Tuesday, January 30, 2018

North Texas scores six medals at 2018 Best of Craft Beer Awards

Image credit: Best of Craft Beer Awards.

Now in its fifth year, the 2018 Best of Craft Beer Awards competition was held this past weekend in Bend, Oregon. Five North Texas breweries were honored at the event, which resulted in area brewers bringing home a total of six medals.

Beer styles were evaluated against the 2017 Brewers Association Guidelines, the only exceptions being the addition of special categories for Northeast-Style IPAs and Fruited Berliner Weisse beers. Overall, 145 breweries from 35 states won awards this year, with medals handed out in 86 different categories.

This list of North Texas winners is given below, or you can click here for a complete rundown of the 2018 results.

Bitter Sisters Brewing Co.
  • Gold for Family Trip Belgian Tripel in the Belgian-Style Tripel or Pale Strong Ale category.
  • Gold for Local Legend in the Sweet Stout or Cream Stout category.
  • Bronze for Deep Ellum Lager in the Other Lager category.
  • Gold for Hoopsnake Hefeweizen in the German-Style Wheat Beer category.
  • Bronze for Rapture Fusion Brown Ale in the American-Style Brown Ale category.
  • Bronze for Bourbon Barrel Irish Red in the Wood- and Barrel-Aged Pale to Amber Beer category.

Cheers and congratulations to all!

Celebrate Sasquatch with 903 Brewers, February 3

All images courtesy of 903 Brewers.

Since surfacing in Sherman during early 2014, Sasquatch sightings have become a regular occurrence around North Texas. Sightings of the beer from 903 Brewers, that is, as opposed to the manifestation of some mythical creature. Then again, a guy in an ape-like suit has played a part in the story of both beverage and beast. Thankfully, though, a reliance on fuzzy photographs isn't necessary to identify what's arguably one of the area's more recognizable beers.

"Sasquatch is the beer we're known for," says Jeremy Roberts, co-founder of 903. "That's thanks to winning a silver medal for the beer at the Great American Beer Festival, winning back-to-back medals at the U.S. Open Beer Championship, and being named one of the top ten stouts brewed in America by Beer Info."

Nowadays, Sasquatch is more a family of beers, rather than a single, solitary beast. It can be found seasonally in different forms, including Winter Sasquatch (with holiday spice), Birthday Sasquatch (with fudge and toasted marshmallow) and Barrel-Aged Sasquatch.

Of course, those are just the Sasquatch siblings you'll encounter out in the wild. Small-batch offerings have emerged from time to time at 903's taproom, and just last summer the company starting bottling varieties to be sold as brewery exclusives.

"One of the reasons we converted to a brewpub license was to be able to do brewery-only releases," explains Roberts. "Plus, Sherman is a beautiful one hour drive north, and we want people to come see us. Brewery-only releases have given more people a reason to visit, which is what we want, because we're excited about converting the old Lee School building into our future taproom."

Left: Bottle Club members have access to Barrel-Aged Maple Sasquatch, Ogre Imperial Oatmeal Stout,
Coffee Coconut Barrel-Aged Sasquatch, Scotch Barrel-Aged Sasquatch, Red Wine Barrel-Aged Sasquatch and more.

Right: Special glassware available to those attending Sasquatch's Fourth Birthday Party on Saturday, February 3.

Along those lines, 903 announced a new line of brewery exclusives in early January. The series, which will be doled out individually over the course of 2018, consists of beers like Barrel-Aged Maple Sasquatch, Coffee Coconut Barrel-Aged Sasquatch and Barrel-Aged Birthday Sasquatch.

Those beers and others can be obtained by way of the new 903 Bottle Club, with memberships available at shop903.com. Joining the club provides members with guaranteed access to a total of eight specialty beers (all packaged in either 22-ounce or 750mL bottles), not to mention exclusive glassware and a year's worth of discounts on brews purchased in the taproom.

Consumers can also get a taste of the three beers mentioned above by making the trip to Sherman this weekend for Sasquatch's Fourth Birthday Party. Going on Saturday from 12-5 p.m., the event will also feature a tapping of two other Sasquatch varieties: IronRoot Republic Barrel-Aged Sasquatch and Barrel-Aged Sasquatch with cacao nibs and vanilla. No ticket is needed to attend, but you'll want to arrive early for a chance to pick up special Birthday Sasquatch glassware.

As for what the future holds for Sasquatch and its brethren, rest assured there are even more varieties in the works.

"We have a new beer coming out called Friday Slide," reveals Roberts. "It's Sasquatch aged in Jack Daniel's barrels with coffee liqueur and Irish cream."

Look for that brew to arrive in March.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Noble Rey announces European expansion

Image courtesy of
Noble Rey Brewing Co.
Looking to expand its reach to overseas markets, Noble Rey Brewing Co. of Dallas has announced a partnership with Neodif, a beverage retailer based in Nantes, France.

Noble Rey's can designs were the catalyst in bringing the two companies together, as Neodif took notice of the brewery's distinctive packaging. Samples were then requested and shared, leading to an agreement giving the French company exclusive rights to produce, package and sell Noble Rey's beers in France and potentially other locations throughout Europe.

Ahead of the launch, founders Chris and Kindra Rigoulot were joined by head brewer Tommy Miller as they toured potential contract breweries in France and Belgium with Neodif’s managing director, Gildas Hays. The trip was undertaken in order to choose which facilities would be the best fit for production.

Two Noble Rey recipes, Vertigo (a double IPA) and Sex in a Canoe (an American light lager) ,were chosen for the first wave of production, which began at the end of 2017.

Both beers have been specifically reformulated for the European market by Miller, with the first cans expected to hit shelves at the end of February. As for where to get them, France's largest chain store, Carrefour, will carry Noble Rey products exclusively at the start.

Noble Rey can designs are the work of TILT and graphic designer John Rubio.

Friday, January 26, 2018

North Texas Craft Beer Conspectus - January 26, 2018 edition

Along with new release recaps, updates on a handful of North Texas breweries in development are included in this edition of the Conspectus, as is information on Mug Club memberships at a long-time local restaurant.


Nine Volt gets packaged at Pegasus City

Pegasus City Brewery of Dallas has packaged its Nine Volt D.P. & L. Tripel, choosing unique 750mL ceramic flip-top bottles as the vessel for delivery. Availability is limited, however, with only Craft Beer Cellar and select Dallas locations of Spec's currently stocking the beer.

Rahr & Sons publishes 2018 production schedule

Rahr & Sons Brewing Co. of Fort Worth is the latest brewery to provide consumers insight into its 2018 production schedule. Notably absent from the list are Bucking Bock, Snowmageddon and The Regulator. As for other changes, Paleta de Mango (a mango lime chile kölsch) and Adios Pantalones (a session beer with lemon and lime) will join the year-round lineup, though neither beer will enter the market until March.

Legal Draft launches new premium American lager

Nowhere But Texas, the newest beer from Legal Draft Beer Co., was unveiled during an event at the brewery in Arlington last evening. The beer, which is a premium American lager, takes its name from a popular song penned by the Steve Helms Band, and its release coincided with the premier of the song's music video.

Eno's welcoming new members to its Mug Club

Beginning February 1, Eno's Pizza Tavern will accept new members into its Mug Club. Memberships, available at a cost of $50, include a 17-ounce personalized mug, taller pours, a free birthday beer and discounts on food. Those interested may apply in person, either at Eno's original Bishop Arts location, or at the company's new restaurant in Forney.

Seguin beers now available in North Texas

According to a social media post, Seguin Brewing Co. is now shipping its products to North Texas. Available exclusively at area Total Wine locations, consumers can purchase the following Seguin beers in six-packs of 12-ounce cans: 9-Pin Kölsch, Bock-N-Röhl, Honey Pecan #5 Cream Ale and Lake Breeze Blonde.

New brewery blurbs

A brewpub license for Turning Point Beer has been approved by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC). The company's facility is currently under construction in Bedford.

The Manhattan Project Beer Co. took ownership of a property in Dallas last week. To be located at 2215 Sulphur St., those behind the effort are now in the process of submitting construction plans to the City of Dallas for approval.

Also working through the approval process, Celestial Beerworks hopes to obtain permits soon in order to begin construction on a building at 2530 Butler St. in Dallas.

Brewing operations are no longer part of the plan at Navarro County Brewing Co. of Corsicana. Citing excessive costs and development delays as reasons for abandoning the brewing aspect of the project, the ownership group will instead focus on building a taproom and growler fill station.

Image credits (top to bottom): Pegasus City Brewery, Rahr & Sons Brewing Co., Legal Draft Beer Co., Eno's Pizza Tavern, Seguin Brewing Co., Turning Point Beer, Celestial Beerworks, The Manhattan Project Beer Co.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Revolver reveals plans for new cans, a new beer and New Mexico

Image courtesy of Revolver Brewing.

Changes are afoot at Revolver Brewing, as the Granbury-based company has a number of new things in the works as it prepares for the coming year.

Perhaps chief among these changes is the move to cans. Blood & Honey, Sidewinder, Full-Tang IPA (now a year-round offering) and the brewery's new Long-Range Pils will be canned, with beers in the new format set to go on sale statewide on February 19.

"These beers will be available in six-pack sleeved boxes at most retail stores that carry craft beer," says Grant Wood, brewmaster at Revolver.  "This makes it so much easier to bring your favorite Revolver beers to the river, the poolside, the golf course - all those places where bottles are not welcome."

Speaking of Long-Range Pils, on top of being a new addition to the brewery's portfolio for 2018, that beer represents Revolver's first commercial foray into lagers. Bringing together ingredients from both at home and abroad, Long-Range Pils is a German-style pilsner with a little touch of America that's designed to go the distance with you.

"As a brewer, I am very excited that we have moved into the lager side of the brewing family tree," says Wood. "We’re brewing Long-Range Pils with Bohemian Pilsner malt from Germany, along with U.S. Mosaic, Czech Saaz, and German Saphir hops. Bavarian lager yeast brings all the ingredients together.  With an alcohol level under 5% by volume and bitterness units in the high 20’s, it's a sessionable lager with some depth of flavor to keep it interesting."

Long-Range Pils will debut on draft ahead of the package release to give consumers a taste of what's to come in cans a few weeks later. The first kegs will tap at the brewery this weekend, with draft accounts seeing deliveries beginning January 29.

Wood also shared the news that Revolver is planning to venture outside of Texas for the first time in its history. Come spring, the company will begin shipping beer to New Mexico. All four of the aforementioned core products will be making the trip west, as Revolver looks to introduce its brand of beer to the Land of Enchantment.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

On Rotation achieves goal of a new beer every week of the year

Graphic courtesy of On Rotation.
Today represents the anniversary of when On Rotation of Dallas first opened its doors on January 23, 2015. Since then, the brewery has released over 110 beers, with nearly half of those hitting the tapwall just this past year.

"We ran the numbers this past week and determined that we hit our resolution for 2017, which was to release a new beer for every week of the year," says Jacob Sloan, co-founder of On Rotation. "In total, we had 53 beer releases in 2017 - 48 of which were brand new releases."

A breakdown of the types of beers the company delivered last year can be found on the graphic to the right. Not surprisingly, IPAs were one of the styles consumers were most likely to encounter during a visit to the taproom, with saisons, stouts and wild/sour beer offerings ranking high on the list as well.

Indeed, On Rotation is a brewery that continues to live up to its name. And, by all accounts, its fans can look forward to more of the same during the coming year.

"We're proud of what we were able to achieve last year, but we want to keep the train rolling into 2018," adds Sloan. " We plan to hold down at least 10 of our 40 taps with house beers this year, and we're off to a good start, as we capped off 2017 with every fermenter under our roof full of upcoming releases."

Among the beers to be released at On Rotation in the near future, a Nelson Sauvin-hopped farmhouse ale is in the works, as is a pale ale and a smoked blackberry porter.

As for an official anniversary event, that will occur on March 10, a date that coincides with the day On Rotation tapped its original house beers.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Texas Craft Brewers Guild launches CraftPAC

Image credit: Texas Craft Brewers Guild.

In response to another year of lackluster results with regards to efforts seeking to change archaic and anti-competitive beers laws stifling the industry, the Texas Craft Brewers Guild has announced the launch of CraftPAC, a political action committee (PAC) created to protect the rights of Texas breweries.

Championing job growth, increased economic impact, and expanded consumer freedom, CraftPAC will mobilize the whole Texas craft brewing industry and its community of fans to stand up for fixing the state’s beer laws. It’s time for equitable laws that will allow the Texas craft brewing industry to fairly compete on the national stage, attract more entrepreneurship and investment, and see an untapped rise in craft beer tourism.

"It is time to shine a light on the broken beer laws in Texas,” says Texas Craft Brewers Guild Executive Director, Charles Vallhonrat. “The Texas Craft Brewers Guild has led organized industry efforts at the Capitol and conducted stakeholder outreach and concerted advocacy work for years to drive a legislative agenda that would modernize beer laws in Texas. But, it is time to let the public know that we are dealing with arcane laws written in the 1930s and 1970s that do not reflect current market conditions. We want to get the public involved in developing a craft beer landscape that is responsive to their interests.”

Up until now, Texas craft brewers have simply been outgunned by the Texas beer wholesale lobby which has made more than $18 million in political contributions over the last ten years. In return, this kind of influence has led to the Texas legislature passing anti-competitive, regressive beer laws including House Bill 3287 (2017), which sets a dangerous precedent of wholesaler interference in brewery taprooms. This bill passed despite opposition from the Texas Craft Brewers Guild and more than 15,000 craft beer drinkers who signed the Guild’s petition and contacted their legislators to voice concerns. Senate Bill 639 (2013), another damaging law on the books, prohibits breweries from selling their distribution rights to wholesalers (even though wholesalers are then allowed to turn around and sell these rights to one another). This law has resulted in a lawsuit against the state that is poised to be heard by the Texas Supreme Court.

Numerous bills, filed over the last decade, that would legalize to-go sales from production brewery taprooms rarely even receive a committee hearing because of wholesaler influence. These to-go sales are legal for Texas wineries, distilleries, and brewpubs, not to mention breweries in 49 other states. Consumers not only desire, but have come to expect to-go sales. Ending this arbitrary and discriminatory prohibition against Texas breweries is one of the most urgent legislative priorities of the Texas Craft Brewers Guild and a key goal of CraftPAC.

Ultimately, CraftPAC is a brewer-led effort for the craft beer community to counter the enormous financial influence of beer wholesalers on Texas politics through grassroots fundraising and advocacy.

“The wholesale lobby has exerted massive influence in the state legislature by contributing tens of millions of dollars to elected officials,” says CraftPAC Board Chair and Austin Beerworks Co-Founder, Adam DeBower. “If the Texas craft brewing industry is ever going to achieve its full potential, it has to play on the same field as the wholesalers. CraftPAC provides an opportunity for Texas craft brewers and beer consumers to vote not just with their dollars out in the marketplace, but also in the halls of the state Capitol.”

As the 2019 legislative session and TABC Sunset review approach, CraftPAC will support legislative candidates, ballot initiatives and pieces of legislation which positively impact the growth and sustainability of the Texas craft beer industry, while opposing legislative candidates, ballot initiatives and pieces of legislation which seek to hold the industry back.

The craft brewing industry had a $4.5 billion impact on the Texas economy in 2016, contributing the equivalent of 26,506 full-time jobs. The Texas Craft Brewers Guild and CraftPAC are fighting to make this impact multiply by making Texas the greatest beer state in the nation.

To learn more about CraftPAC, or to show your support by making a contribution, visit https://craftpac.org/contribute/.

Friday, January 12, 2018

North Texas Craft Beer Conspectus - January 12, 2018 edition

Things are back to being busy in the local scene just two weeks into the new year, as this edition of the Conspectus reports on new releases, new company names and a new brewing operation to the north.


Cellarman's serving house beer in Sherman

After declaring its intention to institute brewing operations in late 2016, Cellarman's American Pub of Sherman has begun serving house brews. The business, which now goes by the name of Cellarman's Pub & Brewery, offered up free samples of its inaugural beer, Cosmic Goat Cream Ale, on New Year's Day. A small pilot system was used to create the first batch, but a full production run was slated to occur late last week.

Cobra re-brands as Old Town Brewhouse

Cobra Brewing Co. of Lewisville has re-branded as Old Town Brewhouse, with the company taking on a classic rock theme. A new head brewer is in place, and indications are that Old Town plans to overhaul its entire portfolio to focus on more sessionable styles.  Examples of beer names to come include Can't Get Enough Amber Ale (Bad Company), All Night Long Pale Ale (Rainbow) and Evil Ways Mexican Lager (Santana).

Tupps reveals 2018 release calendar

Tupps Brewery of McKinney has shared its production plans for the coming year, with one addition to the lineup being a Double Dry-Hopped IPA series. Among other items of interest, Tupps will add to its line of Full Grown Man varieties in February with Full Grown Scallywag (coconut, vanilla), while cans of Raspberry Wheat will debut in May. Click the image to the right to see a full-size version of the 2018 calendar.

Deep Ellum rolls out Barrel House brew number two

Bottles of the second beer to emerge from Deep Ellum's Barrel House are now on shelves around North Texas. Brett Pale Ale (6.8% ABV) is a beer that's said to feature notes of sun-dried fruit, barnyard and flavorful hops. Look for it in 500 mL bottles.


Cans, cans and more cans are coming to a retailer near you, with the following newly-canned beers either already on the market or coming soon.
  • 3 Nations Blood Orange Wit: coming soon, pending TABC approval.
  • 903 Brewers Birthday Sasquatch (imperial milk stout with fudge and toasted marshmallows): on sale at the brewery Friday, January 12.
  • Martin House Old Mose (wine barrel-aged quad with figs and plums): available in two-pack boxes of 12-ounce cans.
  • Martin House Reverie Pomegranate Sour: available in six-packs of 12-ounce cans.
  • Unlawful Assembly Idol Time (passion fruit pineapple wheat): packaged January 3, pending TABC approval.

Image credits (top to bottom): Cellarman's Pub & Brewery, Old Town Brewhouse, Deep Ellum Brewing Co., 3 Nations Brewing Co., 903 Brewers, Martin House Brewing Co., Unlawful Assembly Brewing Co.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Spelt gets spent for Franconia's new spring seasonal

Honey Spelt is a collaborative effort between Franconia, Harvest Seasonal Kitchen
and The Seed Project Foundation (Franconia Brewing Co.)

A new year means new beer for many of today's breweries, and the story is no different for Franconia Brewing Co. of McKinney. Of course, the introduction of new products isn't the only thing that's new at Franconia these days, as the company enters 2018 with a new head brewer. Derrick Rima took over the reins of the brewhouse in June, after having spent time in similar roles at Four Corners Brewing Co., Texas Ale Project and Witherspoon Distillery.

One of Rima's projects for the coming year will be the introduction of a new spring seasonal beer called Honey Spelt (7.8% ABV), though it's a brew that's not completely unfamiliar. Honey Spelt first debuted late last summer on a limited basis, it being the result of a collaboration between Franconia and its McKinney neighbor, Harvest Seasonal Kitchen.

Like the original batch, the version of Honey Spelt to be brewed for wide release will be made with German spelt malt, along with a mix of locally-sourced ingredients. Some of the grain used will come from Fort Worth-based TexMalt, with the honey provided by Bare Naked Bee Co. of Allen.

Also continuing is the brewery's relationship with The Seed Project Foundation. This organization works to fund initiatives supporting sustainability, which is a mission that goes hand-in-hand with the ideals of Franconia founder Dennis Wehrmann.

"In the past, we've kept our charitable activities mostly quiet," says Wehrmann. "This time, though, we decided to give it more exposure because The Seed Project is focused on sustainability, and that's something that has been an important part of how we've done things at Franconia since we started."

To that end, a portion of the proceeds from sales of Honey Spelt will go to help the Foundation's efforts. Consumers can do their part by seeking out the beer, which will be available on tap and in 6-packs of 12-ounce bottles beginning in February.

In addition, be on the lookout for details related to Franconia's upcoming 10th Anniversary. Naturally, a line of anniversary beers is in the offing, but that's not all...as Wehrmann has promised there's an even bigger surprise to come.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Lakewood unveils 2018 release calendar

Image credit: Lakewood Brewing Co. (click to see full-size version).

Now entering its sixth year in business, Lakewood Brewing Co. (LBC) has announced a number of modifications to its craft beer lineup. The turnover includes the departure of a number of local favorites, including at least one of Lakewood's original brews.

“2018 brings some big changes with it to LBC, with some exciting new releases and a few favorites being retired,” says Wim Bens, founder and president of the company. “We’ve been hard at work preparing for this all year, and we’re excited to finally announce our 2018 releases.”

Retired beers include the year-round offerings Hop Trapp, Hopochondria, and Goatman, as well as seasonal beers Punkel and Holiday Bonus. In their place, Lakewood IPA (7% ABV) joins the year-round lineup, while Artsy Tartsy with Black Currants and Cold Front IPA will being added as late summer/fall and winter seasonals, respectively.

As for the Seduction Series, three beers from that line are being retired (for now) – Raspberry Temptress, Mole Temptress, & Sin Mint Temptress. Two new variants will be introduced later this year, the names and ingredients of which are currently being kept under wraps.

Among other things to come, Grim Shearer, the third and final beer in the Three Fates mini-series, is a unique rye wine aged in rye whiskey barrels that will arrive in late January. Then further into 2018, consumers can look forward to Lion’s Share VI, a blended, barrel-aged strong ale slated for summer, and the next Bourbon Barrel Temptress vintage, which is on tap for winter.

On top of all that, two collaborations with Jack Daniel's Distillery will debut this summer in the form of Tennessee Temptress and Jack’d Up Lemonale, both of which will be draft only.

“Rest assured, many of these ‘retirees’ will still be featured from time-to-time in our Taproom at the brewery,” Bens adds. “It’s always hard to say farewell to a beer, especially one you’ve enjoyed for so long. But a little change is always good. Innovation is crucial in this industry. We keep listening to our fans and our brewers keep creating delicious new beers. I’m very excited to share these with our fans locally and across the state.”

For a complete summary of what's in and what's out for 2018, click here to visit the blog on Lakewood's website.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Union Bear wakes from hibernation, opens new suburban beer den

Union Bear joins Taverna Rossa, Cadillac Pizza Pub and Heritage Pizza 
as part of the 33 Restaurant Group (Photo © Brian Brown/Beer in Big D).

The opening of Union Bear Brewing Co. presents those in the know with a case of "what's old is new again," as the once Dallas-based brewpub has established new roots in Plano.

Originally a concept developed by The Spillers Group (Eno's Pizza Tavern, Oddfellows), the first incarnation of Union Bear opened in 2012 as part of the West Village development in East Dallas. At the time, the idea was to operate a small-batch brewpub making recipes in collaboration with local homebrewers. Things never really got going in that respect, however, with in-house brewing eventually being halted in early 2013.

The restaurant side of the business carried on until August 2014, when it was announced that the brand had been sold to 33 Restaurant Group - the company behind Taverna Rossa, Cadillac Pizza Pub and, most recently, Heritage Pizza. A three-year hibernation ensued, after which Union Bear has re-surfaced in a new and stylish suburban beer den.

Today, Union Bear resides in a 7250 square foot space located on The Boardwalk at Granite Park. And, while the area set aside for making beer only takes up about 700 square feet, the pilot system of the brewpub's past has been replaced with a more production-worthy setup. It's something that catches the eye upon entering the place, as a gaze through its glass-paned enclosure reveals an equipment cache consisting of a 10-barrel brewhouse, along with an array of 10 to 20-barrel fermenters and brite tanks.

The brewhouse and finishing tanks line the entryway at Union Bear (Photo © Brian Brown/Beer in Big D).

As for who's behind the beer, Brian Burton (Grapevine Craft Brewery, Four Corners Brewing Co., Texas Ale Project) and Jon Powell (Grapevine, Rahr & Sons Brewing Co.) have been tasked with developing Union Bear's initial lineup, not to mention what brews will be offered in the immediate future. A blonde and a red ale are among the house beers currently being poured, as is a white IPA.

Most popular among those is likely to be the latter, but don't read white IPA and assume it's a beer that brings together elements of an IPA and a Belgian-style witbier. Union Bear's white IPA is fermented with an American yeast strain, as opposed to one of Belgian origin, and "white" simply means it was brewed with wheat. In terms of tasting notes, the beer is resinous, with a prominent citrus tone, hints of tropical fruit and a moderate finishing bitterness. What that means is, it's a sort of "no coast beer" (as the brewpub calls it), in that it doesn't fit directly into a West Coast or East Coast definition of the IPA style.

Beyond that group of beers, Burton and Powell say the sky is the limit with regards to what comes next. Expanded offerings are expected to include an oatmeal stout (tapping by the end of the week), a bock and a double rye IPA. Barrel-aged beers are also in the plans, with an imperial stout to be among the first styles to get such a treatment. A bumped-up batch of the aforementioned double rye IPA may find its way into barrels as well, with bitters, cherries, orange peel and Benedictine added to create a beer-based version of one of Union Bear's house cocktails, the Speakeasy.

Of course, it should be also noted that there's more to North Texas' newest brewpub than just house beers. The restaurant aspect of Union Bear serves a menu of "chef-driven takes on American classics," while the bar stocks a comprehensive selection of wine and spirits. Guest brews are also available, with the brewpub's 33 taps split between house beers, full-time taps (roughly a dozen) and featured rotators.

Union Bear Brewing Co.  (Web, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
5880 State Highway 121, Suite 101

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

TKO Libations to host grand opening, January 13

Image credit: TKO Libations.

Now that production is fully underway, TKO Libations of Lewisville is ready to celebrate its official grand opening with an event set for Saturday, January 13.

TKO first opened its doors on a soft basis in October. Since then, founders Ty Sefton, Kamel Maude and Cory Kucinsky have been working to build up the brewery's initial portfolio. Along those lines, patrons can expect at least 10 TKO beers to be on tap for opening day, with the debut lineup to include the following:
  • Gingerbread Monster - gingerbread porter brewed with toasted ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.
  • Breakfast Stout at Tiffany's - breakfast stout brewed with oatmeal, locally-roasted coffee, cocoa and strawberries.
  • You Like the Juice - a hazy, New England IPA that looks, tastes and smells like a glass of fresh-squeezed juice.
  • Additional selections: Tart Blonde, Special Beast (special bitter), Abbey Delight (Belgian dark strong ale), Bayern Weizen (Bavarian wheat), Southern English Brown Ale, Dry Stout and Oatmeal Stout.

Located in the Castle Hills Village Shops development, TKO occupies a 2800 square foot space comprising an indoor bar, seating areas with games and televisions, an outdoor patio and a separate brewery space with windows to view the operation.

“TKO caters to the neighborhood and family segment of consumers by offering a unique location that stands out among the typical industrial brewery model,” says Sefton. “The location has so much to offer: a great view of Lake Avalon; an outdoor splash pad and interactive fountain for kids; easy access to various restaurants, shops and eateries; and the opportunity for an intimate tour of the brewing space.”

As for the event itself, a morning Zumba session in the Village Shops’ outdoor Plaza will kick off the day's festivities, with TKO set to open its doors at 11 a.m. for “Donuts and Beer." Then, throughout the day, the event will feature a variety of family-friendly activities like face-painting and balloon animals, as well as live music from from Storm Front and Ross Redmond of High Definition.

Food options will be provided by the Walt Garrison BBQ Food Truck, though customers may also bring in items from neighboring restaurants, either by way of takeout or delivery. One Village Shops vendor, The Salty Cow Cheese & Provisions, will offer a special cheese plate to attendees in honor of the occasion.

Details and a complete schedule of events will be posted as the event draws near, so be sure to keep up with TKO's social media channels for the most up-to-date information.

TKO Libations  (WebFacebookTwitterInstagram)
2520 King Arthur Blvd #109