Sunday, April 29, 2018

Area brewers recognized at 2018 Los Angeles International Beer Competition

Image credit: Fairplex.

Following an event held the weekend of April 21-22, four local breweries have been recognized for their work at the 2018 Los Angeles International Beer Competition.

The event, which celebrated its 18th year, accepted entries from around the world. Judges were tasked with the evaluation of beers in 95 different categories based on the 2017 Brewers Association Style Guidelines. Honors for North Texas brewers are summarized below, with a complete list of winners to be found by clicking here.

Community Beer Company
  • Silver for Citra Slice in the Session India Pale Ale category.
  • Silver for Köbesse Kölsch in the German-Style Kölsch category.
  • Honorable Mention for True Love in the American-Style Sour Ale category.
  • Bronze for Irish Goodbye in the Irish-Style Red Ale category.
  • Bronze for It's Always Something in the Belgian-Style Strong Specialty Ale category.
  • Gold for Summertime Wheat in the South German-Style Hefeweizen category.
  • Silver for Oktoberfest in the German-Style Maerzen category.
  • Bronze for Paleta de Mango in the Chili Pepper Beer category.

Cheers and congratulations to all!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Brooklyn Brewery bringing Beer Mansion to Dallas, June 15-16

Image credit: Brooklyn Brewery.

Beer Mansion, an unconventional and eccentric beer bash put on by Brooklyn Brewery of New York, will pop up for the first time in Dallas this summer.

According to a press release, Beer Mansion is a multi-party celebration consisting of four one-of-a-kind parties happening under the same roof. Each with distinctly different vibes, celebrations set to occur within the confines of the Mansion are described as follows:

  • The Show: Catch live music performances by local artists such as Otis the Destroyer and more, curated by Nine Mile Records.
  • The Bazaar: Shop local vendors like Hypnotic Donuts and Good Records.
  • The Speakeasy: Enjoy refined beers, along with craft beer cocktails from Balcones Distilling.
  • The Arcade: Get your game on with cutting-edge consoles and cabinet-style classics not seen since the 1980s, all supplied by Free Play Arcade.

As for food and drink, partygoers will have access to unlimited beer tastings from seven different breweries including Braindead Brewing, Lakewood Brewing Co. and Brooklyn Brewery, with bites to be provided by Bowls & TacosFlying Saucer Draught Emporium and others.

Happening at the 2616 Commerce Event Center on Friday and Saturday, June 15-16, tickets for Beer Mansion are on sale now. Three separate sessions are being offered (Friday night, Saturday afternoon, Saturday night), with ticket prices ranging from $20 for regular admission to $35 for The Tasting Experience. The latter option features benefits like early entry, signature Spiegelau glassware, a complimentary food item and access to the Tasters Quarters. Note that in each case, beer sampling tickets may be purchased separately for an additional $15.

To reserve your spot, click here for a link to the ticketing page, where you'll also find complete details on the festivities.

Friday, April 20, 2018

North Texas Craft Beer Conspectus - April 20, 2018 edition

A fresh round of North Texas brewery blurbs includes news on four future brewing companies, a new look for an east side operation, and the start of distribution for a barbecuing brewpub.


G Town gets the green light in Greenville

The City of Greenville has approved plans for G Town Brewery, meaning the future brewpub can move on to the construction phase. Since closing on a site at 2824 Lee St., the company had been seeking the waiver of a moratorium on alterations to structures in Greenville's downtown district. That moratorium was rescinded in January, which cleared the way for G Town to initiate the standard permitting process.

Thirsty Bro debuts new logo, can designs

Things continue to be busy over at Thirsty Bro Brewing Co. of Royse City. In addition to signing on as a founding partner of the Royse City Griffins, an independent league baseball team set to begin play in 2019, the brewery recently debuted a new logo and initial packaging designs for two of its beers. Cans of Southern Belle Porter and Bro'd Trip English Style IPA are expected to hit retail later this year.

Brutal Beerworks raising funds via Indiegogo

Brutal Beerworks is the latest entity to turn to crowdfunding as a way to raise funds for its proposed project. The company, which hopes to set up shop in North Richland Hills, has established an open-ended goal of $75,000. Funds would go towards closing and construction on a location, equipment and the required permits. Click here to visit the campaign page, where you can learn more about the group and its plans.

Intrinsic begins North Texas distribution

After signing with Austin-based Flood Independent Distribution, the beers of Intrinsic Smokehouse and Brewery are now available at draft accounts around North Texas. The agreement took effect in April, after which a launch event was held at Opa Greek Taverna, the Garland brewpub's first outside account.

TABC approves two new North Texas operations

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) issued licenses for Flix Brewhouse Little Elm and Oak Cliff Brewing Co. of Dallas on back-to-back days earlier this month. Both operations are currently under construction, with Flix Little Elm slated to open at the end of April, and Oak Cliff Brewing targeting the end of May at the earliest.

Image credits (top to bottom, click to enlarge): G Town Brewery, Thirsty Bro Brewing Co., Brutal Beerworks, Intrinsic Smokehouse & Brewery, Flix Brewhouse, Oak Cliff Brewing Co.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Girls Pint Out establishes D-FW chapter

Image courtesy of Girls Pint Out Dallas-Fort Worth.

Aligning with a national mission to build a community of women who love craft beer, and who are an active, contributing part of the greater craft beer community, a chapter of Girls Pint Out has been created in Dallas-Fort Worth.

Formed by Sandra DiPretore, co-founder of Murphy's Law Brew Co. - a North Texas brewery in development, the local affiliate joins an organization that consists of more than 100 chapters in over 30 states.

"GPO is a national non-profit organization for women who enjoy craft beer," says DiPretore. "There are several chapters in Texas, but there hasn't been one in D-FW until now. I want it to be not only a way for women to get together and enjoy a pint, but also a way to further educate consumers and breweries alike."

Along those lines, Girls Pint Out events will offer a forum for discussion, education and fun. And joining the movement couldn't be simpler, since all it takes is showing up at an event to enjoy a pint.

"We'll have a casual meet-up on the third Thursday of every month on both the Fort Worth and Dallas sides of town," adds DiPretore. "Then, once a month, there will be a more formal meet up. For those, I am working on setting up food pairings, education classes, theme nights and more."

Official launch parties for Dallas-Fort Worth Girls Pint Out will occur at North Texas locations of Taps & Caps during the next two weeks. Celis Brewery of Austin has donated kegs for each event, with all sales to be donated to charity.

Dallas Launch:
  • Saturday, April 7 from 1-4 p.m. at Taps & Caps, Lewisville.
    Beneficiary: Dallas-Fort Worth Girls Pint Out - money raised will help fund the purchase of marketing materials and the development of future classes.

Fort Worth Launch:
  • Saturday, April 14 from 1-4 p.m. at Taps & Caps, Fort Worth.
    Beneficiary: Project 2713 - money raised will go to support inner-family adoptions which rarely qualify for government aid, enabling orphaned children to remain with loving family members.

Monthly Meet-up (brewery locations will rotate every month):

For more information on Dallas-Fort Worth Girls Pint Out (Facebook, Twitter), or if you are interested in hosting or sponsoring an event, contact Sandra DiPretore at

Sunday, April 1, 2018

My 2018 Big Texas tasting card

Image credits: Brewvolution, Braindead Brewing, AleSmith Brewing Co., Tupps Brewery, Celis Brewery,
Hemisphere Brewing Co., Division Brewing, 903 Brewers, Turning Point Beer, On Rotation, Real Ale Brewing Co.

Having completed its seventh installment this weekend, one might wonder if Big Texas Beer Fest (BTBF) is susceptible to the idea of a "seven year itch." Judging by the size and consistency of the crowds, though, I'd say such a sentiment isn't something that warrants discussion. Clearly, the craft beer love affair still lingers, and BTBF continues to be a can't miss event.

So, what went down during the 2018 festivities? Well, one of the highlights at this year's event was the eagerly-anticipated appearance of Turning Point Beer of Bedford. The area's newest brewing operation wasn't the only one making its first festival foray, though, as Division Brewing out of Arlington debuted as well. Both offered attendees a taste of three different beers on Friday, with Turning Point pouring two IPAs (Snowblower, Single Hoptions Enigma) and an imperial stout (Ebony an Ebony), and Division doling out a pale ale (Transmissions from Idaho 7), a stout (Ben Stout) and a saison (Born of Oak).

Also drawing interest was the booth of 903 Brewers, as the Sherman-based company trotted out a selection of eight high-ABV beers. Five were Sasquatch variants, one of which I would count among the best local beers I've had in 2018. That brew, Bordeaux Barrel-Aged Sasquatch, draws its defining character from casks sourced from Opus One Winery in the Napa Valley.

Beyond that, given the ongoing haze craze, a mention of New England IPAs is in order. Tupps Double Dry-Hopped IPA #2 led local options, with others consisting of 3 Nations Haze Wizard, Franconia Hazy Dhaze, Humperdinks Misty Mountain Hops, Malai Kitchen Denali IPA, Manhattan Project Double Half-Life and Turning Point Snowblower. Not surprisingly, results were varied, and whether or not this one or that one truly constituted a NEIPA was likely a matter of debate at some point in the evening. Either way, all came across as good IPAs, regardless of stylistic semantics.

As for the usual roundup of festival favorites, a six-pack of notable brews can be found below. Standard disclaimers apply...these beers are new to the market, or at least new to me, which is why you won't see a list of known whales in what follows.


AleSmith Speedway Stout with Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee: Earthy roast and flavors of dark chocolate dominate this Speedway variant made with cold-brewed coffee from the Caribbean.

Braindead Piper at the Gates of Dawn: A tasty Scotch ale with a wee bit of roast, thanks to the infusion of Noble Coyote coffee beans. Oh, and it gets bonus points for the Pink Floyd debut album reference.

Celis Raspberry: If memory serves, Celis Raspberry represents the first fruit beer I ever tried. Of course, that was back when the original Celis Brewery was operating in Austin during the 1990s. And like all of the returning recipes, this beer brings back memories of days gone by.

Hemisphere Black Sacrament: Solid and straightforward, Black Sacrament is an imperial stout that stands on its own without any additive ingredients.

On Rotation Grisette w/ Lemon, Ginger & Grapefruit: A fruity and funky refresher, with a touch of spice, a hint of tartness and a slightly bitter edge.

Real Ale Mysterium Verum Cease & Desisyphus: A rum barrel-aged version of Sisyphus, this beer features rich flavors of caramel and molasses, with a vanilla flourish in the finish.