Deep Ellum Brewing Company
Attend a few homebrew events and one thing should become increasingly clear: it's all about the beer. There's no hype, no pretense and nothing more than friendly competition. Sure, some are a little more eager to win your vote for things like a People's Choice award, but homebrewers are quick to celebrate one another's success. That's just one of the reasons those who embrace this culture are oftentimes referred to as the craft beer community.
As for hype and pretense, what's great about occasions like Sunday's Labor of Love Homebrew Competition at Deep Ellum Brewing Company, is that you can walk in with no expectations. Virtually every beer tapped is one you've never had or heard anything about. Some are good, some not so good, but nobody has suggested to you beforehand how much you should love or hate any one beer. You're on an unbiased voyage of taste discovery. And who knows, should one of these humble homebrewers go pro, you might be among the first to taste North Texas' next great craft beer.
So, what of this particular voyage? Not surprisingly, attendees navigated a sea of pale ales, IPAs and saisons. There were old favorites like Knowles Brothers #Hashtag DIPA, Last Call's Morning After (a coffee pale ale), and Freaky Deaky (a tripel) from People's Choice winner Oak Highlands, but for the most part this was a day of newly found flavors. Best in Show went to Mox Nix for their Weizenbock, a beer Deep Ellum will brew as a small-batch release in honor of their achievement. While I somehow missed that beer, others garnering recognition were among those I found to be the day's best.
Mossberg Brewing: A group I've mentioned a time or two before, they earned my vote in the People's Choice competition. This time out they poured their Balle de Foin, a French saison using spelt (an ancestor of wheat), and Blonde Française, a malty blond ale fermented with a strain of yeast typically found in bière de gardes.
Edgar Sengier's Belgican Brown by The Manhattan Project: Named after a Belgian who supplied the United States with uranium for the Manhattan Project, this Belgian-American brown ale took home the award for best dark beer.
Tartalicious by Kimberley Rhea (poured at the North Texas Homebrewers Association booth): Voted best sour by the competition judges, this witbier was brewed with orange peel and coriander, then fermented with Roeselare yeast (a blend of lambic cultures).
Hop Killa by Josh Bullard: Seemingly brewed in the spirit of Founders All Day IPA, this aromatic and flavorful session IPA offered up 85 IBU with an ABV of only 4%.
Also notable: Fuzzy Memory IPA (brewed with fresh local peaches) and Black Man Brew Dry Stout (also poured at the NTHA booth).