Wednesday, May 27, 2020

False Idol's opening week puts wolf pack on the prowl

False Idol debuted with six beers in cans (© Brian Brown/Beer in Big D).

In March 2019, founders Dominique Van Ausdall and Brandon Pitzer debuted the False Idol brand with the first in a series of beers released under license at another local brewery. Since then, they've held to a vision of opening day at the company's permanent home in North Richland Hills, with beers flowing inside a packed taproom and overflow crowds spilling out into the parking lot.

Images of a grand gathering had to be put on hold, however, thanks to the pandemic. So, with a thirsty wolf pack waiting, False Idol chose to persevere through the pause by shifting all efforts to full-scale production. This, even knowing options might be limited when it came time for delivery due to the economic shutdown. Thankfully, though, the company hit on a stroke of luck right when the initial run was ready.

"The loss of taproom sales for an opener is a big hit, but kegs sales were better than expected," says Van Ausdall. "We were fortunate to have sold out kegs to FullClip Craft Distributors for Dallas-Fort Worth distribution the week before most places seemed to open back up as normal."

Thus began an opening week Van Ausdall's describes as "interesting to say the least." In addition to kegs, False Idol packaged six beers (two IPAs, two stouts, a hefeweizen and a blonde ale) for sale in four-packs in time for its premier. These, in turn, were doled out by way of beer drops occurring across the area.

Among the beers, one of the better hazy IPAs I've enjoyed of late, Cut the Red Tape, has been the brewery's best seller so far. Fans of the beer will be happy to know it's set to return, but in general stouts and IPAs will rotate at False Idol (in terms of both style and strength), with alternatives like a pilsner and a mango passionfruit Berliner weisse added to the mix as well.

"We have a lot in store, and balanced offerings is the plan," explains Van Ausdall. "We want to make sure we can provide beer for all walks of life when people come to the taproom, drink our beer around Texas, or buy our cans to-go."

As for what's ahead, False Idol intends to resume work on the hospitality side of the business, with production continuing to ensure a consistent supply of kegs and cans remains in the market. 

"We put all our money and focus on getting beer brewed and canned, so the next step is getting our taproom ready for guests in the next month or two," says Van Ausdall. "One bright spot is Covid allowed us to focus on one thing and get the process down. So, when we add the taproom to the mix we should be ready to roll."

Friday, May 22, 2020

Quarantine beer to benefit bartenders

Image credit: Quarantine Brewing/Hop & Sting Brewing Co.

A new beer produced at Hop & Sting Brewing Co. of Grapevine is providing beer drinkers an opportunity to serve those who serve us.

According to a press release, Quarantine Bartender Bail Out is an all-American ale brewed with American 2-row barley, American hops and an American yeast strain. In addition, the beer features an infusion of elderberry, "to give it a special sense of doing what's best for you and your friends as we are coming out of isolation and social distancing."

Quarantine Bartender Bail Out goes on sale at Hop & Sting's taproom beginning Saturday, May 23. Limited to only 4000 cans, Quarantine Bartender Bail Out may be purchased in four-packs for $16, or $5 for individual cans.

A portion of proceeds from sales of Quarantine Bartender Bail Out will go to support those in the service industry who have lost their jobs. Merchandise promoting the release is also available at Leave a tip with purchase, and 100% of that money goes directly to servers and bartenders.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Wild Acre honors Etzel with Greg's Key Lime Pie Sour

Image: Wild Acre Brewing Co.

If you've yet to visit one of the area's newest brewing locales, head to Wild Acre Brewing Co.'s new Camp Bowie location in Fort Worth this weekend to sample the latest beer crafted in memory of renowned homebrewer Greg Etzel.

Continuing a tradition started in March, Wild Acre brewers Jerrod Womack and Ryan Hoffman drew a recipe from Etzel's own archives in order to create Greg's Key Lime Pie Sour (5% ABV, 6 IBU), a beer brewed with lactose, vanilla beans and key lime juice.

As for what inspired them to participate in the effort, Womack, who last saw Etzel at a birthday party he threw for one of his youngest kids, pointed to personal connections both he and Hoffman shared with Greg.

"I got involved with this project because Greg was a solid dude," says Womack. "I'd known him from hanging out at homebrew events, and I worked with him at Texas Brewing, Inc. [in Haltom City].

"It turned out that Ryan went to high school with Greg in Stephenville. We both met up at Cowtown Brewing Co. to choose a beer to brew, and Ryan chose Key Lime. He has the same feelings about Greg as I do. Greg was a really awesome guy to know and be around."

Look for Greg's Key Lime Pie Sour on tap at Wild Acre Camp Bowie beginning on Friday, May 22. The brewery will donate $1 from every pint served to a fund established to support the Etzel family.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Make hay for Lakewood's take on a PB&J

Image courtesy of Lakewood Brewing Co.

Beginning today, Lakewood Brewing Co. of Garland is tapping its latest Temptress delight in the form of Barrel-aged Peanut Butter & Jelly Temptress.

The last batch of the base beer, Peanut Butter Temptress, sold out at retail in less than 10 days, but Lakewood held some back and set the remainder to rest in bourbon barrels. From there, the brewery topped things off with an infusion of fresh fruit and nuts to create its own interpretation of a popular childhood treat.

"Our little brewing elves have been busy at work cooking up new taproom releases, and the latest one is a treat we all need right now,” says Wim Bens, founder and president of Lakewood. “We took barrel-aged Peanut Butter Temptress and added fresh Oregon raspberries and an extra boost of peanuts. The result is pretty friggin’ awesome! It’s like your favorite sandwich, but all grown up.”

Barrel-aged Peanut Butter & Jelly Temptress is a taproom-only release. It can be purchased at the Lakewood Taproom Drive-Thru in 16-ounce crowlers (single cans), as well as in new, unused 32 and 64-ounce growlers.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Second Greg Etzel memorial beer to benefit Direct Relief

Image courtesy of Brutal Beerworks.

The newest entry in an ongoing series of beers honoring the memory of Fort Worth homebrewer Greg Etzel is set to debut this week, with the release of Etzelbock (5.8% ABV) by Brutal Beerworks of North Richland Hills.

Etzelbock follows the beer that kicked-off the series, Wetzelbock, a weizenbock brewed by Cowtown Brewing Co. of Fort Worth. Like the first beer, Etzelbock is based on one of Etzel's own homebrew recipes, but as the name implies, Etzelbock adheres to the standards of a traditional German bock beer. The style selection being a purposeful departure from the everyday lineup at Brutal Beerworks, which tends to feature a variety of IPAs, sour beers and stouts.

"We wanted to do a beer style that we typically don't do, and Greg's Tic Tok Bock was a perfect choice for us," says Eric Johnson, co-founder at Brutal Beerworks.

As for why he thought it was important for the team at Brutal Beerworks to get involved in the project, Johnson's reasoning was simple and succinct as he added, "We did a beer in Greg's honor because he was an all-around great person to everyone."

Sixteen-ounce cans of Etzelbock will go on sale at Brutal Beerworks beginning on Wednesday, May 6. A portion of proceeds from sales of the beer will be donated to Direct Relief, a humanitarian aid organization providing targeted assistance to communities recovering from disasters like the Covid-19 pandemic.