Tuesday, January 29, 2019

North Texas Craft Beer Conspectus - January 29, 2019 edition

Representing just the sort of news that's expected in the Conspectus, this round of updates includes items on new beers, new and future breweries, and international recognition for a local brand.


Bluffview Growler now brewing in Dallas

Adding its name to the roster of active North Texas brewing operations, Bluffview Growler introduced its first house brew during the pub's second anniversary party in mid-January. Billed as Bluffview's Unfiltered Pale Ale, the small-batch beer was an American-style pale ale that finished out with an ABV of 7.0%. Available for a limited time, it tapped out shortly after the celebration.

Lakewood releases 2019 production calendar

Lakewood Brewing Co. of Garland has revealed its 2019 production plans, with a number of notable changes in store for the coming year. In addition to a new Small Batch Series and special Barrel Works selections, the brewery will introduce a new year-round beer called Lemonale and a new Seduction Series offering in the form of Salted Caramel Temptress. As for beers not making the cut, Dry-Hopped Zomer Pils and Till & Toil will not be included in the 2019 seasonal lineup. Details on that and more can be found by clicking here.

BlackMan Brewing honored at Pura Vida Indie International Beer Cup

Gypsy Brewer Barret Tillman has landed multiple awards from the 2019 Pura Vida Indie International Beer Cup. Tillman was recognized for Smoking Lit, a collaborative effort between his BlackMan Brewing label and Treintaycinco - Fabrica de Cervezas of Costa Rica. The beer, a lichtenhainer by design, was named Best Beer from Costa Rica, Best Beer from Central America, and Best Beer of the Cup.

Two future brewing companies obtain TABC approval

Earlier this month, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) issued permits for Toasty Bros. of Denton and Funky Picnic Brewery & Café of Fort Worth.

Toasty Bros. is set to begin brewing this month under an alternating proprietorship with Hop & Sting at Grapevine Craft Brewery. The first beer to hit the fermenter will be a double stout called Damage Dealer, which looks to debut in March.

Funky Picnic is currently under construction in the Near Southside neighborhood of Fort Worth, with current targets eyeing late spring for an opening date.

Image credits (top-to-bottom): Bluffview Growler, Lakewood Brewing Co., Pura Vida Indie International Beer Cup, Toasty Bros., Funky Picnic Brewery & Café.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Lakewood helping to raise funds for startup Vector Brewing

Images courtesy of Lakewood Brewing Co.

Last week, the Dallas Observer  reported on the plight of Vector Brewing, a local brewery in development fighting to keep its dream alive in the face of the government shutdown. In response to the company's struggles, Lakewood Brewing Co. (LBC) is "doing what the beer industry does best and is helping out a brewer in need."

“Community spirit is one of our core values and it guides us to help out our fellow brewers whenever we can," says Wim Bens, founder and president of LBC. "Starting a family business is difficult enough without the headache of the government shutdown. Even if it’s resolved today, the backlog will keep them without their funding for a while.”

Bradley and Bens at LBC.
Vector Brewing, started by Lakewood's former creative director Craig Bradley and his wife Veronica, is doing its best to navigate through the government shutdown. Their Small Business Administration (SBA) loan has been held in limbo while the cost of construction has been ongoing.

“The past few weeks have been tough, as the shutdown has effectively stalled us at the moment we were expecting to get started,” says Bradley. “The amount of support from our community and fellow breweries has been amazing to see and we can’t thank our LBC family enough for helping us out while we get through this, and believe me, we will get through this.”

Lakewood will be holding a “Brewing Good Sunday” fundraiser on Sunday, January 27th, at the brewery's taproom in Garland. A dollar from each pint served on Sunday will go directly to Vector Brewing, and representatives of the company will also be on site to sell shirts and talk about the business.

Click here to learn more about Vector Brewing and to donate directly to the cause.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Noble Rey eyes strategic restructuring with Ch. 11 filing

Image: Noble Rey Brewing Co.

Noble Rey Brewing Co. of Dallas has filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code, according to a filing with the Texas Northern Bankruptcy Court dated December 19, 2018.

Chris Rigoulot, founder of Noble Rey, released a statement on the matter, indicating the company has no plans to close, with the move being made primarily to help Noble Rey organize existing debt.

"Chapter 11 is part of a strategic restructuring that allows companies time to become profitable again while restructuring any debt," says Rigoulot. "We are making the necessary changes to be in this industry for the long haul!"

"Noble Rey is going through a strategic restructuring, and we couldn’t feel better about that decision," adds Rigoulot. "We feel the excitement of creative enterprise again, and Noble Rey will begin to push the envelope and reaffirm ourselves as a source of innovation, and with no compromise to our existing product or image. We simply got caught up in the rat race, and the realization of the support we have received from the local community has brought us back to what we wanted this thing to be in the beginning."

The brewery began operations in July 2015, and in the years since has established itself as one of the area's more recognizable brands. Noble Rey was the first to introduce label graphics designed around full-body characters that come together when viewed across stacked cans.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Bipartisan beer-to-go bills filed ahead of 2019 legislative session

Image credit: Texas Craft Brewers Guild.

Ahead of the 86th legislative session, bipartisan bills (SB 312HB 672) proposing the legalization of beer-to-go sales from Texas craft breweries have been introduced by State Senator Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway) and State Representative Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin).

The Texas Craft Brewers Guild and its political action committee arm, CraftPAC, have strongly advocated for off-premise sales as a means of supporting small businesses, increasing consumer choice, and creating more quality manufacturing jobs for Texans.

Currently, Texas is the only state in America that doesn't allow beer-to-go sales. The move by Senator Buckingham and Representative Rodriguez looks to bring Texas into line with the rest of the nation by setting craft brewers on a more equal playing field with the state's other alcoholic beverage producers.

“HB 672 corrects a glaring disparity in the state’s alcohol laws and gives Texans the freedom to purchase beer-to-go when they visit a local brewery…just like they can when they visit a Texas winery, distillery, or brewpub,” says Rep. Rodriguez. “The fact is, 49 other states already allow consumers to purchase beer-to-go when they visit a local brewery…Texas should be a leader when it comes to supporting small businesses, not the last horse to cross the finish line.”

Current law states that Texas manufacturing brewers who produce less than 225,000 barrels of beer annually can sell up to 5,000 barrels of that beer to tasting room visitors for on-premises consumption. The proposed bills would amend the current law to allow for on-premises “or for off-premises consumption” of these products. This change would not impact the overall quantity of beer brewers can sell from their tasting rooms, but would give patrons more freedom to enjoy that beer either in the tasting room setting or back at their homes.

"As a promoter of a fiscally responsibly limited government, I believe Texas craft brewers should have the right to sell beer and ale to consumers for off-premise consumption — a privilege the state already provides to wineries, distilleries and brewpubs in Texas,” says Sen. Buckingham. "Senate District 24 is home to many craft breweries, and with Texas being the only state in the country that does not permit off-premise sales at production breweries, I have filed SB 312 to encourage further economic development in my Senate District and to eliminate this unnecessary government overreach."

Click here to support the efforts of the Texas Craft Brewers Guild and CraftPAC by making a contribution or signing the Beer-to-go Sales Petition.