Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Grab a beer 'By the Horns' in Mansfield

By the Horns occupies a building with Tacos & Avocados in anchoring
The Backyard development in Mansfield (Photo: © Brian Brown/Beer in Big D).

In terms of operations bringing together so-called classic pairings of food and beer, North Texas boasts brewpubs built around pizza and beer, along with others that lean a little more Texan in being a one-stop shop for barbecue and beer. Now, though, area residents can add the combination of tacos and beer to their list of local options, thanks to the arrival of By the Horns Brewing in Mansfield.

Brought to you by Brain Storm Shelter, By the Horns opened in late January. In doing so, it joined entities like Twisted Root Burger Co., Tacos & Avocados and Truck Yard on the group's restaurant management roster. And, as it applies to Mansfield, three of those names come together to help form The Backyard, a concept by M.R. Development designed to give visitors the impression of hanging out in an extension of their own backyard.

It's an idea to be taken literally, considering By the Horns, Tacos & Avocados and Twisted Root front a development that features a well-appointed, open-air space out back that's both family-friendly and self-contained. What's more, the setup allows patrons to enjoy beverages throughout the complex, since a single liquor license governs the three commonly-owned restaurants.

Within the grounds, By the Horns shares a building with Tacos & Avocados, ergo the tacos and beer part of this whole equation. The food is focused on fresh Tex-Mex, with a By the Horns Beer-Braised Brisket Taco to be had for those looking for a beer-based infusion. And sides? Well, adventurous diners will surely want to get a taste of the Oaxacan Grasshopper Tostada topped with real, dried grasshoppers.

Tap handles at By the Horns take the shape of longhorn horns, while beer to-go
from the brewpub comes in 19.2-ounce crowlers (Photos: © Brian Brown/Beer in Big D).

On the topic of beverages, while liquor and cocktails are also available, pours of the barley and hop-based variety are the work of head brewer Justin Meyers. His lineup has a tinge of German influence, thanks in part to time spent working with Paulaner, which up until last year had a stateside outpost called Paulaner on Bowery in New York City.

Now, it should be noted that the "German influence" aspect of Meyers' approach is just that...influence. German brewing traditions may date back over 400 years, but the Reinheitsgebot (a.k.a. the German Beer Purity Law) will not govern operations at By the Horns. That evidenced, at the very least, by the presence of an Agave IPA on the menu.

German standards do appear, however, in the form of a helles and a hefeweizen (both of which are quite popular judging by the amount of orders overheard at the bar). These beers slot in alongside an IPA, a pale and a brown ale on a tapwall expected to contain upwards of nine everyday offerings. Brews currently on tap are virtually spot on to style, which suggests recipes will go mostly by the book at By the Horns.

As for accessibility, By the Horns is now open seven days a week, with service starting at 11 a.m. House beers may be enjoyed on-site, or you can grab a few beers by the horns to-go by way of 19.2-ounce crowlers.

By the Horns is the first brewing concept to be developed by Brain Storm Shelter. Another, called Beard Science, is set to be part of Truck Yard The Colony, currently under construction in Denton County.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Stakeholders reach agreement on beer-to-go

Image credit: Texas Craft Brewers Guild.

A landmark agreement has been reached between the Texas Craft Brewers Guild (TCBG) and the Beer Alliance of Texas (BAT) on SB 312 and HB 672, the bipartisan beer-to-go bills currently filed in the Texas Legislature.

Soon-to-be-filed committee substitutes of both bills, authored by State Senator Dawn Buckingham (R-Lakeway) and State Representative Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin), would give craft brewers rights they have sought during legislative sessions dating back to 2007. If passed, the resolutions will allow patrons to purchase up to 576 ounces (two cases) of beer per calendar day from a craft brewery tasting room for take-home consumption. This would impact over 30 production breweries currently operating in North Texas.

“I am proud to be part of a win-win agreement for every level of the three-tier system,” says Sen. Buckingham. “This is a big step forward for small Texas breweries and the consumers who enjoy their products. I am grateful to both the Beer Alliance of Texas and the Texas Craft Brewers Guild for their willingness to reach a fair agreement for both sides of this important issue.”

Brewer-wholesaler unity on the bill is bolstered by support from both sides of the aisle. At their 2018 conventions, both Texas Republicans and Democrats included support for Beer-To-Go in their respective party platforms.

"Allowing ‘beer-to-go’ sales is a common-sense issue that both Republicans and Democrats agree on because it’s good for small business and has come to be expected by consumers,” says Rep. Rodriguez. “Texans are incredibly excited about ‘beer-to-go’ as the public support for HB 672/SB 312 has shown, and I am glad that the Texas Craft Brewers Guild and the Beer Alliance of Texas have come to the table.”

Seeking to foster regulatory stability for the industry, the TCBG and the BAT have also agreed to refrain from lobbying to raise or lower allowable Texas malt beverage barrelage caps for a period of 12 years.

“The Beer Alliance of Texas has always worked to ensure a strong malt beverage market in Texas,” says Rick Donley, president of the BAT. “We have committed to working with our friends in the craft-manufacturing segment on sensible regulations that provide for a stable and predictable three tier market in Texas that continues to be recognized as the gold standard for regulatory structures across the country.”

In a press release announcing the news, the TCBG and BAT applauded Sen. Buckingham and Rep. Rodriguez’s commitment to setting craft brewers on a more equal playing field with Texas wineries, distilleries, and brewpubs which are all permitted to engage in to-go sales as a brand-building, tourism-boosting opportunity.

"The Texas Craft Brewers Guild is proud to promote a sensible alcohol regulatory framework that encourages competition, consumer choice and access to market for brewers in our great state,” says Josh Hare, board chair for the TCBG. “We are excited to be working with the Beer Alliance of Texas to promote common sense regulations that ensure the beer industry in Texas will continue to thrive. We look forward to the opportunity to provide consumers with greater access to Texas made beer while ensuring a predictable and effective three-tier system.”

Monday, February 11, 2019

Deep Ellum, HopFusion among winners at 2019 Best of Craft Beer Awards

Image credit: Best of Craft Beer Awards.

Judging for the 2019 edition of the Best of Craft Beer Awards has been completed, with two area breweries landing medals at the competition.

A total of 262 medals were awarded by a panel of 96 judges at the event, with winning breweries hailing from 33 different states. Over 2000 entries were logged and separated into 90 categories, then evaluated against the 2018 Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines.

Regarding North Texas medalists, Deep Ellum Brewing Co. of Dallas was a repeat winner for Deep Ellum Lager (the beer took bronze in 2018), while HopFusion Ale Works brought home a Best of Craft Beer award for the first time. As for other winners, a complete list of 2019 medalists can be found by clicking here.

Deep Ellum Brewing Co., Dallas
  • Silver for Deep Ellum Lager in the Other Lager category.
HopFusion Ale Works, Fort Worth
  • Silver for Feisty Redhead in the Specialty Beer category.

Cheers and congratulations to Deep Ellum and HopFusion!

Friday, February 8, 2019

Good Neighbor closing Wylie brewery

Image credit: Good Neighbor Brews.

After two years in business, Good Neighbor Brews has announced the closure of its Wylie brewery.

Good Neighbor debuted in February 2017, starting out as a draft-only operation before eventually packaging beers like Slim Sweetness Blonde Ale and O'Carroll's Irish Red in cans. The brewery also had a hand in helping Landon Winery of Greenville get its own brewing operation up and running later that summer.

According to a Facebook post, those behind the company are embarking on a new restaurant venture in Wylie. Plans for what that entails are still in the works, but those interested can click here to be placed on a mailing list that promises to reveal all details in due time.

As for the brewery, it will remain open on weekends through the end of February, with special pricing available for remaining beer on draft and in cans.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Humperdinks' original Greenville location closing Sunday, February 3

Humperdinks' original location on Greenville Ave. in Dallas (Photo: © Brian Brown/Beer in Big D).

The Lake Highlands Advocate reports that Humperdinks Restaurant & Brewpub on Greenville Ave. in Dallas will close after the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 3.

The Greenville spot was the first for the local chain, originally opening in 1976. Brewing operations were added in early 1997 - coming online after brewpubs were legalized in Texas during the 1993 legislative session. For a number of years, house beers were crafted under the Big Horn Brewing Co. label, based on a partnership with Washington-based Ram International. That coupling resulted in Big Horn Brewing Co./Humperdinks of Dallas being named Large Brewpub of the Year at the Great American Beer Festival in 2001.

As for other locations, brewing operations continue at Humperdinks on Six Flags Drive in Arlington (open since 1995) and W. Northwest Highway in Dallas (open since 1997). An additional site in Addison ceased brewing in 2005, before eventually shuttering in 2017.