Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Intrinsic looks to crowdfund Garland-based brewpub

Image credit: Intrinsic Brewing

Following in the footsteps of other North Texas brewers like Armadillo Ale Works, Rabbit Hole and the Grapevine Craft Brewery, Garland-based Intrinsic Brewing is turning to crowdfunding to help get their project off the ground.

Founders Cary and Molly Hodson have launched a campaign with CrowdBrewed, seeking to obtain pledges in the amount of $30,000 to offset both personal savings and money from outside investors. As to why they decided to pursue this as a funding option, they want to "give the community a chance to get involved and show their love of the craft." At the same time, should the campaign be successful, they look at it as a way to boost not only their confidence, but that of their investors as they move forward.

Current plans are to open a brewpub offering both food and house-brewed beers at 507 W. State Street on the historic square in Downtown Garland. A circa 1910 brick building has been secured, which will have upwards of 6000 square feet to work with, depending on patio space. In it will be assembled a 7-barrel brewhouse designed for cost, quality and creative flexibility, something that should fit in with the couple's vision of brewing a perpetually rotating line of small-batch beers.

Construction is slated to begin in February and take on the order of eight months. That translates to an anticipated opening date of October 2015. Once complete, the couple hopes to have created "an intimate local experience with a focus on in-house pint sales and growler fills." The family-owned operation aims to be an inherent part of their community, and the name Intrinsic is a reflection of those values. One imagines that's also the impetus for the appearance of roots in the company logo.

In terms of experience, Cary recently completed the Brewery Immersion Course at the Colorado Boy Pub & Brewery, where he collaborated with the Echo Brewing Company. He's been homebrewing all-grain recipes since 2010, with his wife getting involved two years later when they wrote their first business plan. Both have judged local competitions while being active in the local homebrewing community, and in that spirit they'll produce pro-am beers once they get things up and running.

As for what types of beers Cary sees in the brewpub's future, he says they both have an appreciation for traditional styles which will show up in things like a blonde ale, an American-style brown and an IPA. Beyond that, though, Intrinsic will work to "set itself apart by brewing experimental styles and maintaining a barrel-aging program." He'd like to do a braggot, a gruit and a raspberry gose, as well as something with smoked figs or a combination of ingredients like tamarind and jalapeƱos. His ambition even extends to sour beers and an experimental hop series.

Those who attended Deep Ellum's annual Labor of Love Homebrew Competition earlier this year will remember that Intrinsic took home not only the Best in Show prize, but was also named Fan Favorite in addition to taking top honors in both the sour and spicy categories. As a result of their achievement, Deep Ellum will brew a single 30-barrel batch of Intrinsic's Basil Buzz, a honey basil hefeweizen, which should be ready in time for the 2015 competition next July.

If you'd like to help them on their journey, Intrinsic's CrowdBrewed campaign is active now through December 7, and can be accessed directly by visiting the brewery's website at www.intrinsicbrewing.com. Rewards include logo merchandise, handmade furniture (built by Cary himself, and like that which will be used in the brewpub) and a lifetime supply of beer. Though, the couple's mission statement makes it clear they want what comes out of the brewpub to be a reward as well. As they put it, "Our mission is to serve our community by delivering products of distinction, creativity, flavor and intrinsic value. We believe all people should have access to quality craft beer made with the finest ingredients, care and inspiration."

Follow Intrinsic on Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Audacity Brew House celebrates Denton debut

Image credit: Audacity Brew House
Laying claim to the title of being the first brewing operation to exist inside the Denton city limits, the Audacity Brew House held its three-day grand opening celebration this past weekend. On tap were no fewer than seven brews per day, one of which was designated as a specialty beer based off one of the brewery's standard half-dozen recipes.

Located on 1012 Shady Oaks Drive, the brewery sits in a warehouse just two turns and a traffic circle off of where U. S. 77 splits from I-35E. The bright green structure is hard to miss, with ample parking existing in a full 180-degree arc around the building. Brewing equipment takes up a little more than two-thirds of the 5000 square foot space, it being a 17-barrel system put together by co-owner and former brewmaster at the Fort Collins Brewery, Doug Smith.

A taproom occupies the remaining indoor space, built virtually from scratch by co-owner Scott Lindsey. It offers the obligatory bar seating along with a handful of tables, with service originating from a wall whose current capacity is twelve taps. On opening day, brews ranged from Cliff Diver, a lightly tart Berliner weisse with a kind of diluted lemon drop flavor, to Boss Raptor, a dry-hopped west-coast style IPA with 72 IBU that should attract more than a few hopheads.

In between those was Drachenfutter, a lager which may have needed a little more time, along with Repurcussion, an agreeable amber ale, and what I considered the best beer on the board, a mild English-style porter offering up hints of chocolate and roasted malt called The Great Escape. The crew also allowed me sample three of the weekend's limited release beers, which included the eminently herbal Chai Lager, a well-tempered Chili Porter and the slightly more tart than the original (that being Cliff Diver) Raspberry Berliner Weisse. All were noticeably lighter-bodied and approachable, a character quite fitting for drinking beer on a warm afternoon.

For those wondering about atmosphere, the brewery has a 1500 square foot patio/beer garden existing on the building's east side. The placement being a wise choice, considering how patrons in the outdoor area enjoyed ample shading with the building blocking out the low-lying, late-afternoon sun. It features a small stage for live music, something which will be a regular occurrence during taproom hours on the weekends. Food trucks will also be available during those times, supplying bites to enjoy alongside the area's newest brand of beer.

Overall, the space is comfortable, though I will admit to wishing there was a window offering views of the brewhouse while sitting at the bar. Staff was more than welcoming and willing to answer questions, and it's hard to argue with $5 flights (consisting of four 4-ounce pours) for those wishing to sample a subset of the brewery's full range of beer. 

Going forward, Audacity plans to be open six days a week with daily tours being on the bill as well. They'll focus primarily on local accounts to start, with plans to expand service as production grows.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Your Companion Guide to Untapped Dallas 2014

Image credit: Untapped Festival
There is no game more synonymous with drinking beer than darts. And, honestly, a solitary dart and a printout of the full beer list tacked to the wall are just about all the supplies you'll need to get you through this year's Untapped Festival in Dallas. You know the drill: close your eyes, aim, fire, drink, repeat. Though, I suppose a bottle of water and a ride home might be worth having, too.

In any case, as the banner states you'll be able to choose from over 300 beers supplied by more than 80 breweries while enjoying live music from banks like Cake, Shovels & Rope, Deltron 3030, The Polyphonic Spree, Rogue Wave and others.

As I've done in the past, I've created a beer geek breakdown below outlining some of the best beers that will be available, as well as a few new tastes and limited pours. It should be noted that this event is being put on in association with NTX Beer Week, and as such a number of brewers have crafted special beers for the occasion. These include Lakewood Manimal, A Lost Epic from Peticolas and Wood-Aged Nightwatch from Grapevine. There's also the Lakewood/Rahr collaboration called DFW, and a single hop pale ale from Southern Tier called XNTX Special Ale: Brewed for the Good People of North Texas.

It all goes down Saturday, November 1, at Gilley's in Dallas. General Admission and Beer + Concert tickets are still available by way of the festival website (VIP is sold out).

Of course, nothing could be better than attending the event for free and it just so happens I have a pair of Beer + Concert tickets to give away. To win, simply share which beer you're most eager to try in the comments section below, or by replying to the post on either Facebook or Twitter. I'll choose a random winner at noon on Thursday, October 23.  (Update: The winner of the tickets is Facebook user Addison Denenberg. Thanks to all who entered here and on social media channels!).

Cheers and good luck!

Whale watching: Brews from the Beer Advocate top 250  

#3. Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout
#9. Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout
#17. Bourbon County Brand Stout
#28. Founders Breakfast Stout
#34. Bourbon County Brand Barleywine
#86. Ballast Point Sculpin IPA
#112. Ballast Point Victory at Sea
#192. Jester King Aurelian Lure
#219. Stone Ruination IPA
#233. Boulevard Love Child #4

Perfect pours: Top rated beers (100/100) on Ratebeer

Epic Big Bad Baptist
Firestone Walker: Wookey Jack Black Rye IPA, Velvet Merkin
Founders:  Porter
Great Divide:  Oak Aged Yeti
New Belgium: La Folie
North Coast:  Barrel Aged Rasputin XV
Sierra Nevada: Hoptimum
Southern Tier: Choklat
Unibroue:  Trois Pistoles

Best of the rest: Close enough to perfect (Ratebeer scores out of 100))

Avery: Rumpkin (99), Lillikoi Kepolo (98)
Ballast Point:  Dorado Double IPA (99), Grapefruit Sculpin (99), Grunion Pale Ale (98)
Boulevard:  Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale (99)
Brasserie d'Achouffe: Houblon Chouffe (99)
Brooklyn:  Black Chocolate Stout (99)
Deschutes:  Black Butte XXVI (98), Fresh Squeeze IPA (98), Mirror Mirror (99)
Dogfish Head:  Burton Baton (99), 60 Minute IPA (98), 120 Minute IPA (99)
Epic: Imperial IPA (98)
Firestone Walker:  Velvet Merlin (98)
Founders:  Centennial IPA (99), Dirty Bastard (98)
Goose Island:  Juliet (99), Lolita (99), Madame Rose (99)
Great Divide: Fresh Hop Pale Ale (98), Hibernation (98)
Green Flash:  Double Stout (99), Green Bullet (98), Le Freak (98)
Harpoon:  Leviathan IPA (98)
Jolly Pumpkin: Oro de Calabaza (99), Luciernaga "The Firefly" (99)
Karbach: Bourbon Barrel Hellfighter (99)
Lagunitas:  A Little Sumpin' Sumpin' (99), Imperial Red (98),
Lakewood: The Temptress (98)
Liefmans: Goudenband (98)
New Holland: Dragon's Milk (99)
Odell:  IPA (98), Mountain Standard Double Black IPA (99)
Ommegang:  Gnomegang (98), Three Philosophers (99)
Oskar Blues:  Dale's Pale Ale (98), Deviant Dale's (99)
Real Ale: The Kraken (98)
Santa Fe: Imperial Java Stout (98)
Sierra Nevada:  Narwhal (99), Northern Hemisphere Harvest (99), Torpedo (98)
Ska: Modus Hoperandi (98)
Smuttynose: Robust Porter (99)
Uinta:  Cockeyed Cooper (98)
Unibroue:  La Fin du Monde (98), Maudite (99)
Victory:  HopDevil (99)

Texas Award Winners:

Armadillo Ale Works: Quakertown Stout (2014 GABF Gold)
Community: Public Ale (2013-14 GABF Gold), Witbier (2014 World Beer Cup Gold)
Grapevine: Sir William's English Brown Ale (2014 GABF Gold)
Oasis: London Homesick Ale (2014 GABF Gold)
Pedernales: Lobo Negro (2014 GABF Silver)
Real Ale: Firemans #4 (2012 GABF Silver), Hans Pils (2012 GABF Silver)
Saint Arnold: Endeavour (2012 World Beer Cup Silver)

Rare breeds: Market debuts, seasonals and limited editions

(512): Six (Dubbel)
903: Land of Milk & Honey
Abita: Cask-conditioned Abbey Ale
Community: Ascension Vanilla Coffee Porter
Deep Ellum: Belgian IPA, Hatch Chile Stout
Franconia: Oak Aged Fallin' Bock, Tripel Dunkel
Grapevine: Dry Hopped Lakefire Pale Ale, Wood-Aged Nightwatch Oatmeal Stout
Independence: 10th Anniversary Dry-Hopped Barleywine
Lakewood: Bokkenrijders, Bourbon Barrel Temptress, Holiday Bonus Festive Porter,
                    Manimal Red Farmhouse Ale, DFW: A Collaboration of Two Breweries
Martin House: Turtle Power Blackberry Altbier
Oskar Blues: Barrel-Aged Sour Cherry Old Chub
Peticolas: Dry-Hopped Sit Down or I'll Sit You Down, Dry-Hopped Velvet Hammer
                  Bourbon Oak Alfred Brown, A Lost Epic Tripel
Rabbit Hole: Off With Your Red
Rahr & Sons: Midnight Cab, Visionary Pumpkin
Real Ale: Scots Gone Wild
Revolver: Fracker Barrel One, Sangre y Miel
Saint Arnold: Divine Reserve 14
Southern Tier: XNTX Special Ale (brewed especially for NTX Beer Week)
Texas Ale Project: 50 Foot Jackrabbit, Somethin' Shady

Oldies but goodies: Vintage brews

2004 Alaskan Smoked Porter
2012 Brooklyn Monster
2013 Saint Arnold Pumpkinator
2013 SanTan Sex Panther