, Lakewood Brewing Co. (LBC) of Garland is set to introduce Salted Caramel Temptress.

The Seduction Series takes Lakewood's best-selling Temptress Imperial Milk Stout and infuses it with different flavors. Past iterations have included Peanut Butter Temptress, Raspberry Temptress, French Quarter Temptress and Coconut Temptress.

“We’re always pushing the boundaries and making some 'Seriously Fun Beer' here at LBC,” says Wim Bens, founder and president of Lakewood. “This time of year calls for a decadent beer and Salted Caramel Temptress checks all the boxes. We loaded her up with a punch of extra vanilla and lots of salted caramel flavor and aroma. And we’re super excited to share it with our fans!”

Look for Salted Caramel Temptress on draft and in four-packs of 12-ounce bottles starting in December.

Also on the way, Cold Front IPA is making a late fall return. It's said to be the beer perfect for sitting around the fire pit or enjoying the crisp air out on the patio with friends.

“Last year’s debut of Cold Front IPA flew off the shelves,” says Bens. “So this year we made plenty to make it through to Spring.”

Cold Front IPA will be available on draft and in six-packs of 12-ounce bottles from November through March.