Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Cedar Creek to release Clover Kicker

Image credit: Cedar Creek Brewery

The Cedar Creek Brewery announced today the latest beer in their Special Release series. Clover Kicker Saison follows Spinning Mule and their award-winning Belgian Style Dubbel in becoming the third product in this limited line of brews.

According to a press release, Clover Kicker is a rustic farmhouse ale brewed with traditional Belgian malt and fermented with a Belgian yeast strain. The latter provides "spicy, earthy [and] fruity notes," resulting in a beer with complex aromas and a "dry, satisfying finish."

Clover Kicker will begin hitting tap walls in Dallas within the next few days, with package products expected to arrive at area retailers as early as next week. Markets outside the Metroplex should start seeing deliveries during the second week of October. As with other beers in the series, Clover Kicker will be sold as a boxed four-pack of 16-ounce cans.

Try Clover Kicker this Friday, September 26, at the Whole Foods in Colleyville during a tasting with the brewery from 5-8 p.m. The beer will also be on tap Tuesday, September 30, at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Richardson. That night Cedar Creek will be the featured brewery for Alamo's monthly Hopped Up Cinema series. In addition to Clover Kicker, the brewery will also bring along a special one-time release as an exclusive for the event. Danker Zone, as it's being called, will be a version of Dankosaurus IPA brewed with additional hops and fresh rosemary.

Clover Kicker
Style: Saison
ABV: 6.8%
IBU: 27
SRM: 5.0
Hops: Apollo, Willamette
Malts: Belgian Pilsner, Belgian Munich

Friday, September 12, 2014

Stephen Beaumont to headline week of events at Flying Saucer/Bird Café

Image credit: Sterling Epicure, Flying Saucer Draught Emporium, Bird Café

Those desiring an audience with author and world-renowned craft beer expert, Stephen Beaumont, will want to set aside time on the calendar during the second week of October. Beaumont will be visiting the Metroplex in support of his new book, Pocket Beer Guide 2015: The World's Best Craft and Traditional Beers, and he'll be stopping at Bird Café and area Flying Saucer locations for a series of unique tasting and book signing events happening October 7-11.

All of the events noted below will include meet and greet opportunities, as well as a chance to purchase the 2015 guide or Beaumont's other highly acclaimed work, The World Atlas of Beer. Beerknurds are also encouraged to bring copies of their own to be signed.

Tuesday, October 7 at 6 p.m., Flying Saucer on the Lake:

Brewers Foursome: Beaumont will lead a tasting featuring one beer each from Deschutes, Founders, Real Ale and Rahr & Sons. Brewery representatives will be on hand to join in the discussion, and six-ounce servings of each beer will be paired with small plates ($30pp, call 972-226-0725 to reserve).

Wednesday, October 8 at 6 p.m., Flying Saucer Addison:

Beer Tasting & Book Signing: Beaumont will lead a tasting of rare beers to include 2012 North Coast Old Stock Ale, Community Trinity Tripel, Prairie Artisan Ales Coffee Noir, Aecht Schlenkerla Oak Smoke, and Del Ducato Nuova Mattina. Small plates will be served to complement the beers ($40pp, call 972-991-7093 to reserve).

Thursday, October 9 at 6:30 p.m., Bird Café in Fort Worth:

Five-course Pairdiné ($75pp, call 817-332-2473 or visit www.birdinthe.net to reserve).

First Course
Dalwhinnie 15-Year-Old Single Malt Scotch
Smoked oyster vichyssoise

Second Course
Trappistes Rochefort 6
Slow-scrambled duck eggs with smoked butte and brioche pretzel

Third Course
Château de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone Valley, France 2009
Slice of stuffed trotter, prunes and chestnuts

Fourth Course
Firestone Walker Velvet Merkin
Double American lamb chop, roasted pumpkin grits and cranberry pickle

Fifth Course
Schneider Weisse Aventinus Eisbock
Coconut banana cream chia seed

Friday, October 10 at 7 p.m., Fort Worth Flying Saucer

Local Brewers Summit: Beaumont will lead a tasting and discussion with local brewers to include Wim Bens of Lakewood, Jamie Fulton of Community, Grant Wood of Revolver, Cody Martin of Martin House and Craig Mycoskie of Rahr & Sons. Six-ounce servings of one beer from each brewery will be paired with small plates ($45pp, call 817-336-7470 to reserve).

Saturday, October 11 from 4-5 p.m., Fort Worth Flying Saucer

BeerFeast 2014:  Beaumont will host a meet and greet book signing for festival attendees (purchase tickets at www.beerfeast2014.com).

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Rabbit Hole's 'Red' and the Season of Fear

Image credit: Rabbit Hole Brewing Company
Assuming you've managed to escape any feelings of "Wonderlust" that may have set in with the passing season, the Rabbit Hole Brewing Company now seeks to lead you into the Season of Fear.

Ruled by the Red Queen, a character from author Lewis Carroll's story Through the Looking Glass, the Season of Fear is one that inspires beers of greater strength. Carroll once described the Red Queen as someone who exhibits a kind of controlled fury, something seemingly to be in abundance in Rabbit Hole's soon-to-be newest offering, Off With Your Red.

From the press release:

"Off With Your Red is an aggressively hopped red IPA befitting its status as the first release of the Rabbit Hole Brewing 'Season of Fear.' The substantial malt backbone establishes the dark ruby/garnet color and supports the significant flavor and aroma additions of American Pacific Northwest hops. The hop nose is bright, resinous, and lingers to the end. At 7.9% ABV and 88 IBU, Off With Your Red is not to be trifled with; if you do, you may just lose your head."

The beer will be draft only and available at tap account across the Metroplex beginning the week of September 22. Your first chance to try it will come at launch events at the following locations:

September 23 at 6 p.m. : Jack Mac's Swill & Grill in Dallas
September 23 at 7 p.m. : Oak St. Drafthouse in Denton
September 24 at 6 p.m. : WBC Bottle Shop in Dallas
September 25 at 7:30 p.m. : Beer Dinner at State & Allen in Dallas

Also note that the brewery has special glassware in the works to commemorate the release. Sixteen-ounce shaker glasses will sport the 2014 Season of Fear logo (along with that of the brewery), while thirteen-ounce snifters will feature Off With Your Red regalia (only 500 glasses made).  Check local event listings to find out where and when these will be available.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Shannon Brewing set to open September 20 in Keller

Image credit: Shannon Brewing Company
After more than a year in development, the Shannon Brewing Company is in the final stages of preparation for the upcoming debut of the brewery in Keller. Coming off a soft-opening this past weekend, founder Shannon Carter and crew will spend the next couple of weeks refining things in terms of how they'll run the taproom and tours leading up to the official unveiling.

Construction began on the 6500 square foot structure housing the brewery back in January, with subsequent delivery of the brewhouse occurring in April. As has been mentioned here before, the 20-barrel system utilizes a direct-fire brew kettle and mash tun designed to follow an Old World process dating back the 1860s employed by Carter's great-grandfather in Ireland. With it, Carter will brew double batches in order to fill a set of 40-barrel fermenters which round out the set up. For more details on the history behind his approach and a complete overview of the brewing process see the brewery's website: http://shannonbrewing.com/fire-brewed.

The building itself sits on a sizable 3-acre tract of land, which is part of a larger expanse the brewery shares with the Samantha Springs Bottling Company. Water from the springs will be fed directly into the brewhouse, and will remain untreated for use in all but one of the brewery's beers. Carter says the lone exception will be Shannon Chocolate Stout, for which he'll make a slight adjustment to enhance the flavor profile of that particular beer.

Regarding the overall space, Carter would seem to have more room to work with than any other brewery in the immediate Dallas/Fort Worth area. In addition to a climate-controlled indoor taproom, featuring a bar constructed from reclaimed materials, he's built an outdoor beer garden adjacent to the main building. This is surrounded by a planter that will be used to grow hops on site come springtime, which will be irrigated by harvested rain water collected by a tank stationed nearby. Remaining outdoor space will provide ample parking for now, but it could be used for further build-outs should production needs dictate such a move in the future. Carter also envisions hosting festivals and other large-scale events to take further advantage of the size of the property.

Shannon's line of fire-brewed Irish ales (© Brian Brown/Beer In Big D)
The brewery will open with five beers in production, with seasonals to follow. Beyond the stout and his flagship Pale Ale, Carter will brew an Irish Red, an All American Blonde and an IPA. All are expected to be available on opening day, and since the brewery will be operating under a brewpub license, packaged products will be offered for visitors to take home. Carter has acquired a 4-head bottler which he'll use to fill 22-ounce bombers for sale in the taproom. These, along with kegged beers, will also be distributed to draft and retail accounts within limits set by the TABC for this type of operation.

Initial plans call for the brewery to be accessible during taproom hours on Thursdays and Fridays, with the open house/tour model being implemented on Saturdays. Carter also intends on making the brewery available for rentals. Taproom amenities are expected to include widescreen TVs and free Wi-Fi connectivity. Food trucks will be on hand for tours, while catering from off-site restaurants can be arranged for private events.

As for the aforementioned debut, a Grand Opening celebration will be held on Saturday, September 20. Running from 12 to 4 p.m., the cost for the event will be $10 per person, which includes three pints and souvenir glassware. Other opportunities to sample Shannon beers will come with your admission to either of two upcoming festivals. The brewery will be pouring at the Dallas Observer Brewfest on September 13, as well as at the Texas Craft Brewers Festival in Austin on September 27.

Follow Shannon Brewing on Facebook and Twitter.