Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Lakewood unveils act two of music-centric beer series

Image courtesy of Lakewood Brewing Co.

Lakewood Brewing Co. of Garland is ready to take the stage with act two of its 2021 music-inspired series, Lakewood Live.

Lakewood Live Vol. 2 is an imperial rice lager brewed with green, pillowy pounds of imported matcha. According to a press release, "the matcha pairs beautifully with the crispness of a full-bodied lager, both uniting to deliver a truly sublime sip that delivers on Lakewood’s promise of 'Seriously Fun Beer'."

“I've always wanted to take a shot at an imperial lager,” says Justin Hatley, innovation brewer at Lakewood. “I never liked ones I've had in the past as they can come off as too sweet. Even if we're clocking in at 7% ABV, I still want it to drink like a smooth, crisp lager. When the idea of a matcha beer came up I knew I had the right beer in mind. With the addition of Loral and Meridian hops, it's a delightful floral lager. My only regret is it isn't green!”

Look for Lakewood Live Vol.2 on draft and in four-packs of 12-ounce cans wherever craft beer is sold. As with the inaugural beer in the series, this edition is launching alongside an official Spotify playlist curated by the staff at Lakewood. Click here to listen to "Live from Lakewood - Vol. 2."

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Second Rodeo ready to ride in Fort Worth

All images © Brian Brown/Beer in Big D.

For the first time since 1997, beer is again being brewed in the Fort Worth Stockyards, as Second Rodeo Brewing has begun production ahead of a mid-September opening on Mule Alley.

Second Rodeo is the latest concept from Brain Storm Shelter, whose portfolio includes Truck Yard venues in Houston and Dallas, along with both a Truck Yard and Beard Science Sour House in The Colony (a fourth Truck Yard is currently under construction in North Fort Worth). And, while Second Rodeo sports a different name, elements of Truck Yard's design are an integral part of the experience.

Given the above, Second Rodeo clearly isn't Brain Storm Shelter's first project, a fact that plays into the naming of the place based on the saying, "This ain't my first rodeo." The taproom motif, though, takes the rodeo aspect a step further in drawing inspiration from local cowboy culture and the history of the Texas Prison Rodeo in Huntsville.

Beneath an expansive covered patio featuring a retractable roof, Second Rodeo's
outdoor design and decor matches that of Brain Storm Shelter's Truck Yard locations.

Along those lines, indoor areas at Second Rodeo have thematic touches like iron bars lining the stairways and balconies, tap handles with handcuffs, and a mock jail cell off in one corner (guests are asked to kindly refrain from using the cell's mock latrine!). Plus, if you've ever toured Alcatraz, you'll notice how the walls, painted signs, and light fixtures have a familiar jailhouse feel as well.

Outside, Second Rodeo is essentially an incarnation of Truck Yard, with Adirondack chairs, park benches, and an open-air stage set up underneath a retractable roof. The main difference being the absence of any actual trucks, as food (cheesesteaks, funkified chicken wings) will be served by way of self-service kiosks.

Regarding the beer, Brew Boss Dennis Wehrmann oversees brewing operations at Second Rodeo, just as he does at Beard Science. Production is taking place on a 15-barrel system, and while sour beers are the focus at Beard Science, a variety of styles will be brewed at Second Rodeo for consumption onsite or at other company locales.

Tap handles with handcuffs, a mock jail cell, and iron bars throughout are just
some of the elements brought together to create Second Rodeo's indoor jailhouse theme.

"We will have a total of 10 house beers on tap, and out of those, six will always be the same," says Wehrmann. "We will also brew for all the other Truck Yards in the Metroplex after we open."

In addition, visitors to the Stockyards will be allowed to purchase beer at Second Rodeo to enjoy anywhere on the grounds.

"We bought a little mobile-canning line to do some cans," says Wehrmann, "because the Stockyards is licensed for open containers, so you can take a beer and walk around."

Second Rodeo's equipment array includes a 15-barrel
brewhouse, stacked fermenters, and horizontal lagering tanks.

Patrons will be able to choose from a house beer lineup set to include a blonde ale, Mexican lager, amber ale, hefeweizen, dunkelweizen, and an IPA. Other options will consist of seasonal rotators, such as an Oktoberfest, and Beard Science offerings like the Sour House's cucumber lemon sour and hibiscus hard seltzer.

Beyond that, Second Rodeo will carry a stock of guest beers, spirits, and wine as part of its everyday drink menu.

As for when you can saddle up to Second Rodeo yourself, the spot is scheduled to open on Thursday, September 16. From there, the brewery/foodarama/live music venue will offer service daily beginning at 11 a.m.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Truck Yard tapping 200 year-old kegs for Trucktoberfest

Image courtesy of Truck Yard.

In light of Dennis Wehrmann's recent move from his previous venture to Beard Science Sour House in The Colony, some may be curious as to the fate of annual Oktoberfest tappings drawn from his family's 200 year-old kegs. Well, wonder no more, as the Brew Boss will continue this popular pastime during Trucktoberfest events happening at Truck Yard locations in September.

“I’m excited to tap one of my personal 30-liter Oktoberfest kegs!" says Wehrmann. "Sharing this great tradition with Truck Yard is a great honor for me. The outdoor beer garden-style setting at Truck Yard is the perfect environment to enjoy something so special.”

According to a press release, the inaugural Trucktoberfest will feature a lineup of adult, kid, and dog-friendly activities including a stein holding contest, a pretzel eating contest, wiener dog races and a yodeling competition. And, there will of course be an Oktoberfest beer, with Truck Yard's take sharing the same name as the celebration.

“The 200+ year old wooden keg belonged to my great, great grandfather, who started our first family brewery in Germany in 1800," says Wehrmann. "We will fill the keg with our Oktoberfest beer, called 'Trucktoberfest,' that we brewed specially for this event. It is brewed as a traditional German Oktoberfest beer with German malt, hops and a Munich lager yeast. Enjoying this traditional German beer that is made locally alongside other local American and Oktoberfest beers at the event will certainly be a highlight for everyone."

Trucktoberfest takes place September 18-19 at Truck Yard Dallas and Truck Yard The Colony . The event is free to attend, but guests can click here to sign up for the various contests. To learn more, visit Truck Yard's social media channels for further details.

Ceremonial "Trucktoberfest" keg tapping schedule:

Saturday, September 18: Truck Yard The Colony at 2 p.m.
Sunday, September 19: Truck Yard Dallas at 3 p.m.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Bankhead now fermenting in Funkytown

Bankhead Fort Worth is open daily, with hours from 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. (all images © Brian Brown/Beer in Big D).

It's been nearly five years since Bankhead Brewing Co. opened its original concept in Rowlett during the fall of 2016. Named for the Bankhead Highway, one of the earliest transcontinental roadways in the nation, the brewpub has since remained an arguably underrated destination for good food coupled with solid, stylistic house beers.

In more recent times, the company has undergone a change in ownership. This event was followed by the announcement in April of plans to expand the business by taking over a space in Fort Worth previously occupied by Deep Ellum Brewing Co.'s Funkytown Fermatorium. Located at 611 University Dr. in the city's Cultural District, Bankhead Fort Worth opened on a soft basis in July, with an official grand opening taking place on August 1.

In tune with the brewpub's namesake, the Bankhead Highway, artwork and decor is inspired by the American automobile.

So, what's the new spot like? Well, to borrow a known phrase...it's a case of second verse, same as the first. And really, this is an appropriate turn of phrase in more ways than one.

To begin with, former visitors of the Fermatorium will see many similarities when stepping foot into Bankhead Fort Worth. This is because the conversion of the ready-made restaurant and brewery was a turn-key transition. From the looks of it, the company simply swapped out the signage, along with elements of artwork and decor...and voila, a newly-branded brewpub.

Indoor murals portray popular Bankhead offerings like Adios Bitchachos, a Mexican lager.

As for Bankhead Fort Worth's primary attractions, that being the beer and food, fans of the Rowlett locale will feel a sense of familiarity as well. The culinary menu is much the same (pizzas, sandwiches, salads and soups), as is the standard portfolio of brewhouse offerings, the latter of which includes popular selections like Adios Bitchachos (Mexican lager) and Hoofer's Hef (German-style hefeweizen).

What this means is, Bankhead regulars can enjoy essentially the same experience regardless of whether they frequent the company's brewpub in Rowlett or Fort Worth. The atmosphere and setting may differ a bit, but once you settle into your surroundings you'll hardly notice, as you enjoy the quality and consistency that's been a hallmark of Bankhead's approach since day one.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Deep Ellum introduces Hop Seeker rotating IPA series

Image credits: CANarchy/Deep Ellum Brewing Co.

Deep Ellum Brewing Co. of Dallas is embarking on a quest to track down the world's finest hops for inclusion in recipes designed for its new Hop Seeker rotating IPA series.

The first release in this line of beers is Hop Seeker West Coast IPA (7.3% ABV, 40 IBU). "Brewed for the hop-huggers, the lupulin lovers, and hopsplorers of every sort," Hop Seeker features Mosaic hops sourced from the Pacific Northwest. According to a press release, the resulting beer is said to start off gentle with fruity aromas, while finishing with piney bite.

“For this initial release we pulled inspiration from some of our favorite breweries on the west coast that are making huge waves with IPAs," says Brian Morris, head brewer at Deep Ellum. "Consider this a tribute to everything we love about the modern revival of the west coast IPA. Clear, crisp, and packed with some of our favorite hops.”

Hop Seeker West Coast IPA is available now on draft and in six-packs of 12-ounce cans all across Texas.

Monday, August 2, 2021

Familiar names among winners at 2021 USBTC summer competition

Image credits: United States Beer Tasting Championship, Oak Highlands Brewery, Rahr & Sons Brewing Co., Lakewood Brewing Co.

Building on recent wins at the 2020-21 winter edition of the United States Beer Tasting Championship (USBTC), Lakewood Brewing Co. of Garland, Oak Highlands Brewery of Dallas, and Rahr & Sons Brewing Co. of Fort Worth secured additional honors at the organization's 27th Annual Summer Competition.

The USBTC's summer event drew 775 entries from 177 breweries, with these beers evaluated across 18 different style categories. From this pool, six North Texas beers from the above list of breweries were named Regional Champion in the Rockies/Southwest Division.

Local winners are summarized below, or you can click here for a full competition summary.

Lakewood Brewing Co., Garland

  • Lakewood Live - Vol 1, Regional Champion in the Belgian/French Specialty category.

  • Tipsy Goat, Regional Champion in the Bock/Doppelbock category.
  • Golden Mustache, Regional Champion in the Dortmunder/Helles category.
  • Summertime Wheat, Regional Champion in the Wheat Beer category.
  • Fritz's Funkberry, Regional Champion in the Sour Beer category.
  • Adios Pantalones, Regional Champion in the Session Beer category.

Cheers and congratulations to all!