Thursday, March 26, 2020

White Labs introduces on-demand educational courses

Image credti: White Labs.

White Labs, a leading provider of fermentation products to the brewing industry for the past 25 years, is now offering its world-renowned educational courses online. In addition, as a way to provide brewers a forum to connect and learn as the industry feels the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the company is also offering free, online educational webcasts from now until April 30, 2020.

Each Wednesday at 10 a.m. PDT, White Labs will broadcast a 60-minute educational webcast for home and commercial brewers that provides brewing insights, tips, tricks and even a little industry history. The first half hour will a feature a presentation by an industry leader, while the second half hour will be set aside for viewer questions.

Coming up on April 1, White Labs president, founder and CEO Chris White will discuss yeast starters, trending strains and styles throughout the years.

“Much has changed since White Labs was founded 25 years ago, but what has stayed constant has been our commitment to education and how we prioritize helping our community grow and thrive. This is especially important during these uncertain times, which is putting a strain on many in our industry,” says White. “Our goal with these webcasts is to provide support to this vibrant community of brewers by helping them continue to learn about yeast strains and brew even better products.”

 To sign up for the free webcasts, visit WhiteLabs.com and subscribe to the White Labs email list. All webcasts will also be added to the White Labs YouTube page.

For those looking for even more yeast education, White Labs is launching an online education portal for brewers to access at their convenience. New on-demand videos are released every month covering a range of topics, including the flavors of fermentation, reusing yeast, considerations of spontaneous and inoculated fermentations, wild yeast and bacteria handling.

Course prices will vary based on the length and technical content, but are as little as $79. Those interested can learn more at WhiteLabs.com/education.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Series of beers to honor prominent Fort Worth homebrewer

Gret Etzel poses with awards won at the 2015 Bluebonnet Brew-Off (Brian Schoolcraft).

In the coming months, the North Texas craft beer community will come together to honor the memory of one of their own, while also raising money for a great cause.

Greg Etzel, a Fort Worth resident and well-known figure in the local brewing scene, passed away in November of 2019 after a brave fight with stomach cancer. Greg was not only an accomplished and award-winning homebrewer, he also worked on weekends at Texas Brewing Inc., a homebrew supply store in Haltom City, and was a primary host of the shop's Come & Brew It Radio podcast.

Surviving Greg are his wife, Trish, and two newly-adopted sons. They were joined by over 250 people at Greg's celebration of life, where a plan was conceived to help the family going forward. Appropriately enough, the idea developed as those in attendance raised a glass of Greg's homebrew in tribute.

Working from Greg's own recipes, eight area breweries will produce beers in remembrance of him, with proceeds from sales going to ACH Child & Family Services. Chosen by Trish, the Etzel's worked with this agency on the adoption of their two boys - both of whom are still under three years old.

The first beer in the series will be a German-style weizenbock, crafted by Cowtown Brewing Co. of Fort Worth. It's set to debut on Greg's birthday, which falls on Thursday, March 12. Ahead of the release, Cowtown co-founder Shawn Kidwell shared his thoughts on what it means to be a part of the project, as well as how he and Greg bonded over more than just beer.

"Greg was one of those special people you felt like you had known your entire life, no matter how long you had actually known him.  Although we bonded over beer, our conversations often covered a lot of topics that had nothing to do with beer.

"One thing we talked about most frequently was our kids. He and Trish had adopted two sons, and my wife and I were in the process of adopting our son, who was born the same day Cowtown opened for business. One thing I will never forget is the day Greg and Trish walked into Cowtown for the first time after we opened with a trunk full of baby clothes and baby gear that their sons had outgrown. That is just one example of the incredible kindness and generosity I think everyone that came into contact with him experienced.

"So, when the idea for this project started to form, there was no question that we wanted to be involved.  We're honored to be releasing the first beer in this series, but we're really looking forward to the rest of the releases this year as we continue to celebrate Greg's life."

As for future beers in the series, the list of recipes and release dates is as follows (subject to change):
  • March: Cowtown Brewing Co., Fort Worth - Weizenbock.
  • April: Brutal Beerworks, North Richland Hills - Bock.
  • May: Wild Acre Brewing Co., Fort Worth - IPA, Key Lime Pie Golden Sour
  • June: Funky Picnic Brewery & Café, Fort Worth - Honey Lager.
  • July: HopFusion Ale Works, Fort Worth - Baltic Porter, Czech Dark Lager.
  • August: Panther Island Brewing Co., Fort Worth - Chocolate Rye Stout.
  • September: Turning Point Beer, Bedford - TBA.
  • October: Rahr & Sons Brewing Co., Fort Worth - Almond Joy Stout.

Other breweries wishing to participate may reach out to Nigel Curtis of Texas Brewing Inc. via email at nigelcurtis@att.net.

Readers can also donate directly to ACH Child & Family Services by way of the company's website at achservices.org.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Beersgiving among BA's 2020 Diversity and Inclusion Grant recipients



The Brewers Association (BA) has announced the recipients of its 2020 Diversity and Inclusion Event Grants program. This year, 14 events were selected from 69 applications to receive grants totaling $50,000.

Among those receiving a grant is the Fort Worth-based organization, Beersgiving. Founded by Danii Oliver of Island to Island Brewery, and Eric Jackson of the lifestyle brand Uncap Everything, Beersgiving brings civilian and military families together for a day of craft beer, local bites and industry-focused S.T.E.M. experiments for kids.

Since the creation of its Diversity Committee in 2017 and the hiring of its first-ever diversity ambassador in 2018, the BA has taken continued, proactive steps to advance diversity and inclusivity among brewers and beer lovers.
  • In 2019, the BA released a five-part series of best practice guides laying the groundwork for addressing, creating, and managing a diversity and inclusion program.
  • In May, the inaugural class of diversity and inclusion event grant recipients was announced, with a total of $20,000 awarded to six recipients.
  • The BA also completed its first benchmarking survey of brewery owner and employee diversity in terms of gender, race, and ethnicity; and in December published a free “We Welcome Everyone” poster available for download in Spanish and English for breweries and beer businesses.
  • For 2020, the BA will publish a series of case studies written by diversity ambassador Dr. J. Nikol Jackson-Beckham, Ph.D., that spotlight best practices in action, and will also introduce a pilot mentorship program.

“It’s inspiring to see so many organizations striving to connect and welcome new people to beer and each other,” says Julia Herz, craft beer program director for the Brewers Association. “While there is still much work to be done, we are proud to continue our commitment to nurture a more diverse and inclusive craft beer community and we congratulate this year’s grant recipients.”

As for Beersgiving, future events scheduled for the Dallas-Fort Worth area include Family Afternoons Out, April 18 at Brutal Beerworks in North Richland Hills, and Barrel-Aged Conversations, May 30 at Peticolas Brewing Co. in Dallas. Tickets for both events are available now by way of Eventbrite.



To learn more about Beersgiving, visit http://beersgiving.info, or follow the project on social media: FacebookInstagram.

Friday, February 28, 2020

903 Brewers creates call to action in a can

Image credit: 903 Brewers.

During this all-important election year, it's critical for all who are eligible to get out and vote. But, don't settle for just the obligatory "I Voted" sticker after you perform your civic duty, because now there's an "I Voted" beer as well.

New from 903 Brewers of Sherman, I Voted (6.5% ABV) is a raspberry and blueberry cream ale designed to reward those casting a vote to have their voices heard. And seeing how the flavor elements of I Voted are suitably red (raspberry), white (cream ale) and blue (blueberry), as is its wrapping regalia, you might say the beer is representative of a call to action in a can.

Of course, election-themed beers aren't a new thing, but many get their names from well-known expressions or a clever play on words. Then again, some breweries just have a beer called "Election Day." The creation from 903 Brewers, however, might be the first to utilize the phrase so omnipresent on stickers emerging from your local polling place.

As for what inspired I Voted, part of it relates to brewery co-founder Jeremy Roberts' campaign for the office of Grayson County Commissioner Precinct 1. In a more general sense, though, Roberts believes we need to encourage more people to exercise their right to vote across the board.

Along those lines, I Voted won't be a one-and-done offering. While the initial run of kegs and six-packs is available now ahead of the Texas Primary on Tuesday, March 3, consumers can expect fresh batches to appear in time for subsequent elections in the future (i.e. May midterms, November general elections, etc.).

So, go vote and get your sticker, along with a new badge of honor in the form of a beer.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

New Main closing Pantego Brewery

Image credit: New Main Brewing Co.

Citing failed negotiations with its landlord, New Main Brewing Co. has announced it will close.

Founded by husband and wife, David Clark and Amanda Daniels, New Main was the first brewery to exist in the City of Pantego. The business opened its doors in February 2018, functioning as a taproom initially as it awaited a federal brewing license. Once regulatory approval was acquired, the opening round of house beers was served the following July.

Regarding its concept, New Main's approach was built around the idea of encouraging consumers to "embrace curiosity" by branching out beyond their comfort zone. Classic recipes, dubbed "main" beers, were offered as a baseline, then infused with added flavors to create a taste of something new. And through these "new main" brews, the hope was beer drinkers would discover flavor combinations they liked as much or more than a familiar favorite.

As for how New Main will end its run in Pantego, a two-year anniversary party takes place on Saturday, February 29. After that, the brewery will serve patrons through the final day of operations on Sunday, March 15.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Revolver trots out BLDG 5 Tap Room at Texas Live

Opening night images from opening night at Revolver's BLDG 5 Tap Room at
Texas Live in Arlington (Photos: © Brian Brown/Beer in Big D).

Completing work on a second location outside of Granbury, Revolver Brewing opened the doors to its new BLDG 5 Tap Room at Texas Live in Arlington on Thursday.

Revolver has been a presence in the North Texas beer scene since fall 2012, and while the company has undergone physical growth in Granbury during the last seven years, this is company's first foray outside its original borders.

"Around this time in 2012, we were scraping and leveling ground to pour the foundation for what would become BLDG 1 in Granbury," says Grant Wood, co-founder and brewmaster at Revolver. "Over the years, we've expanded in Granbury to BLDG 2, BLDG 3, and BLDG 4, so that's where the BLDG 5 name comes from. Basically, this is the fifth building of the brewery."

The name is just one way Revolver has worked to maintain a connection to Granbury with the BLDG 5 project, something Wood says was an important factor in the design and development of the new venture.

"We wanted to make sure we made a connection to Granbury," explains Wood, "so we brought some of the elements of Granbury to Texas Live. The picnic tables, the big bench, a bunch of toolboxes and old tools from the brewery bring in the feels, the textures of Granbury. It's the Granbury experience, plus."

Of course, a big part of the experience is beer, and to deliver on that Revolver has installed a three-vessel, 10-barrel brewhouse at Texas Live. Built by W.M. Sprinkman of Wisconsin, it's similar to what Revolver is using in Granbury, albeit "nicer, with a little upgrade and some automation," according to Wood.

On that note, brewing operations have yet to commence at BLDG 5 (beers currently on tap were brewed in Granbury), but the first brew day is slated to take place early next week. From there, it'll take six-to-seven weeks for production to get to where all beers are brewed in house.

"The first brew we'll make at BLDG 5 is a beer we call Five Flags," reveals Wood.  "It's a pale ale-type beer with five different hops from five different nations. It's a very old recipe, and one of the first I made in Granbury. It didn't make the cut as a commercial-scale beer at the time, so I'm kind of dusting it off and updating it a little bit."

Beyond that, consumers should expect a regular rotation of recipes to appear on the tap wall at BLDG 5. In fact, Wood doesn't foresee brewing any one beer twice for the first few months. At the same time, though, he's not discounting the possibility of a flagship BLDG 5 beer down the road.

"We have to be aware of what the public is saying," says Wood. "When we get liquid to lips and get feedback...then, maybe a certain beer will take off where people say we really like this, and it becomes a mainstay. Then, we'd have a beer on tap as BLDG 5's signature."

Revolver also intends to take advantage of the centralized location of BLDG 5, relative to Dallas and Fort Worth, by distributing select BLDG 5 beers at some point.

"Beers made here are primarily for the taproom," adds Wood, "but if some are particularly desirable, we'll get them out to have other folks tasting them."

As for other BLDG 5 amenities, a menu of bar bites is available to patrons, with selections created by fellow Texas Live tenant, Lockhart Smokehouse. A private event space called the Founder's Room is also under construction on-site, with this area to be used to host tastings, beer dinners and the like for upwards of 60-70 people.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Local students brew up new brand for Lakewood

Dean Marilyn Wiley of the G. Brint Ryan College of Business shakes the hand of Ryan Meigs, creative
director for Lakewood, while President and Founder Wim Bens holds the trophy (Lakewood Brewing Co.)

Lakewood Brewing Co. of Garland recently partnered with University of North Texas (UNT) students on a class project that now has the potential to turn in to a new brewery brand.

Teams from Dr. Lou Pelton's Applied Market Problems class, offered by the UNT G. Brint Ryan College of Business, were challenged with developing a new brand concept and comprehensive marketing strategy for the company.

“Great brands have to be rooted in an insights-driven concept to connect with consumers," says Ryan Meigs, creative director for Lakewood. "We made it clear we would be heavily weighing the concept in the final presentations.”

The ultimate goal for student teams was to create market awareness and brand ambassadors that would organically spread the word about their new product and Lakewood as a brand.

“Our initial impressions were that the students were very interested in the project. It seemed like half the class stayed after the presentation to ask questions. We were impressed with the depth of thinking and how quickly they jumped into research mode,” says Meigs. “We even hosted several students on a few occasions at the brewery for tours. They continued to ask thoughtful questions and were very engaged in the process.”

When it came time for teams to reveal their final concepts, both Meigs and President and Founder Wim Bens were there to choose the winning idea.

“All of the presenters had great ideas and interesting thoughts, but we felt “Team Peach” really took their concept and wove it throughout every facet of their presentation. It was clever, and we felt like something our target audience would react to and work well,” explains Meigs.

"Team Peach" consisted of Marco Hernandez, Gina Duronio, Katie Abshire and Bristal Buford. The group took home first place for their brand “No Huckin Way,” a huckleberry wheat beer.

“The opportunity for students to engage in real-world, real-time marketing improves their preparedness for careers and professional development,” says Dr. Pelton.

What first began as an innovative way to incorporate practical experiences into the classroom, has now transformed into a potential new brand for Lakewood to “put in the hopper.”

“The more [our leadership team] talked about the concept, the more it sounded like a good idea. I spoke with one of our brewers and we decided to do a pilot batch,” says Meigs.

Members of “Team Peach” will be able to taste the very same product they conceptualized in the classroom; and if all goes well, store shelves may very well be full of “No Huckin Way,” too.

Lakewood will host the students and UNT faculty on Friday, February 21, to try the beer for the first time.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Hop & Sting adds Sir William's to NTX Strong series

Image credit: Hop & Sting Brewing Co.

Hop & Sting Brewing Co. of Grapevine is expanding its charity beer offerings with the addition of a recipe inherited from the Grapevine Craft Brewery brand.

Sir William's English Brown Ale is now one of four full-time beers making up what Hop & Sting calls its NTX Strong lineup of charity beers. A core brand at Grapevine Craft Brewery (acquired by Hop & Sting in June 2018), Sir William's was awarded a gold medal at the 2014 Great American Beer Festival, as well as a silver medal at the 2016 event.

“Before starting Hop & Sting, my co-founder Jon Powell and I were part of the team that brewed the gold medal winning batch of Sir William's," says Brian Burton, co-founder of Hop & Sting. "Sir William's is a wonderful beer and we wanted to keep it in our lineup. It is still the same great recipe that we all loved, and it is a natural fit for our NTX Strong lineup."

Regarding the choice of charity for Sir William's, Powell says adding a beer to benefit local law enforcement officers was a no-brainer.

“Our first responders and their families serve our communities," explains Powell. "It is a small token of our immense appreciation to dedicate another beer to give back to those heroes."

As of today, the NTX Strong series at Hop & Sting looks like this:

The NTX Strong program also includes a rotating tap that gives to a new local charity every month, and events like the brewery's Charity Bingo Night are used to help pitch in as well. Groups besides those mentioned above who benefit from Hop & Sting's efforts include Grapevine AMBUCSPro Players FoundationLupus Foundation of AmericaPink Boots Society NTX ChapterSecond Chance SPCAGallant Few and more.

Fifty cents of every pint, $1 of every six-pack sold in the taproom and 5% of offsite beer sales go to those sponsored. In its first year after acquiring the facility in Grapevine, Hop & Sting gave over 1% of their overall revenue to charity. And, it's notable that the company considers its charity commitment as overhead, since rather than only giving a percentage of profits, Hop & Sting writes donation checks before the owners pay their own salaries.

“I’m truly happy we are able to give back through our NTX Strong program," adds Lane Joseph, co-owner and CTO at Hop & Sting. "Drinking beer and helping people, it doesn’t get any better than that!"

Look for NTX Strong beers on draft at select retailers and in the taproom at Hop & Sting. Miracle Wheat is currently the only NTX Strong beer available in cans, but Sir William's (March), Fire Engine Red (Summer) and 3113 Oktoberfest (August) are expected to be packaged in the months ahead.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Bitter Sisters, HopFusion honored at 2020 Best of Craft Beer Awards

Image credit: Best of Craft Beer Awards.

Bitter Sisters Brewing Co. and HopFusion Ale Works have been awarded medals at the 2020 Best of Craft Beer Awards competition.

Judging for the event was carried out by a select panel of BJCP judges, industry pros and vetted brewers. Entries were evaluated against the 2019 Brewers Association Style Guidelines, with prizes handed out in 95 different categories. This year, a total of 285 medals were awarded to 170 breweries from 33 states.

Both winning breweries from North Texas have won Best of Craft Beer Awards in the past. In fact, Family Trip from Bitter Sisters is a three-time honoree, having taken gold in 2018 and bronze in 2017.

As for other medalists, click here for a complete list of winners.

Bitter Sisters Brewing Co., Addison
  • Gold for Family Trip in the Belgian-Style Tripel category.
HopFusion Ale Works, Fort Worth
  • Gold for Tejano Lager in the Australasian, Latin American or Tropical-Style Light Lager category.

Cheers and congratulations to Bitter Sisters and HopFusion Ale Works!


Lakewood launches next level line of IPAs

Image courtesy of Lakewood Brewing Co.

Lakewood Brewing Co. of Garland is going full-tilt with its 2020 Small Batch Can Series, drawing inspiration from retro games in the design of a line of IPAs that will "level up" with each release.

This first of these, Level 1: Jungle Run (6.5% ABV), is an unfiltered IPA brewed with a variety of tropical fruits including soursop, mango, pineapple and pink guava. The beer has also been dry-hopped with generous amounts of Citra, Meridian and Amarillo hops.

“We had so much fun with last year’s [small batch] releases," says Wim Bens, founder and president of Lakewood. "This year it’s all about the IPA and retro games. We’re releasing four seriously fun beers and every release will see the alcohol go up as well as the hop intensity."

Subsequent beers in the series will release quarterly and be called Level 2: Temple Hop, Level 3: Dragon Escape and Level 4: Boss Fight. Artwork on the cans will transition from one release to the next, creating a collectible set.

"For the artwork, we partnered with the incredibly talented Jay Roeder (www.jayroeder.com) to bring the retro-gaming inspired look to life," adds Bens.

Look for Level 1: Jungle Run on draft and in four-packs of 12-ounce cans throughout Texas and at the Lakewood taproom.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Three NTX breweries recognized at 2020 USBTC winter event

Image credit: United States Beer Tasting Championship.

Three local breweries are among the winners at the 26th Annual United States Beer Tasting Championship (USBTC) Winter Competition.

This year's winter event drew 465 entries from 154 breweries, with those beers evaluated across 17 different categories. As always, regional winners were chosen in each category, then matched against each other in order to determine an overall grand champion.

One North Texas beer, The Temptress from Lakewood Brewing Co., was named a Winter Grand Champion, while 10 local brews were recognized as Regional Champions. Check out the list of locals below, or click here to see a complete competition summary.

Lakewood Brewing Co., Garland
  • The Temptress, Grand Champion in the Imperial Stout category.
  • Barrel-Aged Temptress, Regional Champion in the Whiskey-Aged Porter/Stout category.
  • Cuvée De Vélo, Regional Champion in the Non-Whiskey-Aged Beer category.
  • Texas Porter, Regional Champion in the Porter category.
  • French Quarter Temptress, Regional Champion in the Bean Beer category.

Oak Highlands Brewery, Dallas
  • Chump Change, Regional Champion in the Whiskey-Aged Beer category.
  • Freaky Deaky, Regional Champion in the Belgian-Style Ale category.
  • Oktoberfest, Regional Champion in the Vienna/Märzen Lager category.

Rahr & Sons Brewing Co., Fort Worth
  • Winter Warmer, Regional Champion in the Strong Ale category.
  • Iron Thistle, Regional Champion in the Scottish-Style Ale category.
  • Paleta de Mango, Regional Champion in the Experimental Beer category.

Cheers and congratulations to all!

Friday, February 7, 2020

Lakewood introduces new lippy libation

Image courtesy of Lakewood Brewing Co.

Lakewood Brewing Co. of Garland is adding a little sass to its year-round lineup.

Please 'N Thank You is a hop-forward West Coast-style pale ale brewed with Amarillo, Cascade and Mosaic hops. According to a press release, the beer starts with a very nice hop aroma and finishes with a bright and assertive hoppiness leaving you thirsting for more.

“Growing up in the south, we can sometimes get a little sassy - but only in the most polite way” says Lakewood founder Wim Bens with a wink. “Ending any sentence with 'please and thank you' is right up there with 'bless your heart' when it comes to southern passive sassiness. And this beer doesn’t make any excuses.”

Look for Please 'N Thank you on draft and in six-packs of 12-ounce cans at craft beer-friendly locations throughout Texas, as well as at the Lakewood Taproom.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Deep Ellum has 'Confidence' in new IPA

Image courtesy of Deep Ellum Brewing Co.
Deep Ellum Brewing Co. of Dallas has announced a new IPA it believes is hazy enough to satisfy your craze for haze.

Manic Confidence (6.5% ABV, 15 IBUs) is described as a "a hot tropical island vacation dissected and reconstructed in the form of a refreshingly juicy craft brew." Crafted with a mix of Galaxy, Enigma, Comet, Strata, Citra and Idaho 7 hops, Manic Confidence is said to deliver a maniacal amount of hop flavor and complexity that floods the taste receptors, resulting in a salivating joy that leaves you craving more.

“When building Manic Confidence, we knew we had to go into it with two things in mind - embodying the mentality that has gotten us to where we’re at as a brewery, and using waaaaay more hops in a beer than we ever have," says Deep Ellum's Innovation Brewer, Brian Morris. "You can even see our manic nature as a brewery in the hops that we featured in this beer. Manic Confidence has an incredible tropical fruit profile of aromas and flavors including pineapple, mango, starburst candy and white gummy bear.”

About that mentality, Deep Ellum Marketing Manager Maegan Eason explained where the beer’s name originated: “In a brewery meeting, someone referred to the Deep Ellum brand as ‘cocky,’ and our founder, John Reardon, said, ‘we’re not cocky. We’re manic confident.’”

Look for Manic Confidence in six-packs of 12-ounce cans starting March 1. The beer is also on tap now at the original Deep Ellum Dallas Taproom and the Funkytown Fermatorium in Fort Worth.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Panther Island puts Beaver Nuggets in beer

Image credit: Panther Island Brewing.

Anyone who's taken a road trip in Texas has probably been to a Buc-ee's, the gas station/convenience store found alongside major roadways throughout the Lone Star State.

In fact, many would argue that stopping at Buc-ee's is a sort of rite of passage for passersby, whether it be for the chance to mix and mingle with what seems like the entire Texas traveling public, or to grab an oversized soda and a sackful of Buc-ee's brand snacks.

Regarding the latter, perhaps the most popular snack item at Buc-ee's is Beaver Nuggets. Love 'em or hate 'em, these caramel-coated corn puffs are revered to the point that some would consider them an iconic Texas taste temptation.

So, why bring this up?

Because Panther Island Brewing of Fort Worth put them in a beer. And while Beaver Nuggets may be just as polarizing as Marshmallow Peeps - a candy that crept into a beer at another Fort Worth brewery, we're at the point now in the craft beer universe where we no longer ask why...we simply say...why not?!

Beaver Nugget Brown Ale goes on tap this Friday, February 7, starting at noon. A small-batch offering, the beer is said to be super-limited and only available in the taproom - for now.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Deep Ellum adds DTX to year-round lineup

Image courtesy of Deep Ellum Brewing Co.
Deep Ellum Brewing Company has announced the release of DTX Golden Ale, a new offering that will replace Deep Ellum Lager in the brewery's year-round lineup. Described as crisp, light and refreshing, DTX Golden Ale (4.8% ABV, 15 IBUs) is named in tribute to the company’s hometown of Dallas, Texas.

“DTX is a refreshing take on a golden ale,” says Deep Ellum’s Innovation Brewer, Brian Morris. “Simplicity, balance and approachability were driving factors for designing this beer. DTX hosts a beautiful interplay of pilsner malt and delicate hop character.”

According to a press release, DTX Golden Ale is seen as a foil to the to the brewery’s well-known Dallas Blonde, which pokes fun at the city’s stereotypes - a joke rooted in affinity for the place.

"Deep Ellum believes that there is nothing better than a hometown brew: it’s the happy hour go-to, the one that makes you proud of where you live, the one that you consider getting inked at least twice, it’s at every house party and all of your out-of-town friends crave it. Thus, DTX Golden Ale is a taste of Dallas - a celebration of the city’s arts scene, music, colors and flavors, because it’s a great place to visit and an even better place to be from."

Look for DTX Golden Ale to appear on tap at select locations, with six-packs of 12-ounce cans coming soon. Consumers can also find DTX Golden Ale at the original Deep Ellum Dallas Taproom or the Funkytown Fermatorium in Fort Worth.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Beersgiving set to honor and give thanks to military families

Image credit: Beersgiving/Island to Island Brewery.

A unique and family-friendly event designed to honor and give thanks to military families is set to occur next month at Outfit Brewing of Dallas.

Danii Oliver and Eric Jackson form the team behind Beersgiving, a campaign whose mission is to diversity the craft beer industry by building connections and providing opportunities to military families - the most cross-culturally diverse and inclusive community in America.

Jackson is the founder of Uncap Everything, a Richmond, Virginia-based craft beer lifestyle brand, while Oliver is the owner and creative force behind Island to Island Brewery. Oliver's original brewery operated in Brooklyn, New York, but she's now residing in the Lone Star State and working to develop the North Texas Estate Brewery & Retreat in Tarrant County.

As for the event, it's billed as a "Family Afternoon Out" featuring chefs and entertainers from across the nation pairing beer, food and music with an afternoon of fun and games. During the festivities, kids will have access to an outdoor play area, and there will also be S.T.E.M. experiments allowing them to explore elements of brewing science.

Beersgiving: A Family Afternoon Out will run from 2-6 p.m. (to accommodate nap and feeding times) on Saturday, February 22. Click here to purchase tickets, available now on Eventbrite at a cost of $40pp (kids get in free, and canine friends are welcome to attend as well).

For more information, visit www.beersgiving.info, or follow Beersgiving on Instagram.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

The Common Table Uptown: Where local craft beer came together

Image credit: The Common Table.

Earlier this week, The Common Table (TCT) announced the closing of its Uptown location in Dallas. And while the hope is a new site may be found in the city for the future, the little house on Fairmount St. will forever be a part of local craft beer lore.

The grand opening of TCT occurred in June 2010, and you wouldn't be wrong to think it arrived on the scene when there wasn't much of a scene to arrive in. A discernible beer culture hadn't developed in North Texas, and it would be another year or so before the local craft beer boom began.

Looking back, beer menus at the time generally featured a standard array of imports and long-standing national brands. At TCT, however, the focus was (and always has been) on acquiring the best beers available in the market. In the beginning, that meant North Texans were drinking better beer before most understood what better beer was all about. To be clear, TCT was ahead of its time.

It was more than that, though. Great beer deserves to be paired with great food, great atmosphere, and great events. Yet for a long time, options were limited for local beer lovers looking for an elevated experience. That started to change at places like TCT, where rarity became commonplace. Over the years, hard-to-find beers, exclusive beer dinners, and happenstance appearances by industry legends were all in a day's work at TCT.

For me, though, what's impactful about time spent at TCT relates to the people and how TCT debuted just two months before I posted my first article as a beer writer. Because of that, industry friends I've known the longest are people I've either met or had a beer with at TCT. Those connections were made at Brewsday Tuesdays, Dogfishtivals, Starkbierfests, Firestone Walker Tap Takeovers, Pour Man's Beer Dinners, and more.

You might say a lot of us grew up in the craft beer world collectively at TCT. Sure, some (including myself) had been drinking better beer long before TCT came along, but the local craft beer community didn't start to come together until the years after TCT opened.

Of course, going forward TCT will continue, whether it's in a new Dallas spot or in the Frisco location living on. So, it's likely some old traditions will survive, as new traditions are born. Still, for many in this industry, the little house on Fairmount St. is the house local craft beer grew up in. And they say you never forget your first house.

Truly, for nearly 10 years, North Texas craft beer called that little house home.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Revolver opening second location at Texas Live, February 20

Image credit: Revolver Brewing.

Texas Live! has revealed details for Revolver Brewing BLDG 5, a taproom and brewery set to debut at the 200,000-square-foot dining, entertainment and sports complex in Arlington. The venue will open to the public on Thursday, February 20, and will feature a brew pub, tasting room and private event space.

Revolver was was founded in 2012 by father and son Ron and Rhett Keisler, and brew master Grant Wood. The brewery's original facility is located southwest of Fort Worth in Granbury, but the addition of BLDG 5 at Texas Live! allows Revolver to plant a flag closer to the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

In addition, the BLDG 5 space will house an experimental pilot brewery, offering guests a first look at new and innovative small batches of craft beer.

“At Revolver Brewing, we encourage people to ‘drink different’ and visitors to our BLDG 5 at Texas Live! will get a real sense of what we mean,” says co-founder Rhett Keisler. “You’ll find favorites like Blood & Honey there, but the BLDG 5 brewery also will be a playground for our brewers, a place where they can try new beers and get immediate feedback from beer drinkers.”

As Revolver continues to grow and expand across Texas and in neighboring states, its presence at Texas Live! presents an opportunity to introduce its beers to thousands of new people each month. Plus, BLDG 5 creates a special experience for people visiting Texas Live!

“Revolver Brewing is known for bringing a fresh perspective to world-class craft beer in the Dallas/Fort Worth region,” says Jim Watry, CEO of Texas Live! “BLDG 5 will create a completely unique experience and a special opportunity for our guests of age to enjoy brand new batches of beer created right here at Texas Live!”

Once it opens, visitors to BLDG 5 will be able to experience the brewing process while enjoying one-of-a-kind beers paired with specialty menu items, including fare from Lockhart Smokehouse. There will also be pet-friendly seating outdoors that flows into a courtyard overlooking the newly-opened Live! by Loews hotel.

Monday, January 20, 2020

LUCK leaves a lasting legacy of local support

Last call at LUCK (© Brian Brown/Beer in Big D).

Six years after introducing its concept of a craft beer-inspired kitchen, LUCK at Trinity Groves held its final service last night in Dallas.

Founding partners Jeff Dietzman, Daniel Pittman and Ned Steel established LUCK (an acronym for Local Urban Craft Kitchen) in 2013, with a mission to provide the best in local food and local beer. And make no mistake, LUCK was a local leader, especially when it came to promoting the North Texas beer industry.

From the beginning, LUCK touted a tap wall of 40 beers, all sourced from a brewery within 75 miles of its location. But, the restaurant's commitment to supporting local brewers went far beyond just serving local beer to its customers. It was about bringing awareness to area breweries by way of unique and varied events, as well as the simple act of being present on a day-to-day basis throughout the local scene.

On the event side, LUCK's beer and food pairing flights may be what's remembered most. Donut pairings were the biggest deal, by far, followed by Girl Scout cookies - both of which have been the catalyst for copycat events ever since. However, let's not forget other items LUCK featured on its flight pairing menu: bacon, bierrocks, British pies, cake balls, cheesecakes, chocolates, cookies, cookie dough, cupcakes, empanadas, German food, Halloween candy, mini pies, sushi, tacos, tamales, tarts and tostadas.

Those flights, along with local pint nights and beer dinners increased awareness of active breweries, but it's also important to note how LUCK brought attention to breweries looking to open in the future. Tastings with breweries in development were a staple of events like LUCKtoberfest, LUCKapalooza and the restaurant's anniversary gatherings. In fact, over the course of LUCK's existence, roughly 80 new brewing operations debuted in Dallas-Fort Worth, and nearly 30% of those sampled beer at LUCK prior to opening.

Then, of course, there was the Craft Beer and Chili Challenge, an annual event bringing together the entire craft beer community to benefit North Texas Food Bank. At its peak, upwards of 40 local breweries competed in this fun and lively cook-off event that was a highlight of the late-winter calendar.

As for being present, LUCK extended its reach in a variety of ways. The restaurant was the official snack supplier of the Dallas Brew Bus, while also being a staging point for the 6-Pack Trail's Design District Bike Cruise & Craft Brewery Tour. Plus, you'd have been hard-pressed over the last six years to attend a local beer-centric festival, anniversary party or grand opening event and not see one or more of the founders in attendance.

Moreover, a couple of partners even went all out - literally - for charity, but let's not revisit the LUCK-related visuals arising from that whole North Texas Craft Beerds (and Bellies!) Calendar thing. Hey, at least it helped raise money for a good cause.

Indeed, the North Texas beer scene is better today because of LUCK, and the industry should thank its lucky stars the project came along when it did. Upon opening, there were less than 20 area breweries. Today, there are up around 80, and there's no denying LUCK had a hand in helping to spur that growth.

Now, though, it's on to the next venture. As previously reported, the company behind LUCK is collaborating with Cedar Creek Brewery of Seven Points on a new brewpub called Cedar Creek Brewhouse & Eatery at Mustang Station. So, let's look forward to that, and hope a little bit of LUCK makes its way to Farmers Branch.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Collective Brewing Project announces indefinite closure in Fort Worth

Image credit: The Collective Brewing Project.

Effective immediately, The Collective Brewing Project has closed in Fort Worth.

Founders Ryan Deyo and Mike Goldfuss began brewing Collective's initial recipes out of a temporary facility in Haltom City during the summer of 2014. A permanent location debuted in Fort Worth's Near Southside neighborhood later that year, and from there Collective soon began making a name for itself as the premier wild and sour beer brewer in North Texas.

Along the way, Collective's reputation grew to the point that its products were added to the portfolio of noted import firm, Shelton Brothers, in late 2017. That move, along with subsequent partnerships with other distributors, allowed the brewery to extend its reach outside of Texas to more than a dozen other states across the country.

As for its beers, Collective produced a number of notable offerings by way of its Brett Series and the Foeder Fantasies line, but the brewery may best be remembered for two beers that gained national attention for their use of unusual ingredients - Cup O' Beer, a gose with ramen noodles, and Peep this Collab, a sour beer brewed with Marshmallow Peeps.