Sunday, November 29, 2020

Turning Point to tap its take on Etzel IPA recipe

Image credit: Turning Point Beer.

Thus far, Tarrant County breweries have covered a variety of different styles while brewing beers in honor of Fort Worth homebrewer, Greg Etzel. However, an IPA recipe sourced from Etzel's archives has yet to be explored. That changes this week, as Turning Point Beer will release KevIKE the Crusher, its take on an IPA by Etzel featuring a strain of Norwegian kveik yeast.

Turning Point, of course, is known for its ability to harness the hop, so it's not surprising to learn that series organizer Nigel Curtis had the Bedford brewery in mind when it came to deciding who'd be asked to re-create an Etzel IPA.

"We're a hazy IPA brewery, and Nigel though we could execute it best," says James Herrington, production manager at Turning Point. "We brewed it using all the ingredients Greg used, but we brewed it to our process."

As for Herrington and the Turning Point team's connection to Greg, it's another story of bonds being formed through the local homebrewing community.

"I knew Greg through Cap and Hare Homebrew Club when I first started homebrewing about nine years ago, and everyone at the brewery knew Greg from Texas Brewing, Inc.," explains Herrington. "Greg was a genuinely great person who helped everybody. We all loved him and just want to return all the help he gave us."

KevIKE the Crusher will be available at Turning Point beginning on Wednesday, December 2, with 100% of proceeds from sales benefiting charities chosen by the Etzel family.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Deep Ellum debuts winter beer for Texans

Image credit: Deep Ellum Brewing Co.

With its latest release, Deep Ellum Brewing Co. of Dallas is hoping to help Texans enjoy all the cozy flavors of winter without cold weather side effects like numb toes and frozen windshields. 

Deep Winter Golden Porter (7.3% ABV) is a seasonal brew bundling flavors of cocoa nibs and coffee. And, according to the brewery, it's as confusing as driving in Texas during winter, since it features plenty of sweetness and roast, even though it's light in color with no bitterness.

“Pulling inspiration and techniques from previous brews, we created a wonderful dichotomy of roasted coffee in a rich golden porter," says Brian Morris, innovation brewer at Deep Ellum. "Deep Winter is packed full of complex aromas and flavors extracted with a cold brew method using a custom selection of coffee beans from our neighbors at Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters.”

Look for Deep Winter Golden Porter on tap and in six-packs of 12-ounce cans. The beer is available now at select retailers across Texas, as well as at the brewery's taproom in Deep Ellum.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Texas Ale Project announces beer and music pairing with Pantera

Images courtesy of Texas Ale Project.

A North Texas-born beer and music collaboration in the works between Dallas-based craft brewery, Texas Ale Project, and legendary Texas music icons, Pantera.

Set to be debut in 2021, Pantera Golden Ale (5.4% ABV) is the first beer to bear the Pantera name. Brewed with a blend of Cascade and Citra hops, Pantera Golden Ale will be "crushable with a clean finish."

“We love creating fine ales and enjoy all kinds of music," says Brent Thompson, co-founder and brewmaster at Texas Ale Project. "We’re very excited to unite these two passions together under our roof, this time in partnership with the almighty Pantera. I couldn’t be more pumped about this project.”

Formed in 1981, Pantera hailed from Arlington and made a name for itself with an "intense new sound that changed the path of metal" music. The band was also known for its party reputation, with the choice of a "golden ale" being reflective of the lighter, approachable beers members would typically drink during Pantera's glory days in the 1990s.

Pantera Golden Ale is expected to be released on March 1, 2021. It will be sold at retailers across Texas, while also being available through Tavour, a craft beer delivery service offering direct-to-consumer shipping in the United States.

More information on release events and product availability will be published in January 2021.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Rollertown launching “Hazy Gonna Set it Off” Turkey Day beer program

All images courtesy of Rollertown Beerworks.

It's already been a big year for fans of D-FW radio personalities Ben Rogers and Jeff 'Skin' Wade. The duo first debuted a new "Ben & Skin" show on 97.1 The Eagle in February, following that with the April opening of their own brewery and taproom, Rollertown Beerworks in Celina. Now, they're looking to generate even more excitement with the announcement of a special beer program meant to take Turkey Day to the next level.

Rollertown is launching its First Annual "Hazy Gonna Set it Off" program, a tribute to Rogers' legendary “Gravy Gonna Set it Off” story of personal Thanksgiving failure. Rogers retells the story on the air every year, and it has created a cult following among D-FW radio fans that, for many, signals the start of the Thanksgiving holiday.

“This story represents personal holiday failure on a grand scale,” says Rogers. “It has been a great way to make fun of myself over the years to lift people’s spirits and to get them ready for the Thanksgiving holiday.”

The program is headlined by two new beers, limited edition merchandise tied in to the story, and limited edition 22-ounce bottles of three brews crafted to act as a tasting companion to your Thanksgiving meal. Beers is the program consist of:

Belgian Barnyard (4.2% ABV, 24 IBU): a crisp table saison with a sweet, light body and a hint of tartness. Bursting with flavors of pomegranate, yuzu, and lemongrass, Belgian Barnyard is designed to act as a Thanksgiving appetizer.

Hazy Gonna Set it Off Double IPA (9% ABV, 65 IBU): the program's namesake is double dry-hopped with Galaxy, Sultana, and Nelson Sauvin hops, along with Sauvignon blanc grape must. With notes of wine grapes, ripe pineapple, mango, grapefruit, and blood orange, Hazy Gonna Set it Off is designed to complement the main Thanksgiving course.

War Daddy (10% ABV, 55 IBU): a dark-as-night imperial stout with strong flavors of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and cacao nibs. Cold-brewed through coffee roasted by KLLR Coffee, Wardaddy is designed to be served as Thanksgiving dessert.

Tune in to 97.1 The Eagle on Friday, November 20, where Ben & Skin will unveil the program live on-air around 2:05 p.m. They will retell the Thanksgiving story during Friday's show from 4-5 p.m., and then again during a socially-distanced event at the brewery on Wednesday, November 25.

Sales of the program elements go live at 2:05 p.m. on Friday by way of the brewery's website (click here), with customers able to pick up their purchase during taproom hours through Wednesday.

Collectible Hazy Gonna Set it Off bottles are $20 and limited to 750 units. Each bottle features a wax-dipped closure, a custom sticker designed by local artist Mik Jimenez, and is personally signed and numbered by Ben & Skin. Those who miss out on this limited bottle can still acquire 16-ounce crowlers of the namesake beer for their holiday enjoyment. Wax-dipped Belgian Barnyard and Wardaddy bottles will sell for $15.

For fans seeking the full production, the brewery is offering 100 “Set it Off” packages for $50. Packages contain one bottle each of Hazy Gonna Set it Off, Belgian Barnyard and Wardaddy, along with two Hazy-branded red reusable cups (a key component of the Gravy story). All of which is bundled in custom Hazy Gonna Set it Off carriers.

A portion of proceeds from Hazy Gonna Set it Off will go to benefit Grace Bridge, a Celina-based charitable organization providing food, clothing and other necessities to those in need. Rollertown also encourages consumers to donate directly to Grace Bridge via the organization's website at

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

On Pegasus City's spiffy new downtown drinkery

Pegasus City's downtown taproom sits across from the Magnolia Hotel, home to a modern-day
rooftop installation of the city's iconic red Pegasus (All images © Brian Brown/Beer in Big D).

The last time beer production took place in the heart of Downtown Dallas, the country was just coming out of the dark period of Prohibition. A number of breweries and brewpubs have resided in other areas of downtown, specifically in Deep Ellum and the West End, but Pegasus City Brewery's new satellite at 1508 Commerce St. is the first brewery to open in the vicinity of its location since the mid-1930s.*

Given the history, it seems appropriate for Pegasus City to be the one to bring beer operations back to this part of the city, seeing as how the brewery's branding is done in the Art Deco style. The movement, which originated in the 1920s, continued to develop while rising in popularity during the 1930s.

Equally fitting is the building itself, and its proximity to where a modern-day version of Pegasus City's namesake takes flight. Part of a complex of structures associated with Dallas Power and Light, the Art Deco skyscraper housing Pegasus City Downtown was constructed in 1931. 

Not only that, it sits cater-corner to the Magnolia Hotel. First known as the Magnolia Petroleum Building, it was the original home of the city's iconic red Pegasus (the company's logo) installed in 1934. A new winged-horse sits atop the building today, where it now watches over the area's newest brewing operation.

And like they say, sometimes things just come together.

Enjoy one of Pegasus City's 18 beverage options while seated in socially-distanced spaces inside and out.

Moving on to amenities, Pegasus City Downtown features a taproom, patio and small-batch brewhouse. Naturally, the inside is adorned with Art Deco elements, the decor complemented by period photographs and antiques. Beer and sodas are poured from 18 taps behind a bar centering the space, with the production area visible through a large-paned window off to the side. Seating options are socially-distanced due to prevailing conditions related to the pandemic, but this allows for the creation of nice little nooks where visitors can enjoy a pint with a bit of relative privacy.

Outside, you'll find an expansive patio with views of the Magnolia Hotel and other surrounding structures. Once again, seating is dispersed, and it's worth noting this area filled up quickly on the day of my visit. I arrived just as Pegasus City Downtown opened at 2 p.m. on a Sunday, and all seats were taken within the hour.

Regarding consumables, beers currently on tap represent familiar favorites, so site exclusives are still in the works. The taproom also offers small bites, non-alcoholic drinks and dog treats as options for patrons and their pets, respectively.

As far as an overall impression, Pegasus City Downtown is quite an upgrade compared to the Tiny Tap at the brewery's production facility in the Design District. The spot is impressive to say the least, being a unique and stylish setting that surely stands out among taprooms in North Texas. Indeed, walking in you almost wonder if there ought to be a dress code, but rest assured casual attire is welcome here - all the better if your t-shirt is stained with Pegasus City beer.

* Schepps Brewing Corp. operated at 1076 Young St. near present-day Pioneer Plaza from 1934-1939. The company was succeeded by Time Brewing, Inc. (1939-1941) and Dallas-Fort Worth Brewing Co. (1941-1951). Another brewery existing close by was Simon Mayer's Berliner Weiss Beer Brewery (1894-1899), part of Mayer's Garden at the intersection of Elm St. and Stone Pl. (this site now occupied by Santander Tower).

Christmas coming early at Hop & Sting

Image credit: Hop & Sting Brewing Co.

Hop & Sting Brewing Co. of Grapevine is calling for an early Christmas with the release of its seasonal Christmas Cookie Ale. Previously a taproom exclusive, the beer is being packaged for the first time this year.

A press release describes Christmas Cookie Ale as "a tasty treat with sugar, spice, and everything nice." With an ABV of just 5%, the beer is of lower strength compared to other winter ales, making for an "easy drinking delight" you'll want to leave out as a treat for Santa.

“Christmas Cookie is an amber ale blended with cinnamon and vanilla to give you that taste of the holiday season, like a fresh-baked cookie on Christmas morning,” says Jon Powell, co-owner of Hop & Sting. “Our Taproom customers can’t get enough of this beer and actually ask about it year-round, so we’re thrilled to be able to share it across DFW and help get everyone in the holiday spirit.”

Christmas Cookie Ale will be available on draft and in six-packs of 12-ounce cans. Look for it at local bars, restaurants and retailers beginning this weekend, or stop by the brewery's taproom to enjoy it on tap today.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Panther Island to tap Etzel's next BIG thing

Image credit: Panther Island Brewing.

Continuing the tour of Tarrant County breweries who have signed on to create beers in honor of Fort Worth homebrewer, Greg Etzel, Panther Island Brewing has announced the release of the sixth entry in the series, Greg's BIG Chocolate Stout (7.0% ABV).

Panther Island's assistant brewer, Sandra DiPretore, led the effort at Panther Island, after learning about the project from organizer Nigel Curtis. Both were acquainted with Etzel by way of a mutual association with area homebrew supplier, Texas Brewing, Inc. of Haltom City.

"I wanted to be a part of this project as soon as Nigel started putting it together," says DiPretore. "I came to know Greg through the Come and Brew It Radio Podcast, and as my editor for Stubby's Texas Brewing Homebrew Blogs. He was the kind of guy who was insanely talented but absolutely humble and I think that has been showcased brilliantly with every brewery release."

As for the beer, DiPretore honored Etzel's recipe for a chocolate rye oatmeal stout and brewed it exactly as he wrote it. That goes for the beer's name as well, since "Greg's BIG Chocolate Stout" is what Etzel called the recipe, and as DiPretore puts it, "he called it like it is."

Greg's BIG Chocolate Stout goes on tap at Panther Island on Wednesday, November 18 at 4p.m. The beer is a taproom-only release and supplies will be limited, with a portion of proceeds benefiting charities chosen by the Etzel family.