Monday, April 20, 2020

Rollertown rolls on, opens in Celina

Rollertown rolled out Wardaddy Vanilla & Coffee Imperial Stout, along with three
other beers during its Grand Opening Weekend (© Brian Brown/Beer in Big D).

Pulling up to the car line for the drive-thru debut of Rollertown Beerworks on Friday, I couldn't get the Steve Winwood song, "Roll With It," out of my head. Naturally, the word "roll" in the title had some measure of influence, but there was more to it in my mind. I mean, what else is there to do but 'roll with it' when you're faced with opening a brewery during a pandemic?

Yet, that's the call co-owners Ben Rogers and Jeff 'Skin' Wade, a.k.a. the guys behind The Ben & Skin Show on FM 97.1 The Eagle, had to make when they decided to open the doors to Celina's first brewery. Except it was car doors they were opening in order to deliver the goods on Rollertown's first day.

Of course, none of this was part of the plan. Not just having to open during a pandemic, mind you, but the whole idea of cans as well. The original intent was for Rollertown to be a taproom-focused operation. Hence, packaging was a pivot, requiring the acquisition of a can seamer, along with a few late-night canning runs to make it all happen.

Despite the change of direction, opening weekend seemed to go off without a hitch. Lines moved quickly as local residents, and likely more than a few radio listeners, lined up to grab "Inaugural Brew" pre-orders that sold out beforehand. Offerings included Rollertown Light lager, The Big German Kölsch, Juice Serum Juicy IPA and Wardaddy Vanilla & Coffee Imperial Stout.

Of those, the one referring to 'The Big German' himself, Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki, was probably my favorite (the stout was a close second). Clean and refreshing, The Big German is a kölsch with some complexity, being a bit bready with notes of honey and lemongrass.

As for what's next on the to-do list for head brewer Tommy Miller, another round of the first four beers is on the agenda, as is a pilsner fermented with a strain of kveik yeast. For updates on when they'll be ready, follow Rollertown on social media for details (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).

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