Friday, November 26, 2021

BrainDead to close in Deep Ellum

Image © Brian Brown/Beer in Big D.

After more than six and a half years in business, BrainDead Brewing of Dallas has announced it will end its run in Deep Ellum and close at the end of business on Sunday, November 28.

Debuting in February 2015, BrainDead brought together the talents of Jeff Fryman (The Common Table), Sam Wynne (Flying Saucer, Rodeo Goat) and Andrew Huerter (Deep Ellum Brewing Co.). It was the first brewpub to operate in the Deep Ellum entertainment district since The Copper Tank closed across the street in 2001.

Speaking of which, BrainDead epitomized what the brewpub model is all about. The beer and food were both good, which meant your best option didn't involve drinking here and eating there (i.e., somewhere else) like it was at some brewpubs in North Texas during the late 1990s.

On the beer, Gritz (a cream ale) was among BrainDead's inaugural beer offerings - and I may have actually been the first to order a pint, but it was just the first of a wide range of recipes to be poured at a place where upwards of 25 different house beers were on tap daily.

Craft beer and food done right, this is what I'll remember about BrainDead. Well, that and Festicle, the small-scale sampling soiree the brewpub put on with the folks behind Big Texas Beer Fest. A beer geek's beer festival if there ever was one in North Texas, this event was an annual celebration of barrel-aged, wild and sour beers.

A post sharing the news on Facebook reads: "We are thankful for everyone that supported us through almost 7 years of brewpubbing in Deep Ellum, the best neighborhood there ever was."

If you ask me, those words are simply a case of best recognizing best.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Funky Picnic bands together with Midlake for music-inspired beer

Image courtesy of Funky Picnic Brewery & Café.

Funky Picnic Brewery & Café of Fort Worth has announced the release of a new beer brewed in concert with Denton-based band Midlake. Courage & Pillars, an imperial Berliner weisse made with blueberry and cardamom, will be on tap Friday, November 26, in both the Funky Picnic taproom and at Tulips FTW, the venue where Midlake will play that evening.

Head Brewer Michael Harper has been a huge Midlake fan for years and he approached the band about a collaboration beer to coincide with their concert dates in Fort Worth. The band has a new album coming out March 18, 2022 featuring the song “Bethel Woods,” and the beer is inspired by that song.

Image courtesy of Funky Picnic Brewery & Café.

“The track itself is named after the area where Woodstock was held [in New York], so we looked at what fruits are available in Bethel Woods this time of year and landed on blueberry,” says Harper. “The drums on the track are so crispy and so warm, so we needed something to balance out the sweet and tart of the blueberry, so we landed on cardamom.” 

Image courtesy of Midlake.

Harper describes Courage & Pillars as a beer to be savored, but easy drinking all the same, kind of like Midlake. He says the cardamom spice meets you first with warm and green earthiness, then soft and tart blueberry enters to round out the glass.

Enjoy Courage & Pillars on tap at Funky Picnic this weekend, or even better at Tulips FTW while listening to Midlake live in concert on November 26. Admission to the show is $15pp (click here to purchase tickets).

Monday, November 22, 2021

903, Tupps awarded medals at 2021 U.S. Open Hard Seltzer Championship

Image credit: U.S. Open Hard Seltzer Championship.

Results are in from the 2021 U.S. Open Hard Seltzer Championship, with 903 Brewers of Sherman and Tupps Brewery of McKinney appearing among the winners.

More than 60 hard seltzer-makers from across the U.S. and Canada submitted just short of 250 hard seltzers for evaluation at this year's competition, which is a collaborative effort with the Niagara College Teaching Winery, Brewery, Cidery and Distillery. Judges from Canada, England and the United States ranked seltzers in 18 different categories covering various fruit and herb infusions.

A list of winning seltzers from North Texas is provided below. You can also click here for a full competition summary.

903 Brewers, Sherman
  • Bronze for Pina Colada Hard Seltzer Slushy in the Pina Colada category.
  • Bronze for Bahama Mama Hard Seltzer Slushy in the Anything Goes category.
Tupps Brewery, McKinney
  • Bronze for Blur Strawberry Daiquiri in the Strawberry category.

Cheers and congratulations to 903 Brewers and Tupps Brewery!