Friday, February 23, 2018

Shannon set to deliver Blackberry Crystal Wheat

Image courtesy of
Shannon Brewing Co.

Wanna see somethin' purple?

Come March, that's a question the folks at Shannon Brewing Co. are likely to ask someone looking to try something new. The new thing in this case being a spring/summer seasonal beer by the name of Blackberry Crystal Wheat (6.2% ABV).

Available statewide beginning March 14, Blackberry Crystal Wheat is a kristallweizen brewed with real blackberry puree. The infusion is said to give the beer a refreshing and subtly dry fruit flavor, not to mention a striking purple color.

The official launch of Blackberry Crystal Wheat will coincide with the brewery's annual St. Patrick's Day Celebration, set to occur on Saturday, March 17 (click here to purchase tickets). In addition to food and live music, the event will feature over 20 Shannon beers on tap, including a number of barrel-aged varieties.

Beyond that, consumers can expect to find Shannon Blackberry Crystal Wheat on tap and in six-packs of 12-ounce cans.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Rahr & Sons readies new year-round offerings, moving Midnight Cab to cans

 Image credit: Rahr & Sons Brewing Co.

Rahr & Sons Brewing Co. of Fort Worth has announced additional details related to the release of three beers appearing on its 2018 production calendar.

The first of these is Adiós Pantalones, a beer brewed with lemon and lime that Rahr & Sons is billing as a Cerveza de Sesión (session ale). One of two new entries into the brewery's year-round lineup, Adios Pantalones is described as a refreshing, light-bodied beer that can be enjoyed with just about anything.

Also set to join Rahr & Son's regular rotation is Paleta de Mango, a mango and lime beer crafted with Mexican pequin chiles. Originally brewed as a collaboration with Casa Cervecera Morenos of Mexico, it was created for the Cerveza México trade show in Mexico City this past November. The result proved to be popular, so the decision was made to brew it again and make it a new full-time fixture.

These two beers will debut during a special Cinco de Mayo event to be held at the Fort Worth brewery on May 5, 2018. Tickets for the event, which includes an appearance by the world's first metal mariachi band, Metalachi, are on sale now at the following location:

As for the last of the aforementioned three beers, Rahr & Sons will package the seasonal favorite, Midnight Cab, for the first time this year. For those who may not be familiar, Midnight Cab is a black saison that's been aged in French oak cabernet barrels. Featuring notes of white pepper, black tea and currants, the beer will hit the market beginning in April. Look for it on tap and in four-packs of 12-ounce cans.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Armadillo Ale Works springs Hibiscus Zinger

Hibiscus Zinger is brewed with wheat and barley malt, along with a mix of
hibiscus, ginger root, lemon and orange peel (Armadillo Ale Works). 

Expecting the unexpected is now the norm with respect to Armadillo Ale Works of Denton, as the company continues to embrace the unusual when it comes to the creativity behind its beers. Whether it be in the ingredients or the approach, products like Honey Please (mesquite beans), Dapper Apple (apple juice, apple pie spice), Royal Champ (purple corn, champagne yeast) and Brunch Money (lactose, maple syrup, cacao nibs, vanilla, coffee) have demonstrated the willingness of founders Yianni Arestis and Bobby Mullins to brew outside the box.

The latest case in point is Armadillo's new spring seasonal, Hibiscus Zinger. The name alone may conjure up images of a certain herbal tea producer, but that just makes for a fitting parallel, considering this particular Zinger is being billed as a botanical ale. Or as its tagline artfully alliterates, "it's a wheat beer brewed with a bodacious blend of botanicals to create a zippy pink drink that'll add some zing to your spring."

Recipe components for Hibiscus Zinger consist of hibiscus, ginger root, lemon and orange peel. It's surely a distinctive set of ingredients, and as Mullins implies, any overuse could easily alter the course of a beer.

"It's a bit of a balancing act to blend the traditional aspects of a beer style with unorthodox ingredients or processes and still have a something resembling beer at the end," explains Mullins. "But, we're a brewery and what we make still has to taste like a beer. With that in mind, I try to draw inspiration from traditional styles and/or the BJCP guidelines, then I bend them innovatively to create something that's both familiar and unique."

A unique pilsner-like glass will be available during Hibiscus Zinger
pint nights during February and March (Armadillo Ale Works). 

At the same time, a good foundation is key no matter what elements are added to a beer, which means what's underlying the innovation has to be good as well.

"If you order a steak with a fancy truffle butter sauce, and the steak itself isn't any good, then all the sauce in the world wont fix it," says Arestis. "It's the same way with beer, and it's something we've been mindful of since day one. We are our own biggest critics, so we always want to make sure we have the fundamentals covered before we put our own spin on things."

Judging by a pre-release sample of the beer, Armadillo has hit the nail on the head in both regards with Hibiscus Zinger. A notable backbone of bready malt (i.e. the base beer) sets the tone for a brew that's been infused with the ideal amount of ginger, fresh florals and citrus peel (i.e. the botanicals). And, it's that tasteful touch that makes Hibiscus Zinger a delicate and drinkable blend that strikes a near perfect balance between botanicals and beer.

As for how best to enjoy it, Hibiscus Zinger is a great refresher on its own at a serving temperature of around 45°. Arestis also likes the idea of adding an orange garnish (gasp!) or even using Hibiscus Zinger as part of a spring-themed beer cocktail.

Either way, look for Hibiscus Zinger to debut Friday, February 23, at East Side Denton. After that, the beer will appear on tap at various pint nights set to occur across North Texas.

Friday, February 23
  • Release Party at East Side, Denton: 6-10 p.m.
Saturday, February 24
  • Pint Day at Craft Beer Cellar, Dallas: 2-5 p.m.
Wednesday, February 28
  • Pint Night at Bluffview Growler, Dallas: 5-8 p.m.
Thursday, March 1
  • Pint Night at Dallas Craft Co., The Colony: 4:45-8:45 p.m.
Friday, March 2
  • Special tapping at Craft and Growler, Dallas: 6-7 p.m.
Saturday, March 3
  • Food and Flight Pairing with Dallas Grilled Cheese Co. at Lakewood Growler, Dallas: 4-6 p.m.
Tuesday, March 6
  • Pint Night at On Tap, Arlington: 5-8 p.m.
Wednesday, March 7
  • Pint Night at Ron's Corner Tavern, Bedford: 6-9 p.m.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Beer meets film for Sunshine Fist Magnet

Image credit: 3rd Identity Films.

Representing a mash-up of local beer and local film, Braindead Brewing and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema have come together to introduce a beer inspired by subjects of the movie, Bomb City.

Originally released in 2017 by Dallas-based 3rd Identity Films, Bomb City tells the true story of punk artists in Amarillo that got into a brawl leading to the death of the film's main character, a 19-year old punk musician named Brian Deneke.

As it turns out, Deneke was an avid homebrewer and even traveled with a dog called Stout. Naturally, that's what led to the collaboration, which has resulted in a beer inspired by Deneke's story and a beer he makes for friends during the course of the film.

Sunshine Fist Magnet (11.2% ABV) is an imperial oatmeal stout brewed with molasses and dry-hopped with Amarillo hops. The beer gets its name from Deneke's punk scene nickname and a song that was written about him (of the same name) by the band, Against All Authority.

Available first at the Cedars location of Alamo Drafthouse, Sunshine Fist Magnet will be tapped to coincide with a special one-time screening of Bomb City on Tuesday, February 13 at 8:10 p.m. Representatives from Braindead, along with the filmmakers behind Bomb City, will be on hand at the event to discuss both story and beer during a live Q&A session (click here to purchase advance tickets).

Following that, look for Sunshine Fist Magnet to be available on tap at Braindead.