Thursday, September 24, 2020

3 Nations launches Symbol Brewing side project

Image credit: 3 Nations Brewing Co.

A new North Texas brand is debuting this week, the concept behind it built around three little words: "Simply. Good. Beer."

From the team at 3 Nations Brewing Co. of Carrollton, Symbol Brewing Co. is an initiative designed to give head brewer Gavin Secchi the opportunity to experiment with recipes falling outside the bounds of the brewery's everyday lineup.

"Symbol Brewing is our innovative, rotating line of beers focused towards craft beer lovers," says John Royer, business manager at 3 Nations. "Our 3 Nations beer portfolio, like most local breweries, tends to be a consistent lineup of great tasting beers. Gavin is a strong brewer with a lot of recipes and we want to take advantage of this opportunity."

Regarding the "simply good beer" elements of the brand's identity, those words apply not only to what's found inside Symbol Brewing's cans, but also to how its products will be portrayed in the marketplace.

"The marketing is minimalistic and meant to be 'all about the beer,'" explains Royer. "We believe that symbols create conversation, so rather than naming beers we just wanted to create relevant symbols."

As for what consumers can expect in terms of availability, the Symbol Brewing line is intended to be a series of limited edition, one-off beers.

"We will rotate three new exciting brews created by Gavin every other month," says Royer. "This is a limited series as we just don’t have the capacity to brew larger amounts of Symbol Brewing beers.  It is just our way of having fun and keeping it fresh."

The initial run of Symbol Brewing beers is shipping now to select retailers across North Texas. Styles include Pastry Gose, Strawberry Hefeweizen and West Coast IPA. Look for them in four-packs of 16-ounce cans.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

HopFusion picks Baltic porter for honorary Etzel beer

Image courtesy of HopFusion Ale Works.

For the fifth release in the series of beers being made to honor local homebrewer Greg Etzel, HopFusion Ale Works of Fort Worth will delve into a darker color spectrum with its chosen recipe.

Simply entitled Etzel, the eponymous offering is a Baltic-style porter with an ABV of 8.7% and 36 IBU.

"We chose Greg's Baltic porter because it was one of his favorite beers to brew and he had won many awards with this recipe," says Matt Hill, co-founder of HopFusion.

With that in mind, Hill and fellow HopFusion owner Macy Moore plan to enter Etzel in several upcoming competitions. The hope, of course, being to build upon the recipe's heritage by winning a few additional awards.

"Greg was a great person, great brewer, and a great friend," adds Hill. "It was a no-brainer to be involved with this project, and I felt honored that we were chosen to brew one of his beers."

Etzel Baltic Porter will available on tap at HopFusion beginning Thursday, September 10. As with other beers in the series, a portion of the proceeds from sales will go to charities selected by the Etzel family.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Oak Highlands, Rahr & Sons winners again at USBTC

Image credits: United States Beer Tasting Championship, Oak Highlands Brewery, Rahr & Sons Brewing Co.

Continuing runs dating back multiple years, two local breweries have once again taken regional honors for their beers at the United States Beer Tasting Championship (USBTC). Including tallies from 2020, Oak Highlands Brewery of Dallas and Rahr & Sons Brewing Co. of Fort Worth now boast overall USBTC win totals in the double digits.

As to be expected, the pandemic has put a crimp on competition results for 2020, but the USBTC powered through and went ahead with its 26th Annual Summer Competition. During the event, 595 beers from 164 breweries were judged across 18 different categories. Like before, regional winners were chosen in each category, with those beers moving on to a subsequent round to determine a national grand champion.

Products from Rahr & Sons and Oak Highlands competed in the Rockies/Southwest division. A breakdown of their winning beers is provided below, or you can click here for a full competition summary.

Oak Highlands Brewery, Dallas

  • Resting Bitter Face, Regional Champion in the Imperial IPA/Red Ale category.
  • Tipsy Goat, Regional Champion in the Bock/Doppelbock category.
  • Golden Mustache, Regional Champion in the Dortmunder/Helles category.

Rahr & Sons Brewing Co., Fort Worth
  • Texas Red, Regional Champion in the Amber/Red Ale category.
  • Summertime Wheat, Regional Champion in the Wheat Beer category.

Cheers and congratulations to Oak Highlands and Rahr & Sons!

Friday, August 21, 2020

On Rotation on the move to The Braniff Centre

Rendering of On Rotation's future location at The Braniff Centre (On Rotation).

Five years after opening in the Lakewood neighborhood near White Rock Lake in Dallas, On Rotation Small Batch Brewery & Taproom is moving to a new retail space at The Braniff Centre at Dallas Love Field, the former home of Braniff Airlines

The move will allow On Rotation to add a number of new spins to its operation. In addition to expanding its production capacity, the brewery will start packaging its beers in cans, and it will also build an onsite kitchen.

“While we never wanted to leave Lakewood, we spent two years looking for a location in Dallas that would offer us the chance to build On Rotation into a true brewpub experience, and we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to stretch our legs at The Braniff Centre,” says Jacob Sloan, owner and co-founder of On Rotation. 

Not lost in the transition, On Rotation will continue to offer 40 ever-rotating taps of craft beer, cider and hard seltzer, along with a select wine list. The existing three-barrel brewhouse that has powered On Rotation to date will also make the move, with new fermentation tanks expected to double On Rotation’s brewing capacity. 

“Our focus has always been on making craft beer approachable yet captivating,” says Lindsay Sloan, owner and co-founder of On Rotation. “We curate every beer we offer to evoke excitement and compel you to share that experience. Our additional capacity will allow us to share more brews more often.”

The new location will comprise 4600 square feet, with amenities to include three distinct outdoor patios. 

“We all know beer tastes better outdoors in Texas,” says Jacob. “We made an outdoor experience one of our requirements in seeking a new location to expand. Our patio will be a place for sharing stories, good food and, of course, beer with friends and family.” 

Much as On Rotation’s brewing and beer operations are hand-crafted, fresh and highly curated, the Sloans are building a food menu to match, featuring fried chicken in all its forms with a supporting cast of Southern-inspired sides and shareable appetizers. 

“When we first started On Rotation, we wanted to be judged on the quality of our beer, not our appetizers,” says Lindsay. “With five years under our belt, we have the experience to do this right and offer a stellar menu that will complement our beers.”  

Not discounting the to-go experience, On Rotation’s future home will offer the convenience of a “minimart” for beer to-go and takeout order pickup. 

“We don’t want anyone to feel like they have a lesser experience with our food or beer by taking it home,” says Jacob. “And what feels more like home than a bucket of fried chicken and beers?” 

Construction at The Braniff Centre is set to begin in a few weeks. An opening date has not been set, but the Sloans hope to debut the new location early in 2021.  Until then, On Rotation will continue to brew at their Lakewood location. While currently closed to in-house customers, the brewery is open seven days a week for curbside pickup of crowlers and growlers — and soon, 4-packs of 16-ounce cans. Call ahead or order online at